13-07-2018, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia): The Chair of the Committee of Ambassadors of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Ambassador of Ethiopia to Djibouti, H.E. Shamebo Fitamo, this morning presided over the 4th IGAD-Switzerland Steering Committee Meeting in Addis Ababa with IGAD Executive Secretary, H.E. Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, and the Ambassador of Switzerland to Ethiopia, H.E. Daniel Hunn, at the high table and members of the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors in attendance.
This one-day gathering was aimed at exchanging views on the strategic partnership and cooperation between IGAD and Switzerland, and more specifically at gauging progress regarding the six projects for which Switzerland is providing support to IGAD:
- Migration Governance in the IGAD region;
- The IGAD-led peace process for South Sudan;
- IGAD Institutional Strengthening Action Programme (ISAP);
- Land Governance;
- Water Resources Management;
- Drought resilience.
The Chair of IGAD Committee of Ambassadors in his opening remarks stated that “the cooperation between Switzerland and IGAD on the areas of food security, migration, peace and security is non-other than a great testimony of the friendly relation”. Ambassador Fitamo touched on the negative aspects of illegal and irregular migration and human trafficking for the region as a way of showing appreciation for the Swiss support in the area of Migration Governance. He also expressed his hope to see more discussions be held around federalism and decentralization within the framework of the IGAD-Switzerland cooperation.
Ambassador Hun expressed his satisfaction to see members of the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors at this Steering Committee meeting. He announced that the Swiss financial allocation to IGAD has reached 17 million US dollars. He further noted that the “growing size of the Swiss-funded portfolio implemented by IGAD” was a reflection of “IGAD’s programmatic expansion in recent years”. He concluded with some of the challenges faced by the regional organization but nevertheless expressed his satisfaction upon touching of these issues during the meeting.
IGAD Executive Secretary described the support by Switzerland as consistent and reliable, and commended the good will by the people and government of Switzerland during his closing remarks.