Ministers and Heads of Delegations from IGAD Member States reaffirmed their commitment to comprehensive responses to forcibly displaced populations in a joint Communique at the conclusion of the Annual Ministerial Stock-take of the implementation of the Nairobi Declaration/Global Impact for Refugees. The Stock-take meeting was held on 20th – 23rd November, 2023 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Communique which was signed by heads of delegations and Ministers from the IGAD Region was drafted from the recommendations from the third review on the progress made in the implementation of the Nairobi Declaration and Plan of Action (IGAD Support Platform), as well as the subsequent Declarations and Plans of Action on Refugee Education, Health, Jobs, Livelihoods and Self-reliance.
Member States agreed to develop and accelerate the implementation of the national costed response plans to support the realisation of commitments on the Nairobi Declaration and Plan of Action, committed to finalise and submit national and regional pledges for the December 2023 Global Refugee Forum (GRF) and also urge Member States to join multi-stakeholder pledges.
In the Communiques, Members States also agreed to fast-tracking the implementation of the of the Nairobi Declaration and Plan of Action and subsequent Declarations, continue to build partnerships, step-up mobilization of resources and promote Government-led whole-of-society approaches among others.
The Stock-take meeting which was last convened in 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic consisted of the technical expert’s session (20-22 November 2022) ending with a ministerial session (23 November 2023). The technical sessions had comprehensive discussion and recommendations to which they proposed to the Ministers for consideration.
The IGAD Policy Framework on Refugee Protection, the Regional Solutions Strategy for Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons, Returnees and Host Communities in-and-from Sudan and South Sudan and the consolidated results framework for the IGAD Support Platform were also endorsed in the Ministerial meeting.
Mme Fathia Alwan, in her speech on behalf of the Executive Secretary, Dr. Workeney Gebeyehu thanked the Member states for assessing the progress of the Nairobi Declaration highlighting the need for renewed efforts to the increasing number of displaced populations in the region.
“Let us redouble our efforts to implement the Nairobi Declaration and Plan of Action and its subsequent Declarations and Plans of Action on Refugee Education, Health, Jobs, Livelihoods and Self-reliance, by prioritising areas where progress has been slower,” Fathia said.
The State Minister for Labor and Skills, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Ato, Nigusu Tilahun who represented the host government, highlighted Ethiopia’s readiness to implement all regional strategies pertaining refugees including the IGAD’s Regional Policy Framework on Refugee Protection.
“Apart from developing favorable policies and frameworks for Refugees, it is also vital to and crucial to acknowledge that refugees make positive contributions, boost local economies and enrich host communities and have the desire to be self-reliant.”
HE Said Nouh Hassan, the Minister Interior, Government of Djibouti, on behalf of the IGAD Chair addressed the need to address the multiple and interdependent practical concerns of IGAD Member States in order to sustainably manage the growing number of refugees in the region while the UNHCR Special Envoy of the Horn of Africa, Ambassador, Mohamed Affey called the attention to the increasing cases of displacement situations due to climate induced situations and drought.
The Ministerial segment was also attended by the UNHCR Regional Director for the East and Horn of Africa and Great Lakes, Mr. Mamadou Dian Balde, Hon. Stephen Par Kuol, Minister of Peace building of the Republic of South Sudan, heads of refugee commissions in IGAD Member States among others.
Representing the donor community, Mr. Joachim Beijmo, the Head of Regional Development Co-operation at the Swedish Embassy in Ethiopia, thanked IGAD Member States and the Secretariat for the efforts towards a coordinated regional approach to sustainable solutions for displaced population and applauded the endorsement of the IGAD Policy Framework on Refugee Protection.
Download attached Communique below in English and French
Communique on the 3rd Ministerial Stocktake of the Nairobi Declaration – ENGLISH
Communique on the 3rd Ministerial Stocktake of the Nairobi Declaration – FRENCH