HIS EXCELLENCY MR. YUSUF HASSAN IBRAHIM
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE SOMALI REPUBLIC
HEAD OF SOMALI DELEGATION
57TH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS
NEW YORK, 20 SEPTEMBER 2002
Allow me at the outset to congratulate you on your election as President of the 57th Regular Session of the General Assembly. I am confident that with your experience you will guide this Session to a fruitful conclusion.
I would also like to extend my thanks to your predecessor, Ambassador Han Seung-Soo of South Korea, for his excellent stewardship of the previous Session of the General Assembly.
Somalia welcomes the Democratic Republic of East Timor and the Swiss Confederation to the membership of this family of Nations; a further step towards realizing the goal of the universality of the United Nations Organization.
A year after the tragic events of September 11, 2002, we, in Somalia, continue to share the pain and loss of the Government and people of the United States. We must as a community of Nations act in unisom to combat the scourge of terrorism.
In this regard, the Transitional National Government of Somalia continues to be a reliable partner in the campaign against terrorism. It is my privilege to announce before this august Assembly that my Government has signed the Convention on the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism of this year (2002).
We have also started the process of acceding to the Convention on Combating Terrorism of the African Union. We are also working on the implementation of the other requirements of Resolution 1373 (2001). Furthermore, we are committed to fully cooperate with other countries on bilateral basis in the fight against terrorism and continue to identify concert areas of such cooperation. My Government's resolve in this regard is not based on any short-term tactical considerations but is unequivocal and based on solid principles.
We would like to commend the United Nations for organizing a number for international conferences in 2002, starting with the international conference on Development Financing (IDF) and the recently held Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), in Johannesburg, South Africa. We also applaud the United Nations for dedicating a day of discussions on NEPAD which focused on the development needs of the Africa Continent.
We strongly feel that the international community should pay more attention to the development needs of the Least Developed Countries (LDC's). Donors and creditors should be able to do much more in the areas of TRADE, DEBT and Am. We believe that free and fair trade is a vehicle for growth and development and requires us to make a greater efforts aimed at ensuring that multilateral trading caters for the urgent and special needs of the LDC's.
In this regard, we are encouraged by Canada's unilateral decision to lift tariffs on African exports to Canada and the abolition of subsidies on agriculture products. It is our hope that other developed countries will follow the example set by Canada.
With regard to debt, we believe that unless the massive debts owed by the LDC's are completely cancelled, the LDC's will remain strangled by interest and loan principal payments.
Aid can be another engine for development
and growth and in this respect, the donors must honor the agreed target of 0.7%
of GNP for official Development Assistance.
We cannot but address the plight of the Palestinian people who are subjected to daily horrors. The killings of innocent civilians, including women and children, destruction of houses, and daily humiliations inflicted upon the Palestinian people by Israel must be condemned by the international community.
It is unconseionable for the international community to watch the continuous siege of the President Yassir Arafat and the premeditated destruction of the Palestinian Authority. The people of Palestine who continue to suffer under the Israeli Occupation have an inalienable right to their State, choice of their own leadership and institutions. The systematic violations of the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people must be brought to an end.
The scourge of conflicts in the African Continent has been raging for decades. In fact, Africa at one time was dubbed as the "continent of conflict". It is gratifying to note that a new horizon, a new dawn has lighted up the darker parts of our continent in conflict.
Conflict Resolution by Africans themselves is the motto today. A strong wind of peace is blowing in Africa today.
In Sierra Leone, and in Liberia in the River Mano Region to Angola, DRC, Rwanda and Burundi in the Great Lakes Region to Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan in the Horn of Africa, the ship of peace is sailing. We strongly welcome this movement to peace in the African Continent.
As you are aware, Somalia has been an area of a conflict, a conflict that brought untold sufferings to the people of Somalia, a disastrous civil war fomented by un-patriotic warlords resulting in the destruction of all state institutions, death of hundreds of thousands and displacement of millions of Somalis. Despite the good intentions of the United Nations, Somalia suffered from the benign neglect of the international community and especially after 1993. The Somali conflict seemed intractable.
It was not until August 2000, that a Transitional National Government and Transitional Parliament were constituted and a Head of State H.E. Dr. Abdikassim Salad Hassan was elected. This was as a result of a conference held in Arta in the Republic of Djibouti, attended by more than 3000 Somalis from all regions and walks of life, including traditional leaders, intellectuals, business persons women. The warlords were repeatedly invited and opted not to participate.
The Transitional National Government of Somalia continued to engage in dialogue those who chose to be outside the Arta Process with a view to bringing them on board. We have been persistent in encouraging them to renounce war as a means of achieving political gains and share our vision of peace and national reconciliation in Somalia and for the Somali people.
In our endeavors of achieving peace and stability in Somalia, we have also engaged our brothers in the sub-region, regional organizations and the United Nations to assist us in the search for durable peace in Somalia.
I am happy to note that the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) with the strong support of the International community has undertaken a serious peace initiative for Somalia. IGAD has mandated the three Frontline States of Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia, under the Chairmanship of H.E. President Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya, to work out the modalities and time frames for completing the Arta Process.
This has the support of the current Chair of IGAD, H.E. Omar ElBashir, President of the Republic of Sudan and other Head of States of IGAD countries.
The IGAD process for the completion of the Arta process streamlined for the first time the various and often-conflicting initiatives.
IGAD has announced that a conference for the completion of the reconciliation process will be held in Kenya on October 15, 2002. The Transitional National Government will participate. We will participate with an open mind with the interest of the Somali people as the foremost priority. The Transitional National Government will spare no effort to make the national reconciliation conference a success. We are gratified that the international community has recognized that the Arta peace process continues to be the most viable basis for peace and national reconciliation in Somalia. It is our hope that those regional administrations and others who have been outside the Arta process share our vision for peace and stability in Somalia.
In this regard, it is of critical importance that the international community send a clear message to all the Somali participants; to support IGAD sponsored conference in Kenya and that those who may sabotage or refuse to participate will be sanctioned by the international community.
Equally important is the issue of guarantees for the outcome of the reconciliation conference. We believe and request that the international community put in place regional and international measures guaranteeing both the finality and legality of the outcome of the conference in Kenya. The international and regional guarantees must serve notice that sanctions will be imposed on any Somali group that rejects the outcome of the reconciliation conference in Kenya.
When the Somali parties agree on a peace framework during the October conference in Kenya, there will be an urgent need for international peacekeepers. There will also be an urgent need for disarmament and the rebuilding of national institutions in Somalia.
We urge the United Nations to be ready for this and plan to meet the new challenges of disarmament, demobilization of militias and reconstruction.
The wind of peace that is blowing across the African Continent has finally reached Somalia. As the TNG, we are committed towards the re-emergence of a new Somalia that is at peace within itself and its neighbors and the world. We pledge as a law-abiding state- to respect our obligations under the UN Charter and the Constitutive Act of the African Union and to remain a partner for peace and development in our continent and the world.
I thank you Mr. President.