07/03/2005
Press Release
SC/8329


Security Council

5135th Meeting (PM)


SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT WELCOMES PROGRESS IN SOMALI


NATIONAL RECONCILIATION, NOTES NEED FOR EXPANDED UN PRESENCE


Concurs with Secretary-General Enhanced UN Role Must Be

Incremental, Based on Discussions with Transitional Government


The Security Council, reaffirming its commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement in Somalia, welcomed progress made in the Somali national reconciliation process, and took note of the need to expand the United Nations presence in that country, as proposed by the Secretary-General in his latest report.


In a statement read out by Council President Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg (Brazil), the Council welcomed the efforts of the United Nations Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS) and its leading role in coordinating support for the Transitional Federal Government to implement the agreements reached at the Somali National Reconciliation Conference and establish peace and stability in Somalia.  It concurred with the Secretary-General that a further enhanced role for the Organization must be incremental and be based on the outcome of discussions with the Transitional Government.


Commending the efforts of the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) in support of the Transitional Government, the Council also recognized the African Union’s readiness to play an important role in a future peace support mission in Somalia.  Such a mission must be carefully planned and would require the support of the Somali people.


In his latest report to the Council (document S/2005/89), the Secretary-General notes that the IGAD process has produced a power-sharing arrangement in that country for a transitional period that stretches for five years.  While this had clearly been the most inclusive peace process ever, involving all clans and most major faction leaders, it cannot be said that either peace or reconciliation has been achieved or that fighting inside Somalia has ceased.


An enhanced role for the United Nations, he continues, would include assisting the continuous dialogue among Somali parties for reconciliation; assisting in the effort to address the issue of “Somaliland”; coordinating support for the peace process with Somalia’s neighbours and other international partners; and chairing the Coordination and Monitoring Committee, as well as playing a leading political role in peace-building activities.


Also through today’s statement, the Council urged all Somali faction and militia leaders to cease hostilities and encouraged them and the Transitional Government to enter into immediate negotiations for a comprehensive and verifiable ceasefire agreement leading to final disarmament.

The meeting began at 4:53 p.m. and ended at 5 p.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2005/11 reads, as follows:


“The Security Council reaffirms all its previous decisions concerning the situation in Somalia, in particular the statement by its President (S/PRST/2004/43) dated 19 November 2004.


“The Security Council welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 18 February 2005 (S/2005/89), reaffirms 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 welcomes the progress made in the Somali national reconciliation process, in particular the Transitional Federal Government (TFG)’s ongoing relocation efforts, expects further progress in this regard and stresses the need for the international community to provide strong political, financial and capacity-building support for these efforts.


“The Security Council commends the efforts of the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in support of the TFG.  The Security Council reiterates its support for the African Union’s efforts in assisting the process of transition in Somalia.  The Security Council recognizes the African Union’s readiness to play an important role in a future peace support mission in Somalia.  Such a mission must be carefully considered and planned and would require the support of the Somali people.


“The Security Council urges all Somali factions and militia leaders to cease hostilities and encourages them and the TFG to enter into immediate negotiations for a comprehensive and verifiable ceasefire agreement leading to final disarmament and welcomes the willingness of the United Nations to provide advice in this regard.


“The Security Council expresses its gratitude to all those donors who have supported the peace process in Somalia and encourages donor countries, regional and subregional organizations to contribute to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Somalia, in particular through efforts coordinated by UN agencies.


“The Security Council welcomes the establishment of the Coordination and Monitoring Committee (CMC), chaired jointly by the Prime Minister of the TFG and the United Nations, through which donor countries and regional and subregional organizations can provide support to the efforts of the TFG.


“The Security Council stresses that improving the humanitarian situation is an essential component of support for the peace and reconciliation process.  The Security Council strongly believes that ensuring humanitarian access to all Somalis in need and providing guarantees for the safety and security of aid workers is an immediate priority and obligation of the TFG.


