Kamal Mahmoud Alnaeem
DR. ABDALLA HAMDOK, PRIME MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF SUDAN AND CHAIR OF THE IGAD SUMMIT OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT
ON THE 38TH EXTRA ORDINARY SUMMIT OF THE IGAD HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT
Sunday 20th December 2020,
• Your Excellency ISMAEL OMAR GUELLEH, President of the Republic of Djibouti and our Host of the IGAD Secretariat;
• Your Excellency ABIY AHMED, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia;
• Your Excellency UHURU KENYATTA, President of the Republic of Kenya;
• Your Excellency, MOHAMED ABDULLAHI MOHAMED, President of the Republic of Somalia;
• Your Excellency, Dr. Rebecca Nyandeng De Mabior, Vice President of the Rebublic of South Sudan;
• Your Excellency, Ambassador Rebecca Otengu; Representative of the Republic of Uganda;
• Your Excellency Dr. MOUSA FAKI MAHAMAT, Chairperson of the AU Commission
• Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Executive Secretary, IGAD;
• IGAD Foreign Ministers and Ambassadors;
• Distinguished IGAD Partners,
• Ladies and Gentlemen,
• All Protocols Observed,
1. I am honoured to welcome you all to the 38th Extraordinary IGAD Heads of state and Government Meeting.
2. I would like to thank his excellency President ISMAEL OMAR GUELLEH, the government of the republic of Djibouti and the people for their warm welcome, hospitality and generosity in hosting us.
3. I am particularly pleased that we are able to convene at a very short notice, even as we prepare to go into the holiday season and prepare to make the transition to a new year.
4. Convening in Djibouti, home to the IGAD Headquarters for the first time in 20 years is a representative of the political well that we have mobilized to reform and revitalize our regional organization.
5. At the 36th Extraordinary Summit that we held in July of this year, I called upon this Assembly of Heads of State and Government to consider holding regular meetings to assess the progress towards our shared vision for the IGAD region and offer counsel on those issues whose resolution requires the highest level of intervention.
6. Today, I want to add that it is my wish that in keeping with its status as the Headquarters of our organisation, Djibouti should have the honour of hosting more of these meetings of the Assembly of IGAD Heads of State and Government.
7. As such, I would like us to think of the assembly today as an end-of-year meeting for the IGAD family in which we have the opportunity to address the urgent matters of our time and particularly the current developments in the region.
8. The COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the lives and the livelihoods of our people remains a shared and pressing concern. We cannot also discount the danger posed by desert locusts which even though it has receded for now, remains a looming threat over our region.
9. Additionally, long-term data and projections from our climate monitoring centre shows that the paradox of extreme drought followed by widespread flooding is slowly becoming the norm in our region.
10. These threats have a significant impact for the future humanitarian, security and development status of our home in IGAD.
11. This “family meeting” therefore comes at a crucial time, when our home is besieged by a wide spectrum of challenges and threats both internally and externally.
12. As leaders therefore, we have a solemn duty to address these challenges and our people are looking to us to show the way and come up with solutions to the various issues affecting our region.
13. Should we not succeed in this endeavour, we run the risk of losing the gains we have delivered for our people and reversing momentum in growth that we have managed to build up for our region so far, with grave consequences on the humanitarian, stability and development status of our region.
14. This meeting here today gives us an opportunity to take stock of the tremendous achievements we have made in combatting the Coronavirus pandemic, forcing back the threat of desert locusts, progressing towards a lasting peace in South Sudan and reinforcing the governance transition in the Republic of Sudan.
15. However, it is also my duty as the chair to emphasise that our conversations at the closed session today, remain bound by the principles of IGAD which include the sovereign equality of all Member States; Non-interference in the internal affairs of Member States; but also, the peaceful settlement of conflict through dialogue and the maintenance of regional peace, stability and security.
16. Our gathering here today is also a chance for us to deliberate on emerging issues of the day. It is my hope that the discussions we shall hold shall give us an opportunity to have a brief from H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed on the situation and the aftermath of recent developments in Ethiopia.
17. It is also a chance for us to continue the conversation on managing the political challenges in our region, hear updates on progress of the ongoing peace process in South Sudan, and the transition process in Sudan and hopefully in Somalia.
18. I am encouraged by the readiness with which you have responded to the gravity of these concerns and the spirit of brotherhood you have displayed in coming here to collectively respond to these challenges.
19. I also wish to recognize and express the sincerest gratitude of the entire IGAD summit to our mother organization the African Union as well our multilateral and bilateral partners who have made meaningful commitments and tangible contributions towards solutions to the collective challenges we face and supporting our vision of peace, prosperity and regional integration.
In Conclusion Excellencies,
20. I call upon the Region, our Partners and the International community to redouble support for all our efforts at IGAD towards peace-building.
21. Let us seize this opportunity to strengthen diplomatic and political engagements as well as build on the goodwill between our communities in the region in order to deliver lasting solutions for our people.
22. I underscore the need for us here as the IGAD Summit and the International Community to strengthen multilateral and bilateral cooperation.
23. My call is to our international partners to remain steadfast in your friendship and continue to actively engage IGAD by providing the much-needed political, technical and material support.
24. With these brief remarks, I declare the 38th Extraordinary Summit Meeting of IGAD Heads of State and Government Officially Open.
25. I wish you all Fruitful Deliberations and Thank You for your Kind Attention.