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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Remarks by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at Press Conference following the Somalia Conference in London (with UK Prime Minister David Cameron; Prime Minister of Somalia, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali; and Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Jean Ping)

London, United Kingdom, 23 February 2012

Q: I have a question for Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Somalia has one of Africa’s biggest coasts, but they lost their economic marine zone. What steps or political processes are being taken to give back Somalia their economic marine zone?

SG: First of all, I’d like to thank you, Prime Minister David Cameron and the UK government, for hosting this very important meeting. There was a question about why UK has been mobilising this meeting. This is one of the top priorities, concerns and challenges of the United Nations since I became Secretary General. I myself have been convening these regional conferences, firstly in Brussels, and Istanbul and twice in the United Nations.

This is an issue which has to be addressed by the whole international community. In that regard, convening this meeting in London has created strong political awareness and solidarity. The declaration, joint communiqué, which has been adopted here sets out a clear path to address all these issues in a comprehensive manner, addressing political issues, helping meet the roadmap implemented by August 20th, strengthening the capacity of AMISOM by the Security council resolution, unanimous resolutions, that are addressing the humanitarian issues.

My Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs convened the humanitarian meetings this morning here. We will try to mobilize. While famine was ending, there are still 2 million people that need our support who are suffering from the crisis. These are very serious issues.  So we are now trying to bring all this together in a comprehensive, integrated manner. United Nations will work very closely and there will be a follow up meeting in Istanbul, as was announced by Turkey and the Prime Minister.

The coming three to four months will be crucially important in implementing what has been agreed and what needs to be followed up. We need to bring hope and prosperity to all Somali people. This is what I can tell you as Secretary-General.

I think bringing the economic development, socio-economic development, will be crucially important in addressing these Somalia challenges. Why these young people would go out to sea? Because they do not have any, any hope, any tools, any jobs, decent jobs in Somalia. That is quite sad and unfortunate. That is why we need to gain strength and capacity of the Somali government and institutional capacity and socio-economic development. United Nations, for the first time in 17 years, has deployed our mission - political mission there. Most of the United Nations 16 agencies are operating from Nairobi. We will try to extend the deployment of our United Nations agencies, who will work together with the TFG government in providing support for developmental strategy and social development. This is what the UN will very closely work together with the member states and I do appreciate the continuing support from the member state United Kingdom, such as they have done at this time.