Making his opening remarks at the beginning of the meeting that comes six months after the last one, the acting Director of Finance and Administration at the IGAD Secretariat, Mr Bwango Apuuli reminded the members that IGAD continues to recognize the role of NGOs and CSOs in the region, especially in poverty alleviation as well as conflict prevention, management and resolution.
“Mandated by the 8th Summit of IGAD Heads of State and Government in 2008 in Khartoum, the IGAD Secretariat conducted a study to explore the interface between NGOs/CSOs in the region and IGAD,” Mr Apuuli reported adding that the study made several recommendations on strengthening the interface.
One of the recommendations was the establishment of an NGO/CSO desk within the IGAD Secretariat to coordinate and facilitate activities of the forum. The acting Director said that this and other recommendations will be presented to the IGAD Council of Ministers next week for consideration.
Welcoming the members, Mrs Saba Gebremedhin expressed her optimism that the recommendations will be favourably be considered by the Council. She further informed the gathering that a summary of the study report on strengthening the interface between IGAD and NGOs/CSOs in the region will be presented to the general assembly before it adopts its statutes that will also be presented tomorrow.
The 2nd Assembly of the IGAD NGO/CSO Forum will be held tomorrow and Wednesday to go through its amended statutes and hopefully adopt them. Besides Dr Ahmed Malik Abu Sin presenting a summary of his study report, Amb Yohannes Lissane, IGAD Special Envoy to the Assessment and Evaluation Committee of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement will make a presentation on the role of NGOs/CSOs in the Sudan peace process.