Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT and Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday 10 July 2009, committing to jointly work towards better protection of land and property rights for displaced populations, while addressing land and property issues during and after displacement.
“It is in our mandate for us at UN-HABITAT to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all,” said Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, “And we are therefore greatly looking forward to this co-operation with The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and hope this will not simply be a Memorandum of Understanding, but an opportunity to work together to mobilize resources and help the significant number of displaced persons in Africa.”
In 2008 there were an estimated 11.6 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Africa, nearly half of the world’s total IDP population. Through this Memorandum of Understanding, The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and UN-HABITAT will commit to work together to promote the creation of proper legal and institutional frameworks in the Member State countries to be better prepared to protect the rights of displaced populations and to find durable solutions with regards to land and property issues.
Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) said, “The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is simply cementing an already firmly established relationship between us at ICGLR and UN-HABITAT. Having attended a workshop yesterday, with various United Nations agencies, discussing our policies and work with Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, it was abundantly clear that the sharing of experience and resources is going to be essential in dealing with the current situation. The technical assistance that UN-HABITAT can provide will aid us greatly in our quest to help the huge displaced populations in the Great Lakes Region.”
The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region is an institution created by the Governments of Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia to implement the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region. UN-HABITAT was one of the United Nations agencies that actively participated in the process that established the ICGLR Secretariat and that developed the Pact and its constituent Projects, Protocols and Programs of action.