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22 February 2017

Somalia’s Leaders Must Rally behind New Government, Says Secretary-General, in Message for Presidential Inauguration Ceremony

Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message, delivered by Michael Keating, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, to the inaugural ceremony for Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo”, in Mogadishu today:

I am pleased to extend my congratulations to President Mohammed Abduallhi Mohammed “Farmajo” on his inauguration — and to the people of Somalia on the federal electoral process.

I commend outgoing President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for his gracious welcome and offer of support to the new Administration.

Four years ago, the federal Government of Somalia was conceived to help realize the Somali people’s dreams for democracy, peace and prosperity.  Its peaceful handover of power today is a milestone in that effort and constitutes a major step towards the goal of one-person-one-vote elections in 2020.

As we mark this occasion, we also recognize the vital role of AMISOM [African Union Mission in Somalia] and Somali forces in providing a secure environment throughout the electoral process.  On behalf of the United Nations, I express my deep appreciation to the international partners, including the African Union, European Union, IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development], the League of Arab States and donor countries for their support to the electoral process and the wider recovery efforts in Somalia.  Their combined support illustrates the international community’s hope to see the people and Government of Somalia united in building their country.

This means taking on the hard challenge of strengthening the [Somali] National Army to protect the people of Somalia everywhere.  It means reaching the final compromise to establish a permanent constitution.  It means, with the support of the federal Government, the federal member states extending basic governance and services to all cities and towns.

No one individual or institution can accomplish these goals alone.  All Somali leaders must rally behind the new Government so that corruption is removed and Government revenues are restored.  The new members of the federal parliament should make the most of this opportunity to secure impartial and proactive of legislation to put the Cabinet in place and empower the Government to address the country’s challenges.

As the Government and the parliament take on the State-building business together, I urge the international community to give its full support to meet the urgent needs of the people of Somalia.  Our immediate priority in this regard must be to generously assist the Somali Government in its response to the devastating drought.

The United Nations is proud to play its part at this critical moment in Somalia’s history.  The new Government can count on the determined support of the United Nations as it moves toward peace, development and human rights for all the people of Somalia.

For information media. Not an official record.