The 4th Session of the IGAD Special Task Force on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden was held in Bishoftu, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia from 13th to 15th July 2021, under the Chairmanship of H.E Ambassador Magdi Ahmed Mofadal of the Republic of the Sudan representing IGAD Chair; in coordination with Ambassador Mohamed Ali Guyo, IGAD Special Envoy for the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Somalia. The meeting was attended by the Members of the Task Force from all IGAD Member States.
The IGAD Special Task Force was convened to review and validate the outcomes of the National Consultative Meetings (NCMs) on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden held on various dates between 2019 and 2020. It also deliberated on the way forward.
The Task Force:
1) Applauded the IGAD Special Mission to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden for conducting the National Consultative Meetings in IGAD Member States in participatory format on the aspirations, interests, opportunities, concerns and challenges affecting the region regarding the dynamics in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden arena;
2) Deliberated extensively, amended and validated the outcome of the National Consultative Meetings clustered around four thematic areas: political, peace and security; socio-economic development; maritime and terrestrial ecological matters, and research and capacity building;
3) Recommended the development of the draft Common IGAD Position (CIP), Regional Plan of Action (RPA) and Convention on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden on the basis of the outcome of the National Consultations and further research in line with the resolutions of the 46th and 68th IGAD Council, 13th IGAD Summit of Heads of State and Government; and the Declarationof Principles on Cooperation in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden;
4) Called upon the Special Envoy to liaise with IGAD Secretariat to enhance synergy and institutional linkages, capacity building, and strategic outreach with relevant initiatives to promote the appropriate framework of cooperation in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden in accordance with the IGAD Declaration of Principles on Cooperation in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden adopted by the 13th Summit of the IGAD Heads of State and Government;
5) Appreciated the support from African Union High Implementation Panel, United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, European Union and bilateral partners, notably Finland and Norway;
6) Thanked the people and Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for the warm hospitality;
7) Decided to remain actively seized of the matter.
15th July 2021