26/10/2004
Press Release
SC/8225


Security Council

5064th Meeting (PM)


SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, SAYS ENHANCED UN ROLE IN SOMALIA


MUST BE INCREMENTAL, BASED ON DISCUSSIONS WITH NEW GOVERNMENT


Sharing the Secretary-General’s assessment of the situation in Somalia that the current stage of progress in the peace process would likely require an expanded peace-building role and presence for the United Nations, the Security Council today said that any such enhanced role in Somalia must be incremental and based on the outcome of discussions with the new Government.


In a statement read out by the Council President for the month, Emyr Jones Parry (United Kingdom), the Council commended the recent progress made at the Somali National Reconciliation Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, including the establishment of the Transitional Federal Parliament, and urged Somali leaders to create a favourable environment for the future Transitional Federal Government.


Underscoring the importance of consolidating the gains made so far, the Council looked forward to the formation, in the near future, of a Transitional Federal Government capable of beginning reconciliation and reconstruction in a spirit of consensus and dialogue with all Somali parties.


In that connection, the Council encouraged the Transitional Federal Parliament and the President to take further steps to select a Prime Minister and an efficient Cabinet, and to develop a preliminary action programme and timetable for the transition.  It also urged the transitional federal institutions to involve women fully in post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction, and noted the ongoing discussion to outline possible coordination mechanisms between the Government and the international community.


In addition, the Council welcomed the efforts of all those engaged in developing a peace-building framework leading to the formation of a “rapid assistance package”.  It called on the international community to support the package, as well as the emergency rehabilitation and economic development programmes, as security returned to the country.


The meeting began at 1:01 p.m. and adjourned at 1:10 p.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of document S/PRST/2004/38 reads as follows:


“The Security Council reaffirms its previous resolutions and the statements of its President concerning the situation in Somalia, in particular resolution 1558 (2004) of 17 August 2004 and the statement by its President (document S/PRST/2004/24) dated 14 July 2004.


“The Security Council reiterates its commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the situation in Somalia, and its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, consistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.


“The Security Council commends the recent progress made at the Somali National Reconciliation Conference in Nairobi, including the establishment of the Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia and the subsequent election of the Speaker of the Parliament and Transitional President, which are important steps towards the re-establishment of peace and stability in Somalia.


“The Security Council, underscoring the importance of consolidating the gains made so far, looks forward to the formation, in the near future, of a Transitional Federal Government inside Somalia, capable of beginning reconciliation and reconstruction in a spirit of consensus and dialogue with all the Somali parties.


“The Security Council, in this regard, encourages the Transitional Federal Parliament and the President to take further steps to select a Prime Minister and an efficient and effective Cabinet, and to develop a preliminary programme of action and timetable for the transitional period.  The Council urges the transitional federal institutions to involve women fully in post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction.  The Council also notes the ongoing discussion to outline possible coordination mechanisms between the Transitional Federal Government and the international community.


“The Security Council commends member States of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in particular the Government of Kenya, as well as other countries and organizations for constructively supporting the Somali national reconciliation process for the past two years, and encourages them to continue their efforts in support of the cause of peace in Somalia.


“The Security Council welcomes and expresses its support for the commitment of the African Union to assist the transitional process in Somalia, in particular through planning for a Peace Support Mission to Somalia, including options for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and encourages the international donor community to contribute to these efforts.


“The Security Council further welcomes the efforts of the United Nations Political Office, the United Nations Country Team, the Somalia Aid Coordination Body, the European Union, the IGAD Partners Forum, the League of Arab States and others engaged in developing a peace-building framework leading to the formation of a rapid assistance package and calls on the international community to support this package, as well as emergency rehabilitation and economic development programmes as security returns to Somalia.


“The Security Council shares the Secretary-General’s assessment that, “at this stage of progress in the Somali peace process, there will likely be a call for an expanded peace-building role and presence for the United Nations, in order that it may assist the Somali parties in implementing their agreement.  At the same time, it is clear that any enhanced role for the Organization in Somalia must be incremental, and should be based on the outcome of discussions with the new government.”  The Security Council looks forward to the Secretary-General’s recommendations in this regard.


“The Security Council urges the Somali leaders to create a favourable environment for the future Transitional Federal Government by making determined efforts to bring about improvements in the security situation on the ground and reiterates that those who persist on the path of confrontation and conflict will be held accountable.  The Council will continue to monitor the situation closely.”


Background


For its consideration today of the situation in Somalia, the Security Council had before it the report of the Secretary-General (document S/2004/804), focusing mainly on the progress achieved at the Somali National Reconciliation Conference at Mbagathi, Somalia, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), with Kenya as Chairman.  The report also provides an update on developments inside Somalia, the security situation and the humanitarian and development activities of United Nations programmes and agencies.


According to the report, the financial assistance and political support of the European Union to the Conference has been invaluable during the arduous two-year process.  The Secretary-General also appreciates the efforts of the African Union and the League of Arab States for their efforts and plans to support the establishment of peace and security in Somalia.  The readiness of the African Union to deploy monitors to Somalia is a welcome initiative.  The international community should support the mission of the African Union, including its disarmament, demobilization and reintegration aspects.


The Secretary-General also welcomes the planning efforts under way in Nairobi, involving the United Nations Political Office for Somalia, the United Nations country team, the Somalia Aid Coordination Body, the European Commission, the League of Arab States and others, to come up with a peace-building framework, as envisaged in the presidential statements of the Council on 31 October 2001 (document S/PRST/2001/30) and 25 February 2004 (document S/PRST/2004/3).  These efforts are expected to lead to the formulation of a “rapid assistance package”.


The funding and implementation of such a “rapid assistance package” will be of critical importance for the Somali Transitional Federal Government, which must establish itself and start extending its authority throughout the country, the report states.  In that connection, the Secretary-General urges the international community to support the package generously and expeditiously.


At this stage of progress in the Somali peace process, there will likely be a call for an expanded peace-building role and presence of the United Nations, in order that it may assist the Somali parties in implementing their agreement, the report states further.  At the same time, it is clear that any enhanced role for the Organization in Somalia must be incremental, and should be based on the outcome of discussions with the new government.  Pending the Secretary-General’s recommendations in this regard and the decisions by the Council, he proposes that the resources available to the United Nations Political Office for Somalia for 2004-2005 be maintained at the current level.


At this critical stage in the peace process, the Secretary-General says he can only reiterate the crucial importance of progress in the political arena being accompanied by serious efforts on the part of Somali leaders to bring about tangible improvement in the security situation on the ground.  Such efforts would do much to ensure that the political agreement and the government formed on its basis receive the full support of the people of Somalia and the international community.  The Secretary-General appeals to the international community for generous support to the Somali people at this critical juncture in their history, when they are making efforts to emerge from their long period of crisis and re-establish peace and stability.


The report recalls that the revised 2004 Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeal for Somalia calls for a total of $118 million.  Despite the scale of humanitarian need in Somalia, funds received from donors continue to be limited.  In 2004, both United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations have observed a decline in funds from some key donors available for humanitarian response.  While access and security continue to impose constraints on a comprehensive humanitarian response in some areas, aid agencies in Somalia have long operated under difficult circumstances to save lives and build local capacities, and they are determined to continue to do so provided they have the resources.


In the present report, the Secretary-General again calls for contributions to the revised Consolidated Appeal commensurate with Somalia’s need.  Following earlier contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund for Peace-Building in Somalia by Ireland ($34,668.65), Italy ($536,150), and Norway ($836,533.39), the Secretary-General is pleased to report that Italy has made an additional generous contribution of $2,239,200, for which he is most grateful.


* *** *