On anniversary of Somalia's independence, senior UN official urges political unity

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Michael Keating, speaks during a meeting with a section of Somali women leaders on the political participation of women, held in Mogadishu, Somalia on September 5, 2016. UN Photo / Omar Abdisalan

1 July 2017 – Marking the 57th anniversary of Somalia's independence, the top United Nations official in the country today urged all Somalis to seize a moment of opportunity and work towards peace and stability.

“This celebration comes at a moment of political opportunity, and of hope. It should not be taken for granted; such moments don't happen often in a nation's history,” said the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating.

The challenge, he said, is to garner strong and inclusive leadership, as well as meaningful commitment and cooperation, from the people who have the power and influence to make a difference.

“Personal agendas must not undermine collective progress,” underscored Mr. Keating, who is also the head of the UN mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

He urged all national leaders – whether in the public or private sector – to work together, and reiterated the support of the UN and its international partners to for federal and state initiatives to promote justice and human rights, step up humanitarian aid efforts, and develop more transparent and accountable institutions.

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