Somalia Programmes of Assistance

Assisting Somalia in buiding its governance frameworks for a sustainable and secure ocean

About the Programmes

In November 2013, the Federal Government of Somalia requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations for technical assistance with regard to the implementation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

In response, the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) developed a project funded by the United Nations Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, namely:

  • Project 61: Building the knowledge and capacity of Somali legislators and technical officials regarding the rights and duties of the maritime zones set out in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (2 September 2014 - 28 February 2018).

Following the successful completion of Project 61, and pursuant to a request by the Federal Government of Somalia in June 2018, DOALOS developed an advanced training programme to reinforce the outcomes of project 61 and to address critical capacity gaps in ocean affairs with the civil service of Somalia:

  • Project 89: Providing assistance to Somali legislators and technical officials to facilitate the development of an effective legal framework for the governance of Somalia’s maritime zones and the sustainable development of its marine resources in conformity with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and related instruments, in furtherance of Somalia’s national interests and priorities (June 2019 - July 2021).


Both projects aimed at building an understanding amongst key decision-makers of the relevant provisions of UNCLOS with a view to facilitating the development and adoption of an effective and modern national legal framework for the oceans.  

Project 61 sought to build the knowledge and capacity of Somali legislators and technical officials regarding the rights and duties in the maritime zones set out in UNCLOS, including in relation to the repression of piracy, in order to assist Somalia in developing an overarching legal framework for the effective governance of its maritime domain and the sustainable development of its resources in conformity with UNCLOS. 

Project 89 aimed at building the understanding and capacity of Government officials from the various entities which are actively working on ocean issues and relevant technical officials drawn from all the regions of Somalia, with regard to the international legal framework under UNCLOS and other relevant international legal instruments for the repression of piracy as well as the management and sustainable use of marine resources and activities.



Project 61

With the support of UNSOM, DOALOS delivered Mogadishu-based briefings on the UNCLOS regime were held in October 2014 for a number of key Somali Parliamentarians selected in consultation with the Presidency and the Speaker of the Parliament. A second briefing for Parliamentarians, originally scheduled for the fall of 2015 but postponed due to election in Somalia and the subsequent formulation of a new Government, was delivered with the support of UNSOM, in Mogadishu on 12 and 13 September 2017.



DOALOS convened a five-day in-depth training programme for mid-level to senior-level officials of the Federal Government of Somalia and regional authorities across various relevant ministries and agencies in July 2015 with the support of UNSOM.



Under the guidance of DOALOS, a Somali Research Consultant researched and provided source materials and the information necessary for the analytical framework of a gap analysis of the Somali legislative and institutional frameworks in relation to ocean affairs and the law of the sea. An International Legal Expert Consultant, working with the Somali Research Consultant, undertook a substantive gap analysis and prepared a study with the results of that analysis. On the basis of this study, DOALOS prepared the Overview of the legislative and institutional framework for ocean affairs and the law of the sea in the Federal Republic of Somalia.



Two Somali fellows successfully completed a four-month Strategic Fellowship for Somalia from March to July 2016 hosted by DOALOS at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.


Project 89

Instead of a two-week training programme taking place in Somalia as originally envisioned, due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic DOALOS delivered an online training programme from 15 May to 30 June 2021 DOALOS addressing specific detailed areas of ocean affairs and the law of the sea selected by the Federal Government of Somalia.

These areas were International Fisheries Law, Maritime Regulation and Enforcement, and Law of the Sea. The online training modules were procured through a well-established academic institution, Wollongong University of Australia. The course was delivered to 19 Somali participants drawn from Government and academia.



The Technical Training Programme in Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea for Maritime Law Enforcement Authorities was delivered from 10 to 25 November 2020 in Mogadishu. The Programme was delivered virtually by a number of lecturers from DOALOS, UNSOM, FAO, UNODC, IMO and the Indian Ocean MoU on Port State Control. The Programme was attended by thirty-three civil servants from the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States. It was delivered through a blended format, with the majority of participants, including those from the Federal Member States, attending in-person at a conference facility in Mogadishu. Owing to the extended duration of this Programme, participants from the Federal Member States followed the final two days of lectures remotely, with assistance in internet connectivity provided by UNSOM. The Programme provided an introduction to the key aspects of law of the sea relevant to law enforcement officials, as reflected in UNCLOS and other related instruments.


Somalia assistance
Somalia assistance
Somalia assistance