April 5, 2021 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti: The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan convened a virtual follow-up meeting on the Solutions Initiative for the Displacement Situation in Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan. The meeting was attended by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the US Ambassador to Djibouti and the European Union Head of Regional and Multi-Country Programmes.
The initiative, launched in October 2020 on the margins of the UNHCR Executive Committee meeting, aims to harness peace dividends stemming from the implementation of the peace agreements reached for Sudan and South Sudan to find lasting solutions for 7 million displaced persons in and from the two countries. The initiative is undertaken under the auspices of the IGAD Support Platform launched during the Global Refugee Forum in December 2019 and is in line with the aims of the Nairobi Declaration, an agreement by IGAD countries to pursue comprehensive regional approaches to deliver durable solutions for refugees while also maintaining protection and promoting self-reliance in the countries of asylum.
The participants were briefed on the progress made thus far in advancing the jointly agreed roadmap by both governments and the next steps in the lead-up to the Heads of States Summit. Key achievements include the convening of national consultations with a broad range of stakeholders and the ongoing comprehensive needs assessment that will inform the development of national durable solutions strategies and the joint comprehensive regional plan of action.
The participants agreed on the key next steps to include:
- The completion of the national strategies and a drafting of a preliminary regional plan by the end of April 2021.
- The national validation and adoption of the National Durable Solution Strategies and the Joint Regional Comprehensive Plan of Action by mid-May 2021.
- The convening of regional experts’ review and validation and a subsequent ministerial adoption workshop in June 2021.
- The convening of a Special Assembly of IGAD Heads of State and Government in the third quarter of 2021 to table the adopted strategies and plan of action and to utilise the Summit as a platform to mobilize the support of the international community to implement the national solution strategies and the regional plan of action in accordance with the principle of responsibility sharing at the heart of the Global Compact on Refugees.
All parties further agreed to expand the IGAD Support Platform by inviting additional state and international institutions such as the World Bank Group, to further explore the longer-term development needs in support of durable solutions to displacement.
For more information:
IGAD: Nuur Sheekh | Nuur.Sheekh@igad.int
UNHCR: Capucine Anna Jorda | firstname.lastname@example.org