Nairobi, Kenya, 16th April, 2015: The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Regional Consultation Meeting on Land and Property Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees will take place on 21st to 23rd April, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya bringing together Ministers from the 12 ICGLR member states in charge of land, IDPs and refugees to identify solutions for integration processes and the return of IDPs and refuges and reflect on the protocol on the protection of property rights and management of land involving the exchange of concrete regional experiences.

The objective of the consultation meeting is to develop a common vision among Member States for the efficient management of conflicts related to land of displaced persons and to encourage Member States to implement the Protocol on property rights of returnees’ in the Great Lakes Region.  This consultation meeting will also encourage Member States to integrate the land issues specific to displaced persons into their national policies and land frameworks. 

The meeting intends to engage ICGLR Member States through their Ministers in a formal declaration to enact the required legal and institutional provisions to operationalize the Protocol at the national level and establish national legislation on land issues related to population movement to ensure sustainable solutions and the promotion of social cohesion; encourage Member States to share their experiences in the area of the reintegration of IDPs and refugees in relation to land and property rights and encourage Members States to develop cooperation mechanisms to efficiently deal with the sustainable reintegration of  IDPs and refugees.

In the three days of consultation, meeting will analyze the current status of the domestication of the protocol and identify practical successes and challenges in each Member State to better define road map to support Member States in their domestication effort; Share Member States’ experiences and approaches on land management and property rights related to IDPs and Refugees; Renew the commitment by Member States to take appropriate measures for the implementation of the international principles contained in the Protocol and develop cooperation mechanisms to achieve durable solutions for the reintegration of IDPs and refugees and Put in place follow up and evaluation mechanisms on the progress of the implementation of the protocol.  The meeting will be preceded by technical discussions of experts mandated by Ministries in charge of land and Ministries in charge of returning persons.

In July 2009, the ICGLR signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UN-Habitat which resulted in a project aimed at strengthening the capacities of the ICGLR Secretariat established to address matters related to land and property of IDPs and refugees. The project intends to support the Secretariat to guide the domestication processes of the protocol in Member States, and systematically share relevant experiences in managing land disputes and return and reintegration of displaced populations.

With technical and financial support of the Swiss Cooperation, the ICGLR Secretariat organized an analytical review of national legal frameworks and national policies on land in the ICGLR Member States including aspects on land restitution and other assets of returning persons.

In the same way, the EU-UN Partnership on Land, natural Resources and conflict prevention is currently implementing a regional project, financed by the EU Instrument for Stability, to strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations in Burundi, DRC, Uganda and Rwanda to understand the dynamics of conflicts related to land and natural resources and increasingly play a role in the prevention of conflict.

Apart from Ministers the meeting will involve institutions engaged in the area of land of IDPs and refugees in the great lakes region including Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Special Envoys of the EU, US, AU and Belgium. Also will include Civil Society Representatives, UN Agencies (UN-Habitat, UNHCR, UNDP, IOM, UNICEF, FAO, OHCHR), EU-UN Partnership on land, natural resources and prevention of conflict, Diplomatic Corps, International development cooperation agencies, Experts on land and population movement and the World Bank.

The ICGLR Member States namely Republic of Angola, Republic of Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda, Republic of South Sudan, Republic of Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Uganda and Republic of Zambia.

 

Press contacts:

Macdonald Mwakasendile – ICGLR Communication Officer- Tel: +257 79 856 659, Email: macdonald.mwakasendile@icglr.org

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