Participants at a ministerial meeting co-chaired by UNHCR in Addis Ababa on Wednesday reaffirmed their commitment to find solutions for hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and called on the international community to help the Somali government in its efforts to restore peace and progress.
The commitment came in a communiqué released at the end of the meeting, attended by UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and ministers of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda and Yemen, which together host nearly 1 million Somali refugees. Another 1 million Somalis remain displaced within Somalia. Also present were the UN Special Representative on Somalia and representatives of the African Union; the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development; and the UN Economic Commission for Africa;
“We hereby endorse a renewed engagement for Somali refugees which binds us to act in solidarity to address the imperatives of this pressing problem. At the heart of these commitments are guiding principles which emphasize the importance of the Somali Federal Government’s commitment in actions concerning Somali refugees, the imperative of continued support to host communities, the need to increase refugee participation in future actions and to create differentiated solutions for a diverse refugee population, the benefits of considering new alternatives for long-staying refugees, and the importance of engaging new actors in the search for solutions,” the communiqué said.
“We undertake to work with national, regional and international partners in a coordinated manner to give effect to the renewed commitments and outcomes of relevant sub-regional and regional meetings,” the participants stressed, before calling upon the international community, through the Global Initiative on Somali Refugees, “to commit to the renewed engagement and work together for a more meaningful life for Somali refugees.”