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International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Member States conclude first regional workshop on the eradication of Statelessness

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The Statelessness Focal Points of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Member States with the support of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency have held their first regional strategic workshop on eradicating statelessness in the region. The workshop which took place in Naivasha, Kenya from 24-27th April 2018, aimed to implementing the common regional framework to end statelessness by reinforcing inclusion within each State and contribute to peace building and sustainable development in the Great Lakes Region.

The workshop was a follow up to the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in October 2017. The Summit adopted the Brazzaville Declaration and 2017 – 2019 Regional Action Plan on the eradication of statelessness, aiming at ending statelessness in the sub-region by ratifying the statelessness international conventions; undertaking legal reform; strengthening civil status systems, and developing National Action Plans, among other commitments.

In line with Commitment No. 9 of the Brazzaville Declaration, the Focal Points have supported and encouraged the African Union to conclude the draft protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the right to nationality and eradication of statelessness in Africa. They have reiterated the importance of upholding the core principals of this instrument that if adopted with its innovative and protective standards will contribute to preventing and eradicating statelessness in Africa.

At the end of the workshop, the Focal Points adopted the terms of reference defining their roles and responsibilities. They agreed on a road-map to 2019, that each Member State should undertake to constitute a Statelessness Task Force by June 2018; prepare a National Action Plan to end statelessness by August 2018, and conclude the ratification process of the Statelessness Conventions by August 2019.

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

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Macdonald Mwakasendile, Director of Communication, ICGLR Executive Secretariat - Tel: +257 79 856 659, Email: macdonald.mwakasendile@icglr.org

Bénédicte Voos, Snr. Regional Protection Officer (Statelessness), UNHCR RSC - Tel: +254 742 983 739, Email: voos@unhcr.org