Khartoum, Nov. 30 (SUNA)- Hereunder the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) publishes text of OPENING REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, ALI AL-SADIQ, ACTING MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF SUDAN AND CHAIR OF THE IGAD COUNCIL OF MINISTERS AT THE 48TH ORDINARY SESSION OF THE IGAD COUNCIL OF MINISTERS , 30th November 2022, Khartoum, Republic of Sudan:-
Your Excellency, MAHMOUD ALI YOUSSOUF, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Republic of Djibouti; Your Excellency, DEMEKE MEKONNEN, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; Your Excellency, DR. ALFRED MUTUA, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign & Diaspora Affairs, Republic of Kenya
Your Excellency, ABSHIR OMAR HURUSE, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Federal Republic of Somalia; Your Excellency, MAYIIK AYII DENG, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Republic of South Sudan; Your Excellency, Dr. RASHID YAHAYA SSEMUDDU Ambassador of the Republic of Uganda to the Republic of Sudan; Your Excellency, DR. WORKNEH GEBEYEHU, Executive Secretary, IGAD; Permanent Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and Representatives of the Experts Team from the Member States’ Ministries of Foreign Affairs; IGAD Member State Ambassadors here present; H.E. Annette Weber European Union Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa H.E. MICHELE TOMASSI, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to the Republic of Sudan, representing the Co-Chair IGAD Partners Forum; H.E. JOHN T. GODFREY, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Sudan Directors of IGAD Divisions, Special Envoys, Heads of Mission and Members of Secretariat Staff
Ladies and Gentlemen,
All protocols observed
*It is a great honour to welcome you all to the 48th Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers.
*I will begin my remarks by first of all thanking your Excellencies for the initiative to hold this meeting and moreover, for honouring our invitation as the Chair to convene here in the historic city of Khartoum.
*It is indeed our singular privilege to warmly receive you all welcome you all to partake and enjoy the legendary hospitality of the people and government of Sudan.
*As the IGAD, we meet once again in ordinary session 3 years since the last council meeting was held in November 2019 hosted by our sister country, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
I am particularly pleased that as the policy organs of our organisation IGAD and in spite of many challenges we are facing together, we are nevertheless resuming the practice of regularly convening to deliberate matters of great import and concern to our shared regional mechanism.
*Your presence here excellencies, is representative of our common concern for the different situations in our region, a commitment to improving the welfare of our people and our mutual desire to resolve the problems and more importantly share opportunities for a better future.
As the IGAD chair, the Republic of Sudan is duty-bound to steer the business of our organisation for the mutual benefit of all Member States and we remain committed to discharging this solemn responsibility on behalf of the member states and citizens of the region.
*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.
*In this regard, we look forward to the summary report of the Executive Secretary that will highlight main discussion items for our discussions today; the Drought and Disasters, matters regarding Peace and Security as well as the organisational business of IGAD.
*On our part as the current chair, the Republic of Sudan has formulated a roadmap for the tenure of our chairmanship of IGAD in 2023 which it is our privilege to share with you in detail during the closed session today.
*But allow me to say this, over all our vision is to steer IGAD towards a greater level of distinction regionally, continentally and globally.
*Sudan will work towards strengthening solidarity between Member States and promoting regional economic integration as a strategy to promote security and stability as the necessary conditions for advancing the role of youth and women to contribute to regional prosperity.
*At the political level, Sudan takes note and appreciates the positive developments we have witnessed and recorded over the past 2 years including, the peaceful elections in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda.
*We congratulate our sister member states for the peaceful outcomes of their respective political processes and confidence-building and stabilisation effect that this has had across the region.
*Furthermore, Sudan recognises the monumental impact of various peace initiatives under the auspices of IGAD most notably, the electoral transition in the Federal Republic of Somalia, the de-escalation of tensions between parties to the peace agreement in the Republic of South Sudan, the agreement in Nairobi on the side lines of the 39th IGAD leaders summit to address the border conflict between Ethiopia and Sudan and most recently the ceasefire agreement to end the conflict in Northern Ethiopia.
*In our own case, IGAD is supporting the government and people of Sudan towards a peaceful civilian transition through the trilateral mechanism that is in partnership with the African Union Commission and the United Nations.
*At this juncture, we must recognize and thank the leadership of our region for the instrumental role they have each played to restore and improve peace and security in our region.
*I invite you also to appreciate the efforts of the IGAD secretariat under the stewardship of our brother the Executive Secretary, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu who has worked tirelessly in conjunction with the friends and partners of our region of to support our leaders to deliver these positive outcomes.
*In the current global climate where our region and the wider world is still grappling with the continuing impact of the global pandemic, protracted drought resulting in food insecurity and the conflict in Ukraine that has reduced available resources, the development of our region calls for fresh approaches in diplomatic and political engagements especially deeper engagement with non-traditional partners
Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen,
*From the organisational perspective, Sudan has a raft of proposals and priorities that we shall be tabling for your consideration that are designed to support the realization of the stated goals for the period of our chairmanship.
*From a regional policy standpoint, it is of significant importance to conclude the formal ratification of the protocols on free movement and transhumance which were adopted by the thematic line ministries here in Khartoum in February 2020. This will be a critical step in implementing the IGAD regional migration strategy and accompanying mechanisms.
*Looking inward, the chair takes note of the difficult financial position that IGAD finds itself in especially because of delayed contributions and significant arrears accumulated by us the Member States.
*I call upon all Member States to make good on their contributions and clear their arrears in order to put our organisation on a firm financial footing and send out a signal to the world that we support and have full confidence in our institution.
Excellencies, Dear Colleagues,
*As I come to the conclusion of my remarks, I call upon the Region, our Partners and the International community to redouble support for all our efforts at IGAD towards peace-building, development and regional integration.
*Let us seize this opportunity to strengthen diplomatic and political engagements as well as build on the existing goodwill between ourselves as well as our interlinked, interdependent and interconnected communities and countries to deliver lasting solutions for our people.
*I underscore the need for us here as the IGAD Council of Ministers and members of the International Community to strengthen multilateral and bilateral cooperation.
*Here, I 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 engineering solutions to the collective challenges we face and supporting our vision of peace, prosperity and regional integration.
*We call upon 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.
*With these brief remarks, I declare the 48th Ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers Officially Open.
*I wish you all Fruitful Deliberations and Thank You for your Kind Attention.”