10/12/2017, Djibouti (Djibouti): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning launched the First Region Conference for the Mediators and Ombudsmen of the IGAD Member States in partnership with the Office of the Mediator of the Republic of Djibouti during an inauguration session chaired by the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Djibouti and Chair of the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors, H.E Amb Shamebo Fitamo, with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Djibouti as the Guest of Honour, Mr. Mohamed Ali Hassan, the Mediator of the Republic of Djibouti, Hon. Dr. Kassim Issak Osman as the host organizer, and IGAD Executive Secretary, H.E. Amb (Eng) Mahboub Maalim, at the high table.
IGAD States have put in place systems for dialogue and mediation between the people and the State. However, given the enormous development issues arising from migratory movements with a regional and cross-border dimension, the role of the ombudsman can no longer be confined to managing strictly domestic problems.
This is why the Regional Conference for the Mediators and Ombudsmen, whose theme is “Migration, Public Protection and Human Security in the IGAD Region”, is aimed at establishing a platform for discussions and recommendations on how to expand and improve the role of the IGAD Ombudsmen with a view to coming up with effective solutions to address the legitimate challenges and expectations of vulnerable citizens in the region.
The objectives of this conference are to establish a regional platform of IGAD Mediators/Ombudsmen on the issue of Migration, Public Protection and Human Security in the IGAD Region; share experiences and develop a regional approach to address the challenges related to Migration, Public Protection and Human Security; and advocate for inclusion of the priority interventions of vulnerable groups and segments of the population in socioeconomic development plans.
Amb Maalim welcomed participants to the meeting and noted that the regional approach to many issues has been successful and that it was time to also give a regional dimension to the Mediators and Ombudsmen work on issues related to migration and movement of persons within the framework of this meeting which is the first of its kind.
He was followed to the podium by Hon. Dr. Osman who highlighted that the Migration theme was not out of fortuity but was clearly identified as a pressing issue considering the fact that the IGAD region is a source and transit region as well as a recipient one.
Amb Shamebo also noted the geo-strategic location of the IGAD region which is at the cross-roads to the Middle East, Asia, and Europe; which makes the issue of movement of persons a pivotal one to be considered at all levels.
Mr. Mohamed Ali praised IGAD for the many efforts by the organization in complementing Member States and bringing in the regional perspective to issues that require cooperation between Member States.
The conference is the opportunity for the IGAD Mediators/Ombudsmen to share their experiences and craft a regional approach to address the challenges facing the IGAD region. The participants are expected to come up with a charter that will serve not only as an instrument for national cohesion, but will equally outline clear objectives, rights and duties for the network of IGAD ombudsmen.