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Statement by Ireland at the Solidarity Summit on Refugees, Uganda, 23 June 2017

Ambassador of Ireland to Uganda, Dónal Cronin, on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D.

Ireland warmly welcomes the Solidarity Summit on Refugees and is pleased to join all efforts in Translating the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants into Action. Ireland is proud to have led, with Jordan, the successful negotiations on the New York Declaration, and we are committed to ensuring a more humane, dignified and compassionate response by the international community to the plight of refugees and migrants and the issues that affect them. 

Ireland and Uganda have a long and strong development partnership that will continue into the future. Ireland lauds and stands steadfast in support of the Ugandan Government's progressive and transformative approach to refugee protection. This Solidarity Summit presents a unique opportunity for Uganda to showcase the comprehensive approach, and to be an example to other countries hosting refugees fleeing protracted crises.

Our newly appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., and the entire Government of Ireland, are deeply concerned by the high levels of population displacement brought about by the conflict and insecurity in South Sudan in particular - both internally and to neighbouring countries.

It is very clear that the root causes of the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, and elsewhere such as in Burundi, must be addressed to ensure that current crises are resolved and that generations to come enjoy a stable and prosperous future. In this vein, we call on the Governments of this region and the international community to redouble all efforts to work for a peaceful resolution to conflict and to achieve sustainable peace.

Without a greater will from all of us to work on conflict resolution, and to seek the basis for peace in each of these countries at the UN Security Council and other relevant international fora, humanitarian needs will continue to grow. As a nation that has experienced the effects of conflict, Ireland uses every opportunity we have internationally to focus not only on global humanitarian needs, but also on the peaceful resolution of the violence that is fuelling humanitarian crises.

Ireland's total humanitarian assistance for the South Sudan crisis since 2012 amounts to €48 million.  Ireland has provided support to the South Sudan crisis across the region to a total €9.2m so far this year.  In terms of support specifically to South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, Ireland commits to providing €2.3 m in 2017.  In addition, Irish support to the region is being provided through core and pooled funding contributions to multilateral organisations and NGOs for their humanitarian activities.

As we saw yesterday, and heard today, the challenges facing host communities in northern Uganda are many. We applaud the local governments, organisations and communities in these areas and stand with you in your efforts. And we pledge to continue to support the key role of the Government of Uganda, the UN and other organisations in the refugee response.


Thank you.

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