IGAD Committed to Preventative Diplomacy, Conflict Early Warning & Mediation: IGAD Executive Secretary

IGAD remained committed to preventative diplomacy, conflict early warning, mediation interventions, and the prevention of violent extremism and transnational crimes, IGAD Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu said.

At the launch of Regional Report of 2022, IGAD Executive Secretary said the report captures the significant progress made by IGAD over the year in addressing the region’s diverse and complex challenges.

“In response to the various member states’ political and security situations, IGAD remained committed to preventative diplomacy, conflict early warning and mediation interventions, and the prevention of violent extremism and transnational crimes,” he stated.

With the support of the regional leadership and the policy organs, notably the Assembly of Heads of State and the Council of Ministers, IGAD supports the peace process in South Sudan, the civilian transition through the AU-IGAD-UN Trilateral Mechanism, according Executive Secretary.

IGAD’s support to the resolution of the situation in Ethiopia, as well as post-conflict recovery in Somalia and the maritime security in the surrounding Red Sea and Gulf of Aden was commendable over the past year.

The report highlights the impact of climate change and the protracted drought on regional economies and food insecurity, leading to famine and malnutrition in the region.

Over the past year, IGAD undertook to roll out disaster risk management, climate adaptation, mitigation measures, and disaster resilience initiatives in the greater Horn of Africa including the Food Security and Nutrition Response Strategy (FSNRS) 2020-2022.

The review of the FSNRS 2020-2022 was commenced in 2022 for a new phase and in response to the new dynamics, the IGAD Regional Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and the IGAD Disaster Operations Centre are strengthening the capacity of the national disaster risk management agencies to monitor multi hazards and issue early warnings for drought, floods, pests, and food insecurity in the region.

In 2022, IGAD also focused on capacity building efforts to enhance agricultural production, including the IGAD Blue Economy Strategy (2021–2025) and the impact so far of the Regional Sanitary and Phytosanitary Strategy (2017-2022), which is designed to boost the competitiveness of our agricultural and livestock commodities.

The report also outlines IGAD’s responses to prevent food crises in the region by enhancing agricultural production and natural resource management, including groundwater development and strengthening regional land governance.

Furthermore, the report sheds light on the ripple effects of climate disasters and conflict on displacement patterns for refugees and IDPs in IGAD.

In advance of 2022, IGAD has been putting in place corresponding regional migration governance and management initiatives, including the IGAD protocols on free movement and transhumance, and has enhanced IGAD regional remittances policies and frameworks.

The report also details positive developments in regional integration, including trade facilitation through the IGAD Regional Trade Policy (2022-2025) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA) implementation.

IGAD deepened its commitment to “take IGAD to the people” in 2022 through the opening of mission offices and regional centres in member states as part of the new commitment to equitable distribution of projects and programmes across the region.

It also established the Committee of Eminent Personalities as a new mechanism of connecting to the regional constituency and international partners, and reviewed country host agreements to strengthen the stature of IGAD in the member states.

Finally, the report highlights IGAD’s improved financial performance in 2022, with most member states committing to honour their financial obligations by paying assessed contributions and clearing arrears.

While more needs to be done by the member states still owing substantial amounts, the clean 2021 audit report points to the capacity of IGAD to directly manage donor funds and paves the way for EU Pillar assessment qualification in 2023, he added.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency