14-12-2017, Djibouti (Djibouti): The Ministers of Education of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Member States this morning opened the First Regional Ministerial Conference on Refugee Education in IGAD Member States in Djibouti.
Ministers in charge of Education, or their high-level representatives, were hosted by the Minister of Education of Djibouti alongside IGAD Executive Secretary, H.E. Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, with the Federal Minister of Education the Republic of Sudan, the UNHCR Special Envoy for the Somalia Refugee Situation, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Djibouti at the high table.
The Ministerial meeting of today was the culmination of a three-day conference, the two first days being the Experts preparation meeting which started on December 12th in Djibouti and whose theme was “Regional Quality Education Standards and Inclusion into National Systems for Refugee Children” (follow the below link for full story).
IGAD MINISTRIES OF EDUCATION CONVENE FOR THE FIRST TIME ON REFUGEE EDUCATION
Amb (Eng) Maalim highlighted that the theme in reality and very practically was to ensure that every child is guaranteed access to quality education. “IGAD is not a stand-alone organization. As a Regional Economic Community (REC) which is part of the African Union (AU), we are to implement continent-wide decisions and initiatives within the priorities of the sub-region to start with”, he said. IGAD Executive Secretary also took the opportunity to call on Member States and development partners to strengthen the IGAD Health & Social Development Division so as to give it the necessary leverage and thus render this initiative a sustainable one.
UNHCR Special Envoy for the Somalia Refugee Situation praised the Republic of Djibouti for hosting this conference, “the first of its kind in history”. “We need to keep the momentum going for the benefit of the refugees and their hosting communities”, he added.
“The Declaration and Action Plan before us provides the necessary approach to address the education needs of children and youth of refugee, returnee and host communities. We welcome it. However, there is a need for prompt implementation, if we are to deliver this brighter future. That must be our focus as we enter a new year”, The Head of the European Union Delegation to Djibouti concluded his remarks before the Minister of Education of Djibouti declared the First Regional Ministerial Conference on Refugee Education in IGAD Member States open.
The EU, the German government, and the UNHCR provided support to the Conference.