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Djibouti, 16-11-2015: A two day high level dialogue is taking place between the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (UNDPA) from today November 16 till November 17, 2015 in Djibouti City.

The dialogue is to strengthen cooperation between the two organisations in the field of peace and security and to consolidate partnership in conflict prevention and peacemaking that are pertinent to the Horn of Africa region.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Djibouti H.E Mahamoud Ali Youssouf presided over the opening in the presence of H.E Taye Astekeselassie, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia, and Chair of the IGAD Executive Council, Mr. Haile Menkerios, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations to African Union, and H.E Ambassador Mahboub Maalim, Executive Secretary of IGAD.

H.E Mahamoud Ali Youssouf expressed his appreciation for the timely initiative considering the complexity of the crisis in the Horn of Africa and the real implications that represent genuine threats to regional stability and global peace.

He promised unwavering support from his government, and urged the two organisations to work towards efficiency of multilateral actions for better coordination, proactive prevention, and sustainable means of conflict management and resolution.

In the same spirit H.E Taye Astekeselassie, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia, Chair of IGAD also highlighted the importance of cooperation and coordination not just between IGAD Member States, but also between IGAD and other regional and international agencies like the United Nations for continued cooperation to enhance IGAD in resilience and capacity to predict, prevent and respond to conflicts.

He pointed out that through an interconnected region by economic benefits, this will help stimulate peace, security and stability, promote democracy and good governance and as a result regional integration.

In addition, Mr. Haile Menkerios praised the UN and IGAD for relentlessly working closely together to address some of the most difficult peace and security challenges on this part of the African continent.

He too urged the two partner organizations to learn from each other and strengthen the cooperation in the field of peace and security as well as consolidate partnership in conflict prevention, conflict management and peacekeeping through their strong local networks, deep knowledge and unique insights.

The Executive Secretary of IGAD in his opening remarks appreciated the importance of deepened relations with the UN agencies to work efficiently and better even with different mandates to achieve the same results which are beneficial to the people in all areas of focus such as peace, security, diplomacy, conflict, migration and economic, social and regional integration among many others.

H.E Mahmoub Maalim urged the UN agencies to work with IGAD as they mobilize resources for the roles and responsibilities that the two organisations similarly tackle and address.

The dialogue will also provide an opportunity to explore potential areas of strategic cooperation in mitigating instability and to outline possible joint strategies in the areas of emerging peace and security threats, peace processes and mediation as well as conflict-sensitive natural resource management.

The meeting is being attended by several UN agencies, African Union, Representatives of the IGAD Member States and IGAD Special Envoys. The facilitators are the renowned Dr. Laurie Nathan; the executive director of Centre for Conflict Resolution and Dr. Mehari Taddele Maru; the Program Head for the African Conflict Prevention Program at the Institute for Strategic Studies.###

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