Conclusions of the 9th Meeting of the International Contact Group on Madagascar (ICG-M) Antananarivo, 28 march 2014
Posted by African Press International on March 31, 2014
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 29, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Conclusions of the 9th Meeting of the International Contact Group on Madagascar (ICG-M) Antananarivo, 28 march 2014
1. At the initiative of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the International Contact Group on Madagascar (ICG-M) held its 9th meeting in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on 28 March 2014, under the chairmanship of the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui. The list of countries and institutions which participated in the meeting is indicated below .
2. The opening ceremony of the meeting was graced by the presence of His Excellency Hery Rajaonarimampianana, President of the Republic. In the address he made on this occasion, he outlined the broad outlines of his priorities and informed the members of the Group about the steps that are being taken for the appointment of a new Prime Minister and the formation of a new Government. He thanked the ICG-M for its sustained support to the process for ending the crisis in Madagascar.
3. The meeting afforded the opportunity to take stock of the evolution of the situation in Madagascar since the 8th meeting of the Group, held in Addis Ababa, on 6 September 2013, and to agree on the modalities for the pursuit of the support of the international community and the future of the ICG-M. The Group’s deliberations were based on the updates provided by the Malagasy Prime Minister, Mr. Jean Omer Beriziky, and other members of the Government, as well as on the ensuing exchanges.
4. Participants, stressing the highly symbolic nature of the convening of their meeting in Antananarivo, welcomed the continued positive evolution of the situation since the eighth meeting of the Group. In this regard, they pointed out the organization, as planned and in the required conditions of transparency and fairness, of the presidential and legislative elections: on 25 October 2013, for the first round of the presidential election, and on 20 December 2013, for the second round of the presidential election, coupled with parliamentary elections. Participants commended Hery Rajaonarimampianina for his election as President of the Republic of Madagascar. They praised the sense of responsibility of Dr. Jean Louis Robinson, who was a candidate in the second round, for having recognized the victory of his opponent, allowing Madagascar to successfully complete this crucial phase of the process for ending the crisis. Participants also acknowledged the role of the former President of the Transition, Andry Rajoelina, and his decisive contribution to the success of the electoral process. In general, Participants welcomed the patriotism and commitment of all the political and social stakeholders and of the Malagasy people, which made it possible to successfully conclude the process for ending the crisis.
5. Participants noted with satisfaction the commitment of the new President of the Republic and his Government to spare no effort, in order to consolidate the remarkable progress made in recent months and to address the root causes of the recurring crises in Madagascar, particularly by affording equal opportunities for development for all the regions of the country. Within this framework, Participants recalled the measures envisaged for the implementation of the outstanding aspects of the Roadmap to end the crisis in Madagascar, especially the continuation and completion of the reconciliation process, including the return of political exiles and compensation for victims of the political events of 2002 and 2009, and the organization of local elections. They stressed the crucial importance of these provisions of the Roadmap and that of their diligent implementation. They also urged all political and social actors in the country to continue to demonstrate the necessary spirit of responsibility in this phase devoted to the consolidation of the gains made. They requested them to place the interests of Madagascar and of its people above partisan and individual considerations.
6. Participants were informed of the priorities of the Government of Madagascar in terms of governance and socio-economic development. These relate in particular to the enhancement of the authority of the State, the fight against corruption, insecurity and poverty, the promotion of the rule of law, education and health, as well as the establishment of an enabling environment for Malagasy and foreign investment. Participants, having welcomed the pro-activeness of the new authorities and the measures they have already taken, expressed the support of their respective countries and organizations to the ongoing efforts. They supported the convening of the envisaged Donors’ Conference, as proposed by the Malagasy authorities, once the new Government is established. They urged all international partners to actively participate in this Conference and to seize the opportunity to provide Madagascar with all the financial, technical and economic support that the country needs.
7. Participants welcomed the lifting by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the suspension that had been imposed on Madagascar after the unconstitutional change of government in March 2009, as well as all other sanctions adopted by the AU, SADC, the OIF and other actors. In this context, and given the importance to respond quickly to the expectations of the Malagasy people, who had paid a heavy price for the crisis, Participants urged the international partners to fully resume their cooperation with the country. Participants welcomed the pledges made, in this regard, by some international partners of Madagascar at the meeting.
8. Participants recalled that the ICG-M was established in the context of serious political and institutional crisis that affected Madagascar, to serve as a structure monitoring the situation and coordinating the action of the international community, with a view to accelerating the search for a consensual and lasting solution. They noted that with the imminent completion of the process to end the crisis and the restoration of constitutional order, the Group had attained its main objectives. In this regard, Participants paid tribute to SADC and its Mediator, former President Joaquim Chissano, for their determined, patient and persevering support to the process to end the crisis. They expressed their gratitude to the AU and, through it, to former Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra, for having coordinated the action of the Group and for its crucial support to the process for ending the crisis. They also expressed their gratitude to all the other members of the Group, both the bilateral and multilateral actors, for their coordinated and continued support to the Mediation, which made it possible for the international community to speak with one voice and to use effectively its influence to facilitate and speed up the resolution of the crisis. Participants also expressed their deep appreciation to bilateral and multilateral partners for their financial support to the process to end the crisis, including the organization of the elections.
9. In view of the imminent completion of the process to end the crisis and the fact that no international mediation was henceforth required, Participants agreed on the need for the Group to adapt its modus operandi to take into account the new situation. More specifically, they stressed that emphasis should be laid on supporting the efforts of the Government of Madagascar, especially in the socio-economic areas and the different aspects of governance, on the basis of its needs and priorities and within the framework of national ownership and leadership. They decided to transform the ICG-M into an International Support Group for Madagascar (ISG-M), which will be co-chaired by the AU and Madagascar and will meet at least twice a year. To ensure an effective follow up of the conclusions of the ordinary meetings of the ISG-M, Participants agreed to establish, in Antananarivo, a local branch of ISG-M, which will meet as often as necessary and will keep all members of the ISG-M informed about its activities.
10. Participants expressed their sincere gratitude to the President of the Republic and the Government of Madagascar for the warm welcome accorded to the members of the ICG-M, their availability and cooperation, as well as for the excellent facilities made available for the smooth conduct of the meeting.
 China, France, Japan, Madagascar, Mauritius, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Unites States of America, AU, COMESA, EU, IOC, OIF, SADC (Namibia in its capacity as Chair of the SADC Troika Organ, and the representative of the former SADC Mediator) and UN.
African Union Commission (AUC)