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Dialogue  Exchange  Programme  (DEP)


We  members  of the Civil Society  Organizations   convening  in Nairobi,  Kenya  on the 5th March  2017   under  a  Dialogue   Exchange   Program   (DEP)   hosted   by  the  American Friends  Service  Committee-(AFSC)    –  Somalia   Program  and  attended   by  participants from  Burundi,  DR  Congo,  Kenya,  Rwanda,  Somalia,  South  Sudan,  Sudan,  Tanzania, Uganda,   Zimbabwe,    and   representatives    from   IGAD   and  with  the   blessing   of  the Government  of Kenya and the UN Refugee Agency  (UNHCR):

Recalling  the  objective  of the  meeting  which  is “to serve  as a platform  for  knowledge and   information    sharing   among   peers,   institutions,    governments    and   scholars   to diversify  perspectives   and  enrich  discussions   on the  issues  affecting  forcibly  displaced populations   during  repatriation   and  (re)integration   processes   using  the  framework   of Shared  Security   (based  on  the  simple  premise  that  shared  problems   require  shared solutions,   it is an  approach  to  advancing   global  peace  and  justice   grounded   in what Desmond  Tutu  calls  Ubuntu,  our inherent  human  connectedness   that  recognizes  “I am because  you are.”)

Commending the  extraordinary   efforts  and  sacrifice  that  Regional  Governments   and IGAD  Member  States  have  made  to protect  and support  refugees  and  their  continuing initiatives and   commitments    on   the   same   as   well   as   acknowledging     the   IGAD leadership;

Cognizant    of  the   East   Africa   Community’s    mission   of   widening    and   deepening economic,  political,  social and cultural  integration  in order to improve  the quality  of life of the  people  of East Africa  through  increased  competitiveness,   value  added  production, trade and investments.;

Welcoming the  appointment   of Ambassador   Mohamed  Affey  as  the  UNHCR  Special Envoy for   the    Somali    Refugee    Situation    and   appreciating     the    mandate    and responsibilities   of UNHCR to provide  protection  and seek durable  solutions  for refugees, and  its contribution   to  collective   efforts  to  support   returnees   and  internally   displaced persons  (lDPs);

Asserting   the continued support of the United Nations Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region Ambassador Said Djinnit

In solidarity  with governments in the region support for the initiatives that are currently on board with regards to displaced populations in particular the Communique of the consultative meeting of IGAD member states on the current drought situation in the region dated 31st  March 2017, Nairobi –  Kenya, and of the Nairobi Comprehensive Plan of Action for Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees;

Recalling  relevant national, regional and international strategies, frameworks and initiatives, notably: the 2014 Addis Ababa Commitment towards Somali Refugees; the 2016 New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, including its Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF); II. Declaration

Undertake  to advocate for  regional co-operation on State-led durable solutions for Somali refugees through the creation of an IGAD Multi-Donor Trust Fund channeled through the Federal Government of the Somali Republic to support and facilitate the creation of an enabling environment and the rolling out of durable solutions, including safe, sustainable and voluntary return of refugees;

Strongly  call  upon  members of the wider civil society in the IGAD and great Lakes region to actively participate in — and advocate for — the development processes and facilitation of State-led durable solutions for refugees;

Reaffirm  our commitment to the relevant resolutions on refugees and displaced populations with emphasis to the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants that expresses the will to save lives, protect rights and share responsibility on a global scale;

Commend  the continued role of development partners, diaspora, and private sector, grassroots  communities   in  facilitating  the   safe   repatriation  and   (re)  integration processes of displaced affected populations, by affirming the continuous engagement of a much broader group of stakeholders: government authorities, UN and national partners, international and regional financial institutions, and civil society actors.

Reaffirm  the  increasing importance of standards of practice that  promote State-led Durable Solutions Initiatives and programming that will support the implementation of the National Development Plans of countries

Call upon   the   international   community   through   International    Financial   Institutions, bilateral,  regional  and  international  partners,  to accelerate  Somalia’s  debt  cancellation process    and    support    the    development     and    implementation     of   a   meaningful, comprehensive   Somali-led  Marshall  Plan for Somalia’s  post-conflict  reconstruction;

Take  note of the need to have basic services  and infrastructure  that will ensure  the job- creation,  sustainable  livelihoods,  economic  development  for displaced  populations

Reinforce  the  importance  of shared  security  as a means  of ensuring  accountability   to protracted  displacement   in the region as well as affirming  the importance  and relevance of ensuring  peace and reconciliation  as an avenue to solutions  of displacements;

III. On strategies  developed  by the DEP

The meeting  highlighted  and agreed on the following;

Work   on  actualizing   safe   and  humane   repatriation   and  (re)  integration   of  forcibly displaced  populations  by supporting  conditions  in countries  of origin for  return  in safety and dignity;

1.  Develop  strategies   and  reinforce  existing  best  practices  that  will  inform  future programing  on durable  solutions for forcibly  displaced  populations;

2.  Supporting   the  resolve  by  IGAD  and  IGCLR  Member  states  to  deliver  durable solutions for   refugees   who   have   been   affected   by  protracted   displacement situation  in the two regions;

3.  Ensure  that  displacement   affected  communities   are  accorded  the  full  range  of socio-economic rights, for them to achieve  self-reliance;

4.   Recognize  the  importance  of the  inclusion  of women  and  persons  with  specific needs in addressing  their vulnerabilities;

5.  Support   the   spirit   of  Africa   owned   solutions   to  Africa   problems   by  taking measures  that will strengthen  regional cooperation  to durable  solutions;

6.   Recognize    the    importance    of   providing    more    equitable    and    predictable responsibility sharing   arrangements    among   countries   of   origin,   transit   and destination  to address  large movements  of refugees;

7.   Review  the  working   methods  of  the  meeting  by  reiterating   the  importance   of having  all  relevant   Governments   present   in  future   meetings;   this  will  assure perpetual implementation    and   involvement    of   all   Governments    responsible henceforth;

8.  Welcome   the   frank   and   positive   discussions,    and   agreed   to  continue   and increase,  depending  on changes  in the situation  on the ground  in their countries,

the provision of information, assistance to their respective governments and local authorities, to help them accommodate and assist refugees and displaced persons;

We commit  to remain  actively seized  of the matter.

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