- Your Excellency, ALI AL-SADIQ, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan and Chair of the IGAD Council of Ministers;
- Your Excellency, MAHMOUD ALI YOUSSOUF, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Republic of Djibouti;
- Your Excellency, DEMEKE MEKONNEN, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;
- Your Excellency, ALFRED MUTUA, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign & Diaspora Affairs, Republic of Kenya
- Your Excellency, ABSHIR OMAR HURUSE, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Federal Republic of Somalia;
- Your Excellency, MAYIIK AYII DENG, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Republic of South Sudan;
- Your Excellency, Dr. RASHID YAHAYA SSEMUDDU Ambassador of the Republic of Uganda to the Republic of Sudan;
- Permanent Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Representatives of the Experts Team from the Member States’ Ministries of Foreign Affairs;
- IGAD Member State Ambassadors here present;
- Your Excellency, ANNETTE WEBER, European Union Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa;
- Your Excellency, MICHELE TOMASSI, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to the Republic of Sudan, representing the Co-Chair IGAD Partners Forum;
- Your Excellency, JOHN T. GODFREY,S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Sudan
- Directors of IGAD Divisions, Special Envoys and Fellow Members of Secretariat Staff
- Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is both a pleasure and a privilege to address this distinguished gathering of the ordinary session of the IGAD Council of Ministers here in the historic city of Khartoum, Republic of Sudan.
I want to thank the people and government of Sudan for their rich, boundless and legendary hospitality and appreciate the professional manner in which this meeting is organised.
Excellencies, permit me to express my pleasure and that of the entire secretariat for the opportunity to engage on ordinary business with our second highest policy organ.
This meeting, as well as the 40th ordinary session of the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors that preceded it in October of this year, is a signal the unity of purpose of our Member States and strengthens our values as a rule-based organisation.
Let me take this opportunity to thank our chair the Republic of Sudan to and express the deepest appreciation to our esteemed constituent Member States for honouring the invitation of the chair to actively contribute to shaping the future of your organisation, IGAD.
I also take this opportunity to welcome the new members of this Council, as well as our continuing members.
IGAD is indebted to your visionary leadership your excellencies and stands to benefit immensely from your shared wisdom and collective experience in providing the secretariat with strategic guidance that is the purview of the council as enshrined in article 10 of the agreement establishing IGAD.
Your Excellencies Dear colleagues,
My summary report on the work of the secretariat that I will be tabling to this council in the closed session will structured in two sections; first, a brief analysis of the peace, security and disaster situation in our region.
On this situation, I am delighted to report that IGAD successfully discharged its mandate as framed in the 1996 agreement establishing IGAD to; “Promote peace, security and stability, and eliminating the sources of conflict as well as preventing and resolving conflicts in the sub- region.”
IGAD played a very important role in the mediation talks in Pretoria that culminated in the 2nd of November agreement for the permanent cessation of hostilities and silencing of the guns in Northern Ethiopia as well as the roadmap for the implementation of the peace agreement signed in Nairobi 18 days ago on the 12th of November.
Let me congratulate the Government and People of Ethiopia for this historic achievementand also allow me to thank each and every head of state of our region for the positive role they played in supporting this outcome.
Let me also appreciate our umbrella organization the African Union and the mediation teamfor their tireless work as well as the United Nations, the United States and the European Union and all members of the international community who have stood with us during this difficult time.
Similarly, IGAD facilitated the bilateral talks that took place between the leadership of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Sudan on the sidelines of the 39thExtraordinary Assembly of IGAD Heads of State and Government held in Nairobi, Kenya that led to the de-escalation of hostilities along the shared border.
We thank their excellencies General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and Prime Abiy Ahmed Ali for their wisdom and leadership in restoring the historically cordial and sisterly relationship between our two countries.
These most significant achievements including positive steps on reunification of force in the Republic of South Sudan, ongoing mediation in the Republic of Sudan by your organization have immeasurably boosted its prestige and raised our visibility both regionally and internationally.
IGAD’s reputation as an effective peace and security organization which is already firmly established, is now further cemented.
We sincerely thank all the leaders of our Member States who provided the invaluable political, diplomatic, logistical and material support they are lending to our other peace-making initiatives across the region.
IGAD continues counting on your assistance to conclude ongoing dialogue processes and successfully implement established agreements.
At this point I invite us all to share our condolences with our sister member state the Federal Republic of Somalia for the loss of life and property as a result of the continuing attacks by the Al-Shabaab terrorist group.
IGAD strongly condemns these acts of violent extremism and calls upon all member states and the international community to unite in solidarity and supports the efforts of Somalia to bring an end to this threat.
Secondly your Excellencies, I will share with you a short run-down of corresponding interventions the secretariat has been rolling-out at the behest of our Member States.
The work of the secretariat would not be possible to implement at the scale we have without the support of you our Member States who are owners and backbone of our organization IGAD.
Let me take this opportunity to convey special thanks to our host country, the Republic of Djibouti which has been the home of our secretariat these past 36 years. We are deeply grateful to the leadership, government and people for their warmth and hospitality.
I would like to recognize and thank all our bilateral and multilateral partners in peace, security, disaster response and development from the membership of the African Union, the United Nations and the European Union and sincerely thank them for their support.
Our bilateral partners including but not limited to Members of the IGAD Partners Forum Co-Chaired by Italy, Members of the Troika Countries the Middle Eastern and Gulf Cooperation Countries, Turkey, China and many other countries that are friends of the IGAD region is vital to the successful implementation of our programs.
Finally, I invite this council to closely consider the issues I shall be highlighting as well as the proposals the secretariat shall table to this distinguished gathering.
The secretariat counts to the wisdom of your excellencies to promote, monitor, coordinate and harmonize the initiatives it has begun as we proceed to deliver on the mandate that has been delegated to it by our Member States.
Thank You Very Much.
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