22-08-2014, Kampala: Ambassador Ben Lukwiya, Head of Multilateral Organizations and Treaties Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uganda, this evening officially closed the first High Level Mediation Course for IGAD Mediators in the presence of Mr. Daniel Yifru-Acting Director of IGAD Peace and Security Division, and Mr. Murezi Michael, Head of Mediation Desk at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, at the Munyonyo Speke Resort in Kmapala.
Starting on August 18th, the IGAD Mediators were working on fictional case scenarios and in groups. These simulation exercises were meant to prepare them for real case scenarios once their nomination by their respective member countries has been endorsed by the IGAD Council and Foreign Affairs Ministers.
During the closing session in the afternoon of August 22, Mr. Murezi Michael, Head of Mediation Desk of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, thanked IGAD for such a high level professionalism in the preparation and organization of the training. He also acknowledged all stakeholders in the training including the government of Uganda for hosting such a crucial course. “Every workshop depends on the participants’ commitment to contribute, and your contribution to this training has been tremendous,” he said. He added that challenges remained and that the deployment of IGAD Mediators had its importance for the peoples of the region and also in the eyes of the Swiss government.
Mr. Daniel Yifru, Acting Director of IGAD Peace and Security Division, in his closing remarks assured the IGAD Mediators that this first High Level Mediation Course for IGAD Mediators was a beginning. “I also encourage you to keep us engaged with you,” he said. He highlighted how important this training course was for the Executive Secretary of IGAD before inviting the guest of honor, Ambassador Ben Lukwiya, to proceed to the handing over of the certificates to the participants and officially closing the High Level Mediation Course for IGAD Mediators.
After a brief certificates hand-over ceremony to the twenty one IGAD Mediators, Ambassador Ben Lukwiya expressed appreciation, in the name of the Ugandan Government, to “IGAD’s initiatives in establishing a strong and effective Mediation Support Unit since 2012 under the Peace and Security Division of the IGAD Secretariat”. “Considering that you had very knowledgeable facilitators in these five days of intensive training, I believe that IGAD member states will no longer need to look beyond the region for mediators” he said before declaring officially closed the session.