The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Gerard van Bohemen (New Zealand):
On 27 September the members of the Security Council were briefed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating, and the Special Representative of the African Union Chairperson on Somalia, Francisco Madeira, on the situation in Somalia.
The members of the Security Council underlined that holding a peaceful, transparent and inclusive electoral process in 2016 will mark a historic step forward for all Somalis, and will be fundamental for the country’s continued progress towards democracy and stability.
The members of the Security Council expressed regret at the announcement by the Federal Indirect Election Implementation Team on 26 September that the timetable for the 2016 electoral process required a further extension.
The members of the Security Council underlined the need for all parties to uphold their commitments to hold an electoral process within the revised timeline and to reach agreement on the remaining political challenges without further delay.
The members of the Security Council called for all parties to adhere to the implementation plan put in place by the Federal Indirect Election Implementation Team, and to demonstrate the political will to ensure the revised timetable will be met.
The members of the Security Council noted Somalia’s significant progress since 2012 and underscored the imperative of maintaining momentum towards democratic governance in Somalia.
The members of the Security Council underscored the need for legitimacy to be bestowed until the electoral process is completed, and for governance arrangements to be agreed by the Somali authorities in order to avoid an institutional vacuum.
The members of the Security Council agreed with the Secretary-General’s expectation that no party will take any action that could undermine a smooth and credible political transition, and underscored that this period should not be used for political gain.
The members of the Security Council emphasized the importance of adhering to the political road map between now and 2020, in particular in order to reach one‑person, one-vote elections by 2020.
The members of the Security Council urged the federal Government of Somalia to ensure that the electoral process is conducted in a peaceful, transparent and credible manner, in a climate of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedoms of expression and association. They recalled the federal Government of Somalia’s commitment to reserve 30 per cent of seats in the Upper and Lower Houses for women and urged all parties to take the necessary steps to ensure the implementation of these commitments.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their strong condemnation of recent Al-Shabaab attacks and paid tribute to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army for their efforts in reducing the threat posed by Al-Shabaab. The members of the Security Council called on the federal Government of Somalia and AMISOM to put security arrangements in place to ensure the safety of those participating in the process.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their support for Somalia during this critical period and beyond, and that they would continue to follow the implementation of elections closely.