The United Nations has been engaged with Somalia since 1991 to support its Government and people to advance the cause of peace and reconciliation. After two decades of lawlessness and conflict, the peace process in the country has made significant progress, creating new hope for Somalia’s future. In 2012, following an extended transitional period, the Provisional Federal Constitution of Somalia was agreed through a broad-based consultation process, and a new Federal Parliament and Government was selected, with a pledge to deliver the political transformation of the country and realize the vision of a peaceful, federal Somalia. The international community has pledged to support Somalia in its efforts, including through the “New Deal” Somalia Compact, which sets out agreed goals for peacebuilding and statebuilding.
The Department of Political Affairs (DPA) coordinates the efforts of the UN system in Somalia, including to facilitate the good offices of the Secretary-General and supporting political reconciliation and peacebuilding through contacts with the Federal Government of Somalia, local administrations, regional organizations, international partners, and civil society.
These efforts to achieve peace, reconciliation and stability are led and coordinated by the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), a DPA field operation established in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in June 2013. The UN mission is mandated by the Security Council to work with the Federal Government of Somalia to support national reconciliation, provide strategic and policy advice to the Government on various aspects of peacebuilding, to monitor the human rights situation, and to help coordinate the efforts of the international community.
While there remain many challenges ahead, the year 2014 saw continued progress in the country’s state-formation process as well as the capture by the Somali National Army and African Union forces of significant territory from the militant insurgency Al Shabaab. In 2015, UNSOM aims to further support efforts by Somalia’s Federal and regional leaders to complete Somalia’s federal state formation process, and review the provisional constitution. UNSOM also supports efforts to reform the securi ty sector and strengthen the justice system, which are critical to Somalia’s long-term stability.
UNSOM is headed by Nicholas Kay, a national of the United Kingdom serving as Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia. He is supported by two Deputy Special Representatives: Raisedon Zenenga and Philippe Lazzarini who is also the UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia.
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