|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General, at High-level Meeting on Somalia, Calls for Decisive
Action in Implementation of Priority Transitional Tasks
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the High-Level Meeting on Somalia, held in Addis Ababa today, 31 January:
I would like to once again commend the leadership of Chairperson [Jean] Ping and Chairman [Meles] Zenawi. Thank you for coming together to focus on the situation in Somalia.
At our mini-Summit on Somalia in New York in September, we were all rightly concerned about the paralysis within the Transitional [Federal] Institutions. Today, Somalia has a new Prime Minister and Government. Our challenge now is to make up for lost time and move decisively with implementation of the priority transitional tasks.
First, we need to help the Transitional Federal Government accelerate the outreach and reconciliation efforts towards all Somali political organizations and armed groups that renounce violence, and towards local civil administrations.
Second, we need to help the Transitional Federal Government intensify and conclude consultations on the draft constitution. The consultations should provide an inclusive platform for dialogue among Somalis, including those still outside the political process.
Third, the political agenda defined in the transition road map requires a security strategy to enable the Transitional Federal Government to develop its own sustainable security forces, deliver basic social services and operate in an expanded and secure environment, including Mogadishu.
I would like to pay tribute to Uganda and Burundi for their contribution of troops, and recognize the losses and hardships those troops have incurred. We now need to rapidly generate and deploy the new troops recently authorized by the Security Council, and give the force the technical, logistical and financial support it needs to do its work. I welcome the political initiatives of the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. I will continue to mobilize international contributions to the security-sector trust fund.
The Transitional Federal Government needs to intensify its efforts to reach out to the local and regional administrations in Puntland, Somaliland and Galguduug; implement the Gaalkacyo Agreement; and seize the opportunity offered by the Kampala initiative on piracy. My Special Adviser on Legal Issues Related to Piracy, Jack Lang, has proposed a comprehensive approach to the challenge of piracy based on three pillars: deterrence; rule of law and security; and development.
The United Nations Political Office for Somalia, for its part, has initiated the deployment of a light footprint in Mogadishu, Puntland and Somaliland. This will enhance our engagement with Somali interlocutors as we assist them with implementation of the road map. We continue to work to create the appropriate conditions for the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation.
The humanitarian situation continues to worsen. The number of internally displaced people is at a record high. Drought is prevalent, and there are disturbing reports of human rights violations in insurgent areas. Security for humanitarian personnel, and the availability of funds for their vital work, are both inadequate.
These challenges require an integrated, comprehensive response that encompasses many partners and many parts of the United Nations system. We must all do our utmost to bring an end to the violence and instability that has engulfed Somalia for so long.
In both Sudan and Somalia, the stakes are high, not only for the peoples of those countries, but for the region, the continent and the international community. This Summit is serving an important opportunity for all of us, but especially Africa’s leaders, to show that we are united behind the goals of peace and prosperity for the peoples of both countries.
I pledge the United Nations will continue to work with you to realize these goals.
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