PHOTO: UN President Shahid (extreme left) taking notes as Kampala Lord mayor Lukwago (extreme right) submits. The two met in the ongoing International Migration Review Forum in New York, USA


KAMPALA Lord Mayor His Worship Erias Lukwago together with fellow Mayors sitting on the Leadership Board of the Mayors Migration Council, has met with the President of the United Nations General Assembly H.E Abdulla Shahid at the ongoing International Migration Review Forum in New York, United States of America. 
Lukwago flew out of the country to join other Mayors for a conference in New York. Mayors in attendance include; Valerie Plante of Montreal – Canada, Giuseppe Sala of Milan – Italy and Yvonne Aki Saywerr of Freetown – Sierra Leone at the Mayors’ Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York. 
According to Lukwago’s Personal Assistant Mr. Elvis Kintu Nsonyi, the central focus of today’s discussion was about the role Local Authorities play in the implementation of the Marrakech Global Compact for Migration and the Global Compact for Refugees. 
The Lord Mayor and other Leadership Board of Mayors expressed gratitude to the President of the General Assembly for his recognition of the vital role City Mayors play in realizing the ideals of the two compacts and the commitment he made to factor in this critical element in all international fora and the UN Agenda. 
His Worship Lukwago underscored the need for UN and it’s agencies to pay special attention to the drivers of the refugee crisis within the Great Lakes Region. 
“He passionately appealed to the President of the General Assembly to impress it up member states to put a spotlight on the geopolitical dynamics engendering the escalating humanitarian crisis in the East African Region where Uganda is paradoxically playing the role of a host to the refugees yet considered in some circles a protagonist.” Lukwago’s PA briefed this news website.

On his part, the President of the General Assembly H.E Abdulla Shahid made a pledge to mobilise resources from UN Agencies and other stakeholders towards financing Local Authorities committed to implementing these compacts. 

While addressing fellow Mayors yesterday, Lukwago called on UN agencies to collectively deal with the plight of the Ugandan migrant workers subjected to barbaric and horrendous dehumanisation in the Middle East to the extent that, “We are now witnessing a new phenomenon of organ harvesting.”
Lord mayor noted that Uganda is currently having 216 registered companies dealing in what is called labour export and in 2021 alone, the country externalized 84,879 migrant workers, 75% of whom were females.

He emphasized that there is need to address the structural challenges to reverse the trend and specific interventions be made to address this crisis. 
Mr. Lukwago also underscored the need for local action spearheaded by city leaders and highlighted initiatives by   KCCA in collaboration with other agencies like the International Organisation for Migration (IoM), UNHCR, Civil Society Organisations and other key stakeholders in implementing the Global Compact for Migration and the Global Compact for Refugees to guarantee safe, orderly and regular migration. 
In conclusion, the Lord Mayor appreciated the Mayors Migration Council for supporting Kampala through the Global Cities Fund to support the internally displaced with direct cash assistance and skilling for sustainability.

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