The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will hold a special Summit on Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees on 25th March 2017 in Nairobi.
During the 28th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Mogadishu on 13th September 2016, the regional leaders decided to convene the special Summit early this year.
Subsequently, Kenya announced at the 29th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in Addis Ababa on 9th December 2016 that it would gladly host the special Summit.
Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta gave the date and venue for the special Summit, and Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia who is the IGAD Chairperson, has now confirmed the same and will invite all the stakeholders.
More than two million Somalis have been displaced in one of the world’s worst displacement crises that has now entered its third decade. Today, an estimated 1.1 million people are internally displaced (IDPs) within Somalia, while nearly 900,000 – mostly third generation – are refugees in the region. They include Kenya (324,000), Ethiopia (241,000), Yemen (255,000), Uganda (39,500), and Djibouti (13,000).
The Summit in Nairobi will seek to galvanise recent developments at national, regional and global levels – supported by international solidarity and responsibility sharing.
This will reinforce asylum and protection in the region for the thousands of Somali refugees who still require it, while also renewing efforts to find durable and sustainable solutions.
Preceded by a technical experts’ meeting and a special session of the IGAD Council of Ministers, the Summit will consider concrete measures to reinforce asylum and protection for Somali refugees in the region, promote refugee self-reliance while also supporting the resilience of host countries and communities; and drive forward durable and transitional solutions, including voluntary repatriation, local solutions and resettlement and complementary pathways for admission.
The Summit organised in collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and supported by the European Union will also discuss and seek solutions that support infrastructure and stabilisation in Somalia to ensure sustainable reintegration.