• CHAIR PERSON OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
• Mr. ANTENIO GUTERRES – THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES
• REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED NATIONS AGENCIES
• DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES
• LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
On behalf of the IGAD Secretariat and on my own behalf, I would like to extend my appreciation and thanks to UNHCR for organizing this meeting on issues that are at the heart of its programs.
I would also like to thank the High Commissioner for inviting me to participate in this 60th session of UNHCR Executive Committee.
We consider this a recognition of the important role that IGAD can play on issues of refugees and internally displaced persons in the IGAD region.
IGAD Secretariat considers the issue of refugees and other persons (asylum seekers , returnees ,IDPs and resettled IDPs) both development and security issues.
We believe that a key contribution towards ameliorating human displacement , is working towards regional integration in a holistic fashion.
This will include factors addressing Poverty Alleviation with all its antecedent causal reasons of :
• Food Insecurity
• Climate Change
• Sub-regional Trade
• Disaster Risk Reduction among others
We believe that we may pave the way for economic interest to override over political passion through regional integration.
We believe that there is a breakpoint at which we should quit our national interests in pursuance of regional good: Only then ,we can have a possibility of lessening human displacement.
But we also recognise that issues related to refugees and others displaced persons are international in nature and in this regard embrace the strategy of cooperation with all international agencies.
For UNHCR , IGAD has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 1997 and held a regional conference at the Ministerial level in February 2006 in Nairobi.
I call for a review of the said MOU to reflect the reality of changes that have taken place for the last 12 years :
The follow up on the operationalization of the Ministerial Conference Resolutions to bring to fruition topical areas that were seen as key to the problems of human displacement.
As part of the IGAD Secretariat in supporting UNHCR: a joint partnership in the area of HIV/AIDS exists where UNHCR is an implementing Partner in 6 refugees camps and 2 returnees / IDPs camps in IGAD Member states.
Up to now USD $ 1,163,050 was transferred to UNHCR and a further 1,324,545 will be disbursed soon.
We call upon other actors to come on board in expanding this very limited intervention to enhance not only coverage but in scope to include other areas of TB and Malaria.
• THE HIGH COMMISSIONER
• DISTINGUISHED PARTICIPANTS
The IGAD Member States are committed to staying engaged with UNHCR and to deploy necessary efforts and resources at their disposal to tackle the challenges of forced population displacement.
As Agents of the IGAD Member States, It is the desire of the IGAD Secretariat to continue with practical partnership and collaboration with UNHCR.
Thank you Excellencies for your attention!