ADDIS ABEBA – Top officials of IGAD countries and their development partners have convened in Addis Ababa to discuss local approaches to delivering the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR).
United Nations’ document adopted by world leaders in December aims to increase refugees’ self-reliance and ease the pressure on host nations.
Thursday’s meeting has engaged officials from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda in substantive discussions on national best practices and challenges, which will help identify forward-looking opportunities to achieve the objectives of the GCR.
“Hosting this conference is a natural continuation of Ethiopia’s commitment to a sustainable refugee response,” said Muferihat Kamil, Minister of Peace.
Ethiopian lawmakers passed the CGR as the law of the nation in January giving almost 1 million refugees in the country the right to work and live outside of camps.
“Making the refugee response inclusive and sustainable is a global responsibility that Ethiopia has demonstrated throughout its significant history of an open-door policy towards refugees,” said Karin Poulsen, Ambassador of Denmark to Ethiopia.
He added: “I applaud all partners and participants for their commitment and dedication to an inclusive refugee response in the East and the Horn of Africa and beyond.”
According to the UN refugee agency, the aim of the conference is to discuss best practices as well as the sharing of lessons learned in local approaches to the inclusion of refugees in host communities across the region.
“The outcome of this conference will help build on those gains and further advance the GCR agenda,” said Ann Encontre, representative of UNHCR in Ethiopia.
Its outcome of the meeting will be feedback in the first Global Refugee Forum which will take place in mid-December in Switzerland. The international forum will focus on arrangements for burden and responsibility-sharing, education, jobs and livelihoods, energy and infrastructure, solutions, and protection capacity.