Saturday, Aug 19, 2017

27-07-2017, Nairobi (Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning kick-started the 9th Regional Consultative Process (RCP) on Migration in Nairobi during an opening session chaired by Mr. Kenenisa Assefa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, with as Guest of Honour the Director of National Disaster Operations Centre of the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government (Kenya)-Col. (Rtd) Charles Owino, and the Ag. Director of Social Development of IGAD-Ms Fathia Alwan, the Regional Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office at the Embassy of Switzerland to Kenya-Ms Leila Sheikh, and the Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to Ethiopia, Ms Maureen Achieng, at the high table.

The 9th RCP on Climate Change and Human Mobility is aimed at increasing awareness around issues related to displacements caused by natural disasters as well as at forging a common understanding on the protection gaps and opportunities for IGAD Member States.

The participants to the dialogue are IGAD Member States Heads of Immigration, Labour, Departments dealing with Climate Change as well as Academia, NCM focal points, UN agencies, Civil Societies, Members of National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction (specifically those dealing with droughts, floods and environmental changes) and Experts on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Mrs Fathia Alwan, speaking for the Executive Secretary of IGAD, in her opening remarks underlined that climate change was “one of the leading causes of forced displacement in IGAD Region”. “Today, we are experiencing increasing human mobility and displacement caused by natural disasters”, she said. She encouraged the participants to focus on issues related to strengthening national and regional disaster risk reduction mechanisms, coordinating humanitarian and development actions, and implementation of relevant migration policy frameworks.

Ms Sheikh Rüttimann noted the timeliness and relevance of the subject matter of the 9th RCP given the drought situation that is prevailing in the IGAD region. She underlined the support provided by Switzerland to the RCP as a means to “foster concrete action and help establish strengthened coordination mechanisms to improve the governance of migration in this region”.

Ms Achieng stressed the two-way relationship between Migration and Environment. “One of the major effects of climate change is migration; mass influx of migrants can effect environment”, she explained. The IOM representative applauded IGAD as a Regional Economic Community playing an exemplary role in tackling emerging issues. She reiterated IOM commitment to support IGAD and Member States in the nexus climate change-migration and beyond.

Col (Rtd) Owino urged the participants “to deliberate and come up with recommendations that can be practically implemented”. The meeting was declared officially open by the Chair.
The IGAD RCP was established in 2008 to provide a platform for dialogue and cooperation on matters of migration for the IGAD Member States in an informal and non-binding manner. The main objective of the RCP is to exchange information and assess existing policies and practices, at regional and national level, for managing displacement risks and responding to human mobility emanating from natural disasters.

It should be noted that the RCP (9th) was preceded by the Meeting of the IGAD Regional Mechanism Coordination Committee (5th) on August 26th at the same venue.
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20-07-2017, Geneva (Switzerland): The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), H.E Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, met with the Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Mr. Guy Ryde, at the Headquarters of ILO in Geneva on July 20th.

Currently IGAD and ILO are in partnership to implement the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) Project Labour Component towards the protocol on Free Movement of persons in IGAD region.

Amb Maalim assured ILO Director-General of IGAD commitment to “ensure a sustainable partnership”. He also pointed out to technical assistance to IGAD from ILO in the area of Labour as an important area of cooperation. Amb Maalim also highlighted the need to improve opportunities for regulated labour mobility in the IGAD region.

ILO Director-General was briefed on IGSD Secretariat’ Social Development Directorate under which comes the Migration Governance Unit that is handling matters related to legislative, policy, coordination, Member States capacity building, research and other programmatic instruments in the area of migration governance.

Among the proposed immediate areas of cooperation discussed by the two parties are:
• Labour legislation and policy development in IGAD countries and Global Labour Blocks;
• Capacity building of IGAD Secretariat on labour governance;
• IGSAD regional programme development and implementation.

IGAD Executive Secretary was accompanied by Ms. Fathia Alwan, Ag. Director Social Development Directorate-IGAD.
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19-07-2017, Geneva (Switzerland): The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental authority on development (IGAD), H.E Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, contributed as a speaker to a workshop on Migration at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on July 19th following an invitation from the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), H.E Amb William Lacy Swing.

Organized within the framework of the IOM International Dialogue on Migration (IDM), this workshop brought together IOM Members States and relevant stakeholders in view of exchanging on core aspects of the upcoming Global Compact 2018 for safe orderly and regular migration which stems from the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants of 2016.

Amb Maalim, along with other speakers at the high table, discussed and put forward recommendations for measures to reduce migrants’ vulnerabilities as stipulated by the organizers of the workshop titled “Understanding migrant vulnerabilities: A solution-based approach towards a global compact that reduces vulnerabilities and empowers migrants”.

IGAD Executive Secretary welcomed the New York Declaration and noted that IGAD region has been experiencing mobility of people for decades, but that the change lied in the “dangerous routes for migration occasioned by the rise of smuggling and trafficking cartels”.

Amb Maalim briefed the audience about the IGAD Regional Migration Framework which was adopted, the establishment of a dialogue process with the IGAD Regional Consultative Process on migration that “provides a platform for members States, countries of origin and destination to have dialogue and seek common solutions to the challenges of migration”, the establishment of National Coordination Mechanisms at country level.

He highlighted that Member States of IGAD had held “regional consultations on the Global Compact 2018 that will feed into the African consultation. He enumerated key points noted by IGAD Member States in the protection of migrants such as: respect of international norms, fight against racism and xenophobia, appropriate policy and legislation frameworks among others.
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06-07-2017, Djibouti (Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) yesterday held the 2nd meeting of the Migration Coordination Group.co-chaired by the, Director of Agriculture and Administration Division-IGAD, Mr. Mohamed Moussa in his capacity as Acting Executive Secretary, and Counsellor Refugees and Migration in the Horn of Africa of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ethiopia, Mr. Simon Kreye.

This meeting saw the participation of representatives from Italy, Austria, France, and the Netherlands as well as representatives from the European Union, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), and the German Development Bank (KfW).

Mr. Mohamed Moussa noted the high level of participation from partners to the meeting whose main purpose was to update on the activities conducted and the progress made within the implementation of the IGAD Migration Programme.

Mr. Mohamed Moussa highlighted the special focus given to migration “which has both negative and positive impacts on our [IGAD] region”. He recalled the most recent activities such as the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and Refugee Meeting held on July 01 and 02, the commencement of the Negotiation on the Protocol on Free movement of Persons in the IGAD Region held on July 03 and 04.

Mr Moussa thanked the support provided by the development partners and encouraged many more to join.

Counsellor Simon Kreye also noted the very active implementation of the IGAD migration Programme and the high level commitment by Member States to the issue with the recent Summit on Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees held in march 2017 and the various Ministerial meetings.
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03-07-2017, Djibouti (Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning launched the Negotiations on IGAD Protocol on Free Movement of Persons during the opening session of the first consultative workshop in this matter in Djibouti under the chairmanship of the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Djibouti and Chair of the Committee of Ambassadors of IGAD, and in the presence of the Director of Health and Social Development-IGAD, and the Head of the European Delegation to Djibouti and IGAD.

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