DECLARATIONON ‘NAVIGATING THE CONTOURS OF FACILITATING SAFE REPATRIATION AND (RE) INTEGRATION PROCESSES

I. PREAMBLE:

We members of the Civil Society Organizations convening in Nairobi, Kenya on the 5th March 2017 under a Dialogue Exchange Program (DEP) hosted by the American Friends Service Committee-(AFSC) - Somalia Program and attended by participants from Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and representatives from IGAD and with the blessing of the Government of Kenya and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR):

Recalling the objective of the meeting which is "to serve as a platform for knowledge and information sharing among peers, institutions, governments and scholars to diversify perspectives and enrich discussions on the issues affecting forcibly displaced populations during repatriation and (re)integration processes using the framework of Shared Security (based on the simple premise that shared problems require shared solutions, it is an approach to advancing global peace and justice grounded in what Desmond Tutu calls Ubuntu, our inherent human connectedness that recognizes "I am because you are.")

Commending the extraordinary efforts and sacrifice that Regional Governments and IGAD Member States have made to protect and support refugees and their continuing initiatives and commitments on the same as well as acknowledging the IGAD leadership;

Cognizant of the East Africa Community's mission of widening and deepening economic, political, social and cultural integration in order to improve the quality of life of the people of East Africa through increased competitiveness, value added production, trade and investments.;

Welcoming the appointment of Ambassador Mohamed Affey as the UNHCR Special Envoy for the Somali Refugee Situation and appreciating the mandate and responsibilities of UNHCR to provide protection and seek durable solutions for refugees, and its contribution to collective efforts to support returnees and internally displaced persons (lDPs);

Asserting the continued support of the United Nations Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region Ambassador Said Djinnit

In solidarity with governments in the region support for the initiatives that are currently on board with regards to displaced populations in particular the Communique of the consultative meeting of IGAD member states on the current drought situation in the region dated 31st March 2017, Nairobi - Kenya, and of the Nairobi Comprehensive Plan of Action for Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees;

Recalling relevant national, regional and international strategies, frameworks and initiatives, notably: the 2014 Addis Ababa Commitment towards Somali Refugees; the 2016 New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, including its Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF); II. Declaration

Undertake to advocate for regional co-operation on State-led durable solutions for Somali refugees through the creation of an IGAD Multi-Donor Trust Fund channeled through the Federal Government of the Somali Republic to support and facilitate the creation of an enabling environment and the rolling out of durable solutions, including safe, sustainable and voluntary return of refugees;

Strongly call upon members of the wider civil society in the IGAD and great Lakes region to actively participate in -- and advocate for -- the development processes and facilitation of State-led durable solutions for refugees;

Reaffirm our commitment to the relevant resolutions on refugees and displaced populations with emphasis to the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants that expresses the will to save lives, protect rights and share responsibility on a global scale;

Commend the continued role of development partners, diaspora, and private sector, grassroots communities in facilitating the safe repatriation and (re) integration processes of displaced affected populations, by affirming the continuous engagement of a much broader group of stakeholders: government authorities, UN and national partners, international and regional financial institutions, and civil society actors.

Reaffirm the increasing importance of standards of practice that promote State-led Durable Solutions Initiatives and programming that will support the implementation of the National Development Plans of countries

Call upon the international community through International Financial Institutions, bilateral, regional and international partners, to accelerate Somalia's debt cancellation process and support the development and implementation of a meaningful, comprehensive Somali-led Marshall Plan for Somalia's post-conflict reconstruction;

Take note of the need to have basic services and infrastructure that will ensure the job- creation, sustainable livelihoods, economic development for displaced populations

Reinforce the importance of shared security as a means of ensuring accountability to protracted displacement in the region as well as affirming the importance and relevance of ensuring peace and reconciliation as an avenue to solutions of displacements;

III. On strategies developed by the DEP

The meeting highlighted and agreed on the following;

Work on actualizing safe and humane repatriation and (re) integration of forcibly displaced populations by supporting conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity;

1. Develop strategies and reinforce existing best practices that will inform future programing on durable solutions for forcibly displaced populations;

2. Supporting the resolve by IGAD and IGCLR Member states to deliver durable solutions for refugees who have been affected by protracted displacement situation in the two regions;

3. Ensure that displacement affected communities are accorded the full range of socio-economic rights, for them to achieve self-reliance;

4. Recognize the importance of the inclusion of women and persons with specific needs in addressing their vulnerabilities;

5. Support the spirit of Africa owned solutions to Africa problems by taking measures that will strengthen regional cooperation to durable solutions;

6. Recognize the importance of providing more equitable and predictable responsibility sharing arrangements among countries of origin, transit and destination to address large movements of refugees;

7. Review the working methods of the meeting by reiterating the importance of having all relevant Governments present in future meetings; this will assure perpetual implementation and involvement of all Governments responsible henceforth;

8. Welcome the frank and positive discussions, and agreed to continue and increase, depending on changes in the situation on the ground in their countries,

the provision of information, assistance to their respective governments and local authorities, to help them accommodate and assist refugees and displaced persons;

We commit to remain actively seized of the matter.

Source: Inter Governmental Authority on Development