Hon. Gen. ODONGO Jeje Abubakhar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda attended the 72nd Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) on 24th June 2021.
The meeting which took place virtually was convened by Hon Mariam al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan and current Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers.
Issues that were discussed include; The South Sudan Peace process; Implementation & Challenges; Regional efforts in response to combating the COVI-19 pandemic; Supporting the transition process in the Republic of Somalia and IGAD Refugee Platform and Durable solution strategy for the displacement in Sudan and South Sudan.
Hon. Odongo commended the Chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers for convening this 72nd Extra-Ordinary virtual meeting and further reiterated Government of Uganda’s commitment and support to IGAD’s overall agenda of attaining sustainable development for all countries in the Region.
The Minister noted that since the last IGAD Summit on 20 December 2020, there has been positive progress in the Implementation of the Revitalized Agreement and congratulated the Parties for the progress made.
Hon. Odongo noted that Uganda welcomes the reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) by His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of The Republic of South Sudan, and the fact that the ceasefire is generally holding.
Hon. Odongo commended the efforts that were undertaken by the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States in pursuing inclusive politics in reference to the 27th May 2021 agreement on the electoral model for the upcoming elections including the establishment of the Electoral Commission.
The Minister further reminded the meeting of the threat and challenge posed by Al Shabaab as the elections planning process is underway.
He added that this threat notwithstanding, achievements have been made thanks to the contribution and sacrifice of AMISOM and the Somali Security forces.
In regard to IGAD’s response to combating the COVI-19 pandemic, Hon. Odongo welcomed the support of International partners including the recent offer of financing by the European Union to mitigate the Health and Socio-economic impact of COVID19 in the IGAD region.
The Minister further urged the Secretariat to work with Member States to address the needs assessment of each State to adequately plan for these efforts to combat this pandemic.
He highlighted Uganda Government’s efforts in supporting the development of a vaccine and urged IGAD to be a trailblazer in supporting this scientific research and coordinating Member States’ joint efforts in this area.
The Minister further commended the Executive Secretary for his leadership in mobilizing funds and coordinating with relevant Ministries in Member States to support efforts in combating the pandemic.