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Department of Political Affairs

UN launches new mission to help bring peace and stability to Somalia

A worker putting up a sign for the new UNSOM Headquarters in Mogadishu The United Nations today launched the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), a political mission with headquarters in the capital Mogadishu, marking a new chapter in UN efforts for peace and stability in Somalia.

The new mission will support State building and peacebuilding with a focus on good governance, security sector reform and rule of law, as well as human rights, providing “good offices” for mediation, political reconciliation, and coordination of international assistance.

In May, the Security Council unanimously authorized the deployment of UNSOM for an initial period of 12 month amid much-improved security conditions and considerable political progress over recent years. Last year alone has seen the establishment of a representative Government, the approval of a provisional constitution, and the weakening of the militant insurgency Al Shabaab.  The new mission will replace the  UN Political Office for Somalia  (UNPOS), which has provided important support from its base in Nairobi to various peace and reconciliation efforts since 1995.

UNSOM head Nicholas Kay giving an interview upon his arrival in MogadishuUNSOM is being headed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, a national of the United Kingdom who hails from a distinguished diplomatic career. 
Mr. Kay had previously served as Africa Director at the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, a position he has held since 2012. Prior to this, he served as Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan from 2007 to 2010 and 2010 to 2012, respectively.
“This is an historic moment for Somalia,” Mr. Kay said as he arrived in Mogadishu.   “The people of Somalia rightly have high expectations. We need to aim high. We look forward with hope towards a national election in 2016. The challenges are tremendous, but we must work hard to seize the moment.”
“The people of Somalia have asked the UN for a new partnership to match their aspirations,” said Mr. Kay.  “The UN effort will become more unified, more joint and more effective – based on the principles of true partnership with the African Union and all other partners of Somalia,” he said.
Follow UNSOM online
Website:         www.unsom.unmissions.org 
Twitter:            @UNSomalia
Facebook:      facebook.com/UNSOMALIA