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Horn of Africa ready to address displacement and migration in the context of climate change

Intergovernmental Meeting held in Addis to discuss human mobility dynamics in the light of the Global Compact for Migration

On Thursday and Friday, 30 November and 1 December 2017, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held its 10th meeting of the Regional Consultative Process (RCP) on Migration in Addis, Ethiopia.

The meeting followed up on the 9th meeting of July 2017 in Nairobi, where climate change and displacement in the context of disasters had been a prominent discussion item. It pursued two main objectives: a) to validate a study on climate change and human mobility that had been commissioned during the 9th RCP to improve the understanding of the linkages between climate change and disaster displacement and assess policies and practices at the national and regional levels and b) to prepare regional input for the stocktaking meeting of the Global Compact for Migration, to be held from 4-6 December in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

The meeting gathered more than 40 representatives from the seven member countries of IGAD: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. Delegations were composed of Member States’ Heads of Immigration and Labour as well as Directorates of Climate Change Departments, Academia, Civil Society, Members of National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction, focal points of National Coordination Mechanisms on Migration (NCM) and experts from United Nations agencies and civil society, including the International Organization for Migration (IOM),  the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and others were also invited as observers.

The consultant in charge of preparing the first draft of the commissioned study on climate change and human mobility in the region, PDD Advisory Committee Member Francois Gemenne, presented an overview of the study and his main findings and received ample and sound feedback on the study as well as suggestions for the next draft.

The PDD Coordination Unit presented the Key Messages for the Global Compact on Migration that had been elaborated by a working group made up by PDD Steering Group Members to prepare elements for the national and regional statements of States given at the upcoming Stocktaking Meeting in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

There was a rich discussion on the challenges that climate change poses in the IGAD region with a view to migration and displacement of populations, especially in reaction to drought, flooding but also sea level rise (Somalia) and extreme heat (Djibouti). Member States recognize the topic as an important challenge to address over the years to come and included the issue in their main recommendations, adopted at the meeting.

They committed to enhance data and knowledge on migration and displacement in the region including through collaboration with PDD, inter alia on studies undertaken on Disaster Risk Reduction and Free Movement of Persons Arrangements. They also endorsed five key messages for the stocktaking meeting on the Global Compact on Migration, including,

–  To adopt an integrated approach in addressing the causes, triggers and drivers of migration, including climate change as well as the consequences and impacts of such movements
–  To recognize the role of regional and sub-regional organizations as well as RCPs as platforms for reviewing, harmonizing, aligning and coordinating commitments on the GCM.



2014 Nansen Initiative Regional Consultation - Horn of Africa

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