The IGAD Special Taskforce on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden concluded a capacity-building training on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden from December 6 to December 9, 2022, in Adama, Ethiopia. The workshop was opened by H.E. Ambassador Babikir Elsiddig M. Elamin, representing the Republic of the Sudan as the IGAD Chair. In attendance were H.E Ambassador Mohamed Ali Guyo (PhD), IGAD Special Envoy for the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Somalia, Mr. Sebsibe Bade, Director of IGAD Affairs from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Taskforce members from all IGAD Member States.
The session was convened to strengthen the Taskforce’s capacity on maritime governance and threats with a view to effectively implement the 46th IGAD Council of Ministers Resolution as a process for the formulation of Common IGAD Position (CIP), Regional Plan of Action (RPA), and a protocol on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
The workshop was facilitated by senior experts and was structured around four themes: political, peace, and security; socioeconomic development; maritime, terrestrial, and ecological issues; and research and capacity building. Further; the workshop was based on a gap analysis and needs assessment
The meeting was utilized to further examine how the Taskforce’s mandate will be carried out moving forward, and following deliberation, the Taskforce:
- Applauded the efforts made to implement the 46th and 68th IGAD Council of Ministers resolutions by the IGAD Special Mission to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
- Recognized the geostrategic significance of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to international trade and emphasized the necessity of protecting the economic and security interests of both littoral and non-littoral IGAD member states.
- Appreciated the common understanding of the Taskforce and progress made toward a collective approach to problems in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden; and stressed the need to take the lead on cohesion, cooperation, and coordination on the IGAD Member States.
- Committed to prioritize, align, and carry out critical regional interests in a more comprehensive unified approach.
- Deliberated and adopted themes for multidisciplinary policy-oriented research and analysis in line with the resolutions of the 46th IGAD Council of Ministers meeting.
- Agreed upon a roadmap and timetable for the completion of the two strategic policies and plans namely: a Common IGAD Position (CIP), and a Regional Plan of Action (RPA) on the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden on the basis of the 46th and 68th IGAD Council, and 13th IGAD Heads of State and Government summit decisions.
- Stressed the significance of collective multilateral approach advancing the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden cooperation and mitigating threats;
- Affirmed commitment to advancing intra-and-inter regional engagements and cooperation between Eastern and Western countries of the Red Sea and beyond in accordance with the IGAD Declaration of Principles on Cooperation in Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
- Called upon the IGAD Red Sea Gulf of Aden Taskforce Secretariat to enhance synergy and institutional linkages, capacity building, and strategic outreach and communication with member states and relevant national, regional, continental and international institutions.
- Appreciated the financial assistance provided by the European Union, Finland and Norway.
- Thanked the people and Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for the warm hospitality.
- Decided to remain actively seized of the matter.
9th December, 2022