The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Gen. Abubaker Jeje ODONGO on Friday morning October 29th 2021 met with Hon. Colm BROPHY Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora of the Republic of Ireland at the Ministry Headquarters.
Hon Odongo welcomed Hon Brophy to Uganda and commended the strong and historical bilateral relations that exist between the two countries.
In September 2019, Uganda and Ireland signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that provides a framework to consolidate and strengthen bilateral relations in the areas of common interest. The visit of the Hon. Minister is an opportunity to further deepen and broaden cooperation between two countries.
Minister Odongo communicated Uganda’s readiness to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on issues of climate change, human rights, refugees and social development.
Hon Odongo called on Ireland to continue supporting Uganda’s Regional peace and security efforts. Uganda is actively involved in peace and stabilization processes in the region especially related to DRC, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia among others.
Hon Odongo expressed Uganda’s appreciation to the Government of Ireland for the vaccine donations made through the COVAX mechanism and through the European Union as a sign of solidarity and cooperation with Africa, specifically Uganda during the COVID-19 pandemic. He further called for equitable and affordable access for all to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
Hon Odongo commended Ireland for its solidarity with and continued support to the refugees through the implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and funding of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the World Food Program (WFP) that supports health, food, and water and sanitation programs for refugee communities.
Minister Odongo concluded by stating that Uganda welcomes expanding economic cooperation with Ireland in the areas of agriculture, tourism, health and ICT. Considering that Uganda is an Agro-based economy, the Minister further called on Ireland to consider expanding its importation of products from Uganda such as fruits, cocoa, coffee, grains and nuts.
On his part, Hon. Brophy reaffirmed the warm and cordial bilateral relations enjoyed by the two countries. He emphasized the Irish Government’s commitment to strengthening relations with Uganda.
Hon Brophy has just returned from touring Karamoja region where he inspected programs supported by the Irish Government through Irish Aid. The programs which he commended for excellent work, are aimed at enhancing education, health, governance and social protection.
Hon Brophy stated that using her membership at the UN Security Council, Ireland will continue to advocate for and support Uganda’s Regional peace and security initiatives in Africa and the Great Lakes Region in particular.
On Trade and Investment, Minister Brophy said that he sees tremendous opportunities that need to be explored to strengthen economic ties between the two countries in this regard.
On the issue of equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, he agreed with Hon Odongo and added that “No one is safe until everyone is safe”. He noted that Ireland supports WHO principles in making vaccines equitably available to all countries that need them. To this end, Ireland donated 335,000 doses of Covid-19 Vaccines to Uganda in September 2021.
Hon Brophy ended by calling on the two countries to deepen the bilateral relations with further political and economic cooperation.