“The Security Council welcomes the efforts of the United Nations Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS) and its leading role in coordinating support for the TFG to implement the agreements reached at the Somali National Reconciliation Conference and establish peace and stability in Somalia.  The Security Council takes note of the need to expand the United Nations’ presence as proposed in the report of the Secretary-General of 18 February 2005 (S/2005/89).  The Security Council concurs with the Secretary General that a further enhanced role for the Organization in Somalia must be incremental, and should be based on the outcome of discussions with the TFG.


“The Security Council reaffirms its full support for the peace process in Somalia and the commitment of the United Nations to assist the regional and subregional efforts in this regard.”


Background


Before the Council was the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Somalia (document S/2005/89) dated 18 February 2005 and covering the period since his last report of 8 October 2004 (documents S/2004804.  He notes that the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) process has produced a power-sharing arrangement in that country for a transitional period that stretches for five years.  While this had clearly been the most inclusive peace process ever, involving all clans and most major faction leaders, it cannot be said that either peace or reconciliation has been achieved or that fighting inside Somalia has ceased.


He recalls that shortly after his election, President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed sought a large number of peacekeepers from the African Union to help the Transitional Federal Government relocate to Somalia.  Since then, a consensus had emerged that the most feasible option might be a protection force fielded by the African Union.  In consultation with the African Union, the United Nations is prepared to support the African Union in the planning of a protection force.


According to the report, the Secretary-General hopes that training programmes envisaged for foreign troops and Somali security forces would include a humanitarian and human rights component.  In the area of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, the United Nations will continue to support the efforts and build on the experience of United Nations agencies already involved in such programmes.


The deployment of any foreign military forces will require an exemption from the arms embargo on Somalia, the report says.  This aspect notwithstanding, greater efforts should be made to enforce the embargo.  The recent report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia made it clear that extensive breaches of the embargo prevail and weapons and explosives continue to flow into the country.  The enforcement of the embargo, with improved monitoring capacity and the establishment of enforcement measures, would considerably enhance overall security.


Stabilizing the humanitarian situation is an essential component of support for the peace and reconciliation process, the report emphasizes.  The success of the new Government and the reconciliation process will depend not only on support from the international community, but also on the contribution of the Somali population at large, including civil society organizations.  An immediate priority and obligation of the Transitional Federal Government should be to ensure humanitarian access to all Somalis in need and to guarantee the safety and security of aid workers.


Thanking donors who are responding to the immediate needs of the peace process, the Secretary-General notes that, aside from the earlier contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund for Peace-building in Somalia, Norway took the lead by providing $2 million from its 2004 budget to allow the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to meet some of the urgent needs of the Offices of the President and Prime Minister, as well as 30 ministries.  Ongoing efforts by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and United Nations agencies to reach out to non-traditional donors should be accelerated.  In particular, the Arab League countries, which are already contributing to Somalia, could do more.


The report states that if the Economic and Social Council were to establish an ad hoc advisory group on Somalia to examine the country’s humanitarian and economic needs, review relevant assistance programmes and prepare recommendations for Somalia’s rehabilitation, reconstruction and development, such a group would have an important role to play in supporting the peace process.  In his previous report, the Secretary-General pointed out the likelihood that progress in the Somali peace process would call for an expanded United Nations political presence to assist the Somali parties in implementing their agreement.  At the same time, any enhanced role for the Organization must be incremental and based on the outcome of discussions with the new Government.


According to the report, such a role would include assisting the continuous dialogue among Somali parties for reconciliation; assisting in the effort to address the issue of “Somaliland”; coordinating support for the peace process with Somalia’s neighbours and other international partners; and chairing the Coordination and Monitoring Committee, as well as playing a leading political role in peace-building activities.  The Secretary-General intends to appoint a Special Representative, at the Assistant Secretary-General level, to lead the expanded United Nations role with the assistance of an augmented staff at the United Nations Political Office for Somalia, including a deputy.


The report also covers developments inside Somalia, including the formation of the Transitional Federal Government; and activities of the United Nations and the international community.  The section on the humanitarian situation covers United Nations system operations activities to promote peace, including sub-sections on child protection, education, health, governance, livelihoods, water and environmental sanitation, HIV/AIDS, as well as internally displaced persons and refugees.


* *** *