UN Secretary General heads to Uganda for refugee summit

Wednesday June 21 2017

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. FILE PHOTO | KENA BETANCUR |AFP


The Secretary General of United Nations (UN) António Guterres is expected to arrive Wednesday in Kampala for the Refugee Solidarity Summit that starts Thursday.

The summit will also be attended by a number of dignitaries, including five heads of state.

Mr Guterres, upon arrival, accompanied by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda are expected to visit the Imvempi Settlement Camp in Arua District, Northern Uganda. The camp has a refugee population of about 110,000 spread out in 20 villages but can still accommodate another 50,000 refugees.

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According to the guest list as of Tuesday, the presidents of Guinea and chairman of the African Union Alpha Conde, Somalia’s Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, Gabon’s Ali Bongo, Zambia’s Edgar Lungu, Ethiopia’s Hailemariam Desalegn, had confirmed attendance.

However, several countries across Africa, Europe and Asia had designated officials in various capacities among others, vice presidents, ministers and ambassadors to represent at the summit at which government and the UN seek to raise at least Ush7 trillion ($2b) to fund relief operations for the more 1.2 million refugees Uganda is hosting.


READ: Uganda to raise $8b for growing refugee numbers

The UN team will be led by Mr Guterres, accompanied by UN agency for refugees commissioner Filippo Grandi, World Food Programme executive director David Beasley and UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, among other officials from NGOs working across the world, development organisations and international and financial institutions.

President Museveni and Mr Guterres will co-chair the main summit event on Friday. The two principals, agreed to hold the summit that is also aimed at showcasing Uganda’s refugee model, early this year while meeting at the sidelines of 28th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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