SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT IN SOMALIA, EXPRESSES GRAVE CONCERN AT HUMANITARIAN SITUATION

12 November 1999
SC/6752

SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT IN SOMALIA, EXPRESSES GRAVE CONCERN AT HUMANITARIAN SITUATION

12 November 1999

Press ReleaseSC/6752

SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT IN SOMALIA, EXPRESSES GRAVE CONCERN AT HUMANITARIAN SITUATION

19991112

The Security Council this morning reaffirmed its commitment to a comprehensive settlement in Somalia and expressed grave concern at the increasingly evident effects of the lack of a functioning central government there.

In a statement read out by its President, Danilo Türk (Slovenia), the Council strongly condemned the attacks and acts of violence against, and the murder of, humanitarian workers in Somalia. It called on Somali factions to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of all humanitarian personnel and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian relief.

The Council regretted that most children receive no health care and that two generations have had no access to formal education. It also expressed concern that Somali natural resources were being exploited, mainly by foreigners, without regulation or monitoring. It expressed deep distress over reports that the absence of law and order in the country risked creating a haven for criminals of all kinds.

The Council welcomed the progress that had been made in the development of greater uniformity of approach on the part of the international community in addressing the crisis in Somalia. It recognized that the Standing Committee on Somalia had been instrumental in monitoring the evolution of the Somali situation and working for a greater coordination of efforts by the various external actors. The Council called for the strengthening of those efforts.

The Council also welcomed the initiative of the President of Djibouti aimed at restoring peace and stability in Somalia and endorsed his call to the warlords to recognize and accept the principle that the Somali people were free to democratically choose their own regional and national leaders. The Council looked forward to the finallization of the President’s proposals at the forthcoming meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Summit and was ready to help bring about national unity and the restoration of a national government in Somalia.

Also in the statement, the Council called on all States to observe and improve the effectiveness of the arms embargo and to refrain from any actions that might exacerbate the situation in Somalia.

Gravely concerned at the continuing deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Somalia, the Council urged all States to contribute generously to the appeals of the United Nations to ensure the continued relief and rehabilitation efforts in all regions of Somalia, including those aimed at strengthening civil society. In that context, it encouraged the enhancement of the operational capacity of humanitarian agencies in Somalia through donor support.

The Council expressed satisfaction that, despite all the difficulties, approximately half of Somali territory continued to enjoy relative peace. It noted the beginning of the provision of some basic services to the people of Somalia by local administrations in some parts of the country. The Council was encouraged by the political initiatives of Somalia, through regional conferences, to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.

As it encouraged the Secretary-General to review the role of the United Nations in Somalia as a prelude to playing an enhanced role, the Council took note of the Secretary-General’s recommendation that the international community should consider establishing mechanisms that would allow financial assistance to flow into secure and stable areas of Somalia even before a central government and other institutions were re-established, with a view to promoting the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Somalia.

The meeting, which convened at 11:34 a.m., was adjourned at 11:42 a.m.

Presidential Statement

The text of the presidential statement, which will be issued as document S/PRST/1999/31, reads, as follows:

“The Security Council recalls the report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Somalia dated 16 August 1999 (S/1999/882).

“The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the situations in Somalia, bearing in mind respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence and unity of Somalia, in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

“The Security Council expresses its grave concern at the increasingly evident effects of the lack of a functioning central government in Somalia. It regrets the fact that most children receive no health care and that two generations have had no access to formal education. It is concerned that some Somali natural resources are being exploited, mainly by foreigners, without regulation and monitoring. It expresses its deep distress over reports that the absence of law and order in the country risks creating a haven for criminals of all kinds.

“The Security Council welcomes the progress that has been made in the development of a greater uniformity of approach on the part of the international community in addressing the crisis in Somalia. It recognizes that the Standing Committee on Somalia, created a year ago, has been instrumental in monitoring the evolution of the Somali situation and working for a greater coordination of efforts by the various external actors, in order to avoid contrasting influences and to give weight to common actions. It calls for the strengthening of the coordination of these efforts aimed at securing peace and stability in Somalia.

“The Security Council expresses its full support for the efforts exerted by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to find a political solution to the crisis in Somalia. In this context, it welcomes the initiative of the President of Djibouti aimed at restoring peace and stability in Somalia, which was outlined in his letter of 23 September 1999 to the President of the Security Council (S/1999/1007). It endorses the call made by the President of Djibouti to the warlords to recognize fully and accept the principle that the Somali people are free to exercise their democratic right to choose their own regional and national leaders. The Council looks forward to the finalization of the proposals of the President of Djibouti at the forthcoming IGAD Summit and stands ready to work with IGAD and the Standing Committee to help bring about national unity and the restoration of a national government in Somalia. It calls upon the leaders of the Somali factions and all others concerned to cooperate constructively and in good faith in the efforts to resolve the crisis.

“The Security Council strongly calls upon all States to observe and improve the effectiveness of the arms embargo imposed by resolution 733 (1992) of 23 January 1992 and to refrain from any actions which might exacerbate the situation in Somalia. It urges Member States having information about violations of the provisions of resolution 733 (1992) to provide this information to the Committee created pursuant to resolution 751 (1992) of 24 April 1992, with a view to supporting the work of the Committee.

“The Security Council expresses its grave concern at the continuing deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Somalia. It urges all States to contribute generously to the appeals of the Untied Nations to ensure continued relief and rehabilitation efforts in all regions of Somalia, including those aimed at the strengthening of civil society. In this context, it encourages enhancement of the operational capacity of humanitarian agencies in Somalia through donor support.

“The Security Council expresses its appreciation for all United Nations agencies, other organizations and individuals carrying out humanitarian activities in all regions of Somalia. It calls upon the Somali factions to ensure the safety and freedom of movement of all humanitarian personnel and to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian relief. In this context, it strongly condemns attacks and acts of violence against and the murder of humanitarian workers in Somalia and reiterates its position that those responsible for these acts should be brought to justice.

“The Security Council expresses its satisfaction that despite all the difficulties, approximately half of Somali territory continues to enjoy relative peace. In this context, it notes the beginning of provision of some basic services to the people of Somalia by local administrations in some parts of the country.

“The Security Council welcomes the efforts of civil society in Somalia. It is encouraged by the political initiatives of Somalis, through regional conferences, often organized by traditional leaders and informal cross-clan contacts, to find a peaceful solution to the crisis. In this context, it underlines the active role of Somali women's groups.

“The Security Council welcomes the continuing efforts of the Secretary- General and the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) in Nairobi. ‘The Security Council encourages the Secretary-General to review the role of the United Nations in Somalia, as a prelude to the United Nations playing an enhanced role, aimed at achieving a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the situation in Somalia. This review would include the possible relocation of some United Nations programmes and agencies, as well as UNPOS, to Somalia. The review should also consider the security situation carefully, as well as the resources that would be necessary to provide a secure environment for United Nations operations in Somalia.

“The Security Council takes note of the recommendation in the report of the Secretary-General of 16 August 1999 that the international community should consider establishing mechanisms which would allow financial assistance to flow into secure and stable areas of Somalia even before a formal central government and other institutions are re-established, with a view to promoting the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence and unity of Somalia.

“The Security Council will remain seized of the matter.”

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For information media. Not an official record.