New York, 23 September 2011 - Secretary-General's remarks at Mini-Summit on Somalia [as prepared for delivery]Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Somalia has made important strides towards implementing the Djibouti Peace Agreement.
However, at the very time when there have been political and security gains, a devastating humanitarian crisis is unfolding – perhaps one of the worst of our generation.
A combination of drought, conflict, and lack of humanitarian access has put more than two million people in southern Somalia in danger of starvation.
Six districts of Somalia are now experiencing famine. Throughout the country, four million people need urgent assistance.
I am convening a humanitarian summit tomorrow to discuss how best to respond.
Today I want us to look at how to advance the political process.
The Consultative Meeting on Ending the Transition in Somalia, held in Mogadishu earlier this month, was a milestone in the peace process, testimony to the improved security situation in the capital.
I thank President Museveni for facilitating the Kampala Accord, which helped generate momentum in the peace process.
For the first time since the Djibouti Peace Agreement of 2008, there is a significantly more inclusive political process and a consensus on how to end the transition.
It is time now for the Transitional Federal Institutions and Somalia's leaders to implement the Roadmap to end the Transition, keeping in mind that future assistance will be contingent on the timely attainment of the agreed benchmarks.
It is equally necessary for the international community to remain engaged in the Somali peace process and to provide resources to the Transitional Federal Institutions and other implementing partners to ensure that this political investment bears fruit.
We have at this time, a realistic prospect for securing Mogadishu and advancing the political process.
The withdrawal of Al-Shabaab from Mogadishu in early August offers the Transitional Federal Government an opportunity to expand territory under its control and enhance its legitimacy by delivering basic services to the population.
However, the arrival of up to 400,000 internally displaced people from areas under Al-Shabaab control has put new strain on overstretched resources.
At the same time, we condemn the fact that thousands of people are being forced by Al-Shabaab back to areas where they have no access to food.
In and around Mogadishu, extremist elements continue to pose a threat and are resorting to asymmetric hit and run tactics. In addition, we must prevent warlords from re-emerging in Mogadishu by not allowing a security vacuum to develop.
In this connection, it is crucial that AMISOM and Government forces are adequately equipped.
I again commend the Governments of Burundi and Uganda for their steadfast support to AMISOM.
The gains we are acknowledging today could not have been achieved without the significant sacrifices of their troops and the Somali security forces.
The Transitional Federal Government and the UN Country Team have prepared the Mogadishu Stabilization Plan, which requires initial funding of $15 million.
Somalis need to see a tangible difference between their lives under governmental authority and their lives under Al-Shabaab. I appeal for your full support.
It is also important that a dedicated AMISOM guard force is established to protect international staff so we can expand our presence in Somalia, and in Mogadishu in particular.
I commend all those governments that have opened their diplomatic missions in Mogadishu. As we continue to increase our UN presence in Somalia, we count on our international partners to join us.
While the situation remains fragile, we have a chance to stabilize Somalia.
I count on your full support and continued engagement.
Statements on 23 September 2011
- New York, 23 September 2011 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Zambia
- New York, 23 September 2011 - Secretary-General's remarks to Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilizations
- New York, 23 September 2011 - Secretary-General's remarks at Breakfast Roundtable with Foreign Ministers on "The Responsibility to Protect: Responding to Imminent Threats of Mass Atrocities" [as prepared for delivery]
- New York, 23 September 2011 - Secretary-General's remarks to seventh conference on facilitating the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty
- New York, 23 September 2011 - Secretary-General's Remarks to Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 and China