21 May 2019, New York – The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) participated in the Africa Dialogue Series (ADS) 2019 at the UN Headquarters in New York in support of the event which provides a platform to discuss selected critical issues on the African continent. The ADS 2019 focused on “Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs): Towards Durable Solutions to Forcibly Displacement in Africa”. The APRM was represented by Prof. Fatma Zohra Karadja, Dr. Rachel Mukamunana, Mr. Diasonama Bongo and Mr. Valery Yao Yao.
In their opening remarks, H.E. Amina Jane Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, emphasised that the refugee crisis poses challenges to the development of African countries and efforts in this regard have been made to develop an effective continental response to the crisis. However, Africa’s contribution to the UN continues to be underappreciated and underrepresented. The UN Secretary-General H.E. Antonio Guterres listed a number of successful joint initiatives of the UN and the African Union, especially in South Sudan and Somalia.
Despite these efforts the UN SG called for further initiatives and invited all participants and stakeholders to double their efforts for durable solutions to the challenges of the continent, including creating a safe environment for refugees, returnees and IDPs. On behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union, H.E. Cessouma Minata Samate, the AU commissioner for Political Affairs, Africa Dialogue Series continues to bear relevance to the African Union and thus, opportunities to further the relationships are welcome.
New York – 22nd May 2019. Responding to the presentation by Ms. Rosa Malango and Ms. Vera Songwe, Prof. Karadja expressed her gratitude to Ms. Bience Gawanas for extending the invitation to the APRM and regretfully said that the APRM would have loved to make an in-depth presentation on the theme, which falls under management of diversity. The rich data collected and contained in the 24 reviewed reports during the past 16 years clearly highlight the key challenges posed by lack of proper management of diversity. According to the Panel Member, inadequate management of elections which lead to post electoral crises, poor management of public affairs, internal or ethnoreligious violence/ crises, natural factors (climate change) and border infiltration, environmental pollution and land disputes, are the main drivers of the dramatic rise of forced displacement in Africa. Additionally, the APRM reviewed reports highlight commendable practices by some African countries such as Uganda, Chad, Kenya and Zambia, for showing solidarity and commitment, adopting refugee-friendly legislation policies and hosting fellow African brothers and sisters through the provision of routes for reception, grants of citizenship, land for self-reliance and integration of refugees. The main challenges in properly addressing the issue are the refugee determination, the protection of the rights and dignity of refugees, violence and tensions between citizens and migrants as a result of competition for access to scarce resources and services, the general lack of awareness at local government level of the rights of refugees as well as relocation of refugees to facilitate their integration into the community. Prof Karadja finally called for adequate management of the peace, security and humanitarian action nexus, and further called for the capacitation of institutions mandated to protect vulnerable groups, promotion of a more active integration of refugees, in partnership with the United Nations.
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Liziwe Selana (Head of Communications APRM)