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29-11-2018, Kampala, Uganda: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations (UN) this morning kick-started a two-day high level meeting to review events in the Horn of Africa, within the context of recent political and diplomatic developments in the region. 

The aim of the meeting, taking place in Uganda’s capital Kampala is to assess patterns and trends in the region, taking into account regional and continental norms and frameworks in particular the principle of complementarity. The meeting also highlighted possible areas for enhancing coordination between UN and IGAD and explored options for prevention and early warning in the region.   

The Guest of Honor Hon. Henry Okello Oryem, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Government of Uganda highlighted the importance of inclusivity as an avenue for advancing nation building. He stated that sustaining peace is a task that should be collectively shared at the national, regional and international level.  “Complementarity is a virtue that we can no longer ignore. Such complementarity is very instrumental in highlighting new emerging trends from all players while situating them within existing frameworks, in this case the IGAD, AU and the UN frameworks” Hon Oryem added.

H.E Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, the Executive Secretary of IGAD, welcomed the ongoing initiative of the two organisations, urging them to take advantage of the current change of events in the Horn of Africa by informing, sharing and exchanging ideas and experiences to effectively engage and collaborate. He stated that “we have already existing working relations with several UN agencies and today we are mainly focusing on the political climate in particular the UN Department of Political Affairs for the two organisations to agree on key issues of interest and chart a way forward on how the two can harmonize working relations” Amb Maalim said.

In support Mr. Taye-Brook Zerihoun, Assistant Secretary-General (UN Department of Political Affairs), highlighted the importance of partnership and noted that circumstances that previously hampered interstate relations and relations between the two organisations are receding. 

The High Level Dialogue (HLD) provides an opportunity to explore avenues for discussing extra-regional issues and their impact on the Horn of Africa that as a result enable IGAD and the UN to engage honestly. Representatives of IGAD Member States, UN Special Envoys, Special Representatives of the Secretary-General, Resident Coordinators, high-level representation of IGAD and the UN Secretariats are attending the meeting.

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