31 August 2023, Mombasa-Kenya: The IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP) has successfully concluded a two-days regional validation workshop to validate the IGAD Statute for the Establishment of a Regional Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism against Transnational Security Threats (TSTs) held on 30-31 August 2023.
The objective of the workshop was to present the Final Draft Statute for critical review, feedback, and final validation by the Member States and give guidance for its implementation. The Statute is expected to reduce and contain criminal threats and impacts through institutionalized regional cooperation and coordination platform/mechanisms against transnational security/criminal threats. In this regard, national delegates provided their feedback on the shared Draft Statute by critically reviewing the contents of the Statute and evaluating the specific articles.
The workshop was officially opened by Commander Abebe Muluneh, the Director of IGAD SSP and Head of Mission to Ethiopia; and Mr. Hassan Omar Mohamed, Advisor to the Minister of the Djibouti Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as the Chair of IGAD.
Senior delegations from all IGAD Member States representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Intelligence, Public Prosecution, Police, Ministry of Interior, Defense, Counter Terrorism Centers, and Internal Security have attended the validation workshop. The workshop was facilitated by senior staff from IGAD SSP and the consultants who have developed the Draft Statute.
In addition to the two-days workshop engagement, the delegates brought the feedbacks of each Member States, according to the previously shared Statute. Each provision of the instrument was reviewed and extensive discussions were held, which were all incorporated to produce the final Draft Statute. All Member States have reached a consensus on all provisions except two, which were indicated in the concluding statement to be presented for IGAD policy organ for final decision.
The workshop was concluded through agreed upon next steps, which will be followed by IGAD SSP as well as the delegations of each Member States. In the closing ceremony, Commander Abebe appreciated the full participation and dedicated review of the draft Statute by the delegates and requested their support for further engagements in realizing the objectives of the Draft Final Statute. Mr. Hassan, from the Ministry of Foreign affairs of Djibouti, reiterated that it would be in the real interest of all Member States to make the Draft Statute operational so that its intended objective of regional cooperation and coordination can be met.
IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP) has three strategic priority areas to effectively address the emerging, evolving, and existing transnational security threats (EEE-TSTs) in order to contribute to regional peace and stability and foster enabling environment for regional integration and development of the sub-region. These are 1) Promote the regional cooperation and coordination on information sharing 2) Enhance the institutional and human capacities of Member States 3) Promote the signing, ratification, and domestication of legal instrument. The interventions provided to Member States were all geared towards these three areas in various forms depending on the need and priorities of the Member States.
The validation workshop and the development of the Draft Statute were conducted with the financial support from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) through the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) under the IPPSHAR Program.