Your Excellency Mr. Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, (President of Somalia),
Your Excellency Mr. Jean Ping, (Chairman of the African Union Commission),
Ladies and gentlemen,
I thank all the participants for their commitment to our longstanding work in Somalia.
Two years ago, the international community agreed on a three-phase strategy to help address Somalia's daunting political, security and humanitarian challenges:
First, support to the Somalia government and the African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM; second, the implementation of humanitarian and recovery activities followed by the establishment of a light UN footprint; and finally, conditions permitting, the deployment of a UN peacekeeping operation at the appropriate time, subject to a decision by the Security Council.
There has been important progress since then.
A broad-based Transitional Federal Government is in place.
The constitution-drafting process is proceeding.
AMISOM is nearing its planned strength of 8,000 troops and is holding its ground. The UN is providing substantial logistical support to these troops.
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the African Union and the broader international community are determined to enhance their support to the government.
Many elements are falling into place for transforming Somalia's prospects.
But action is urgently needed to make sure that we do not waste this crucial opportunity.
Above all, the violence must stop.
The leaders of the Transitional Federal Institutions must overcome their internal differences, strengthen the security forces and complete the transitional tasks.
The Transitional Federal Government should also focus on delivering basic services to the Somali people, pay salaries to the security forces and continue efforts to build up the security sector.
This would go some way to fulfilling two of the three pillars of the Djibouti agreement –political cooperation and security.
Reconstruction, the third pillar, is also vital, and here I believe the Somali business community, inside the country and in the diaspora, has a role to play.
The international community must also do more.
I appreciate the generous contributions made by donors, but serious funding gaps remain, both to the government and to AMISOM.
On piracy, the international community has established a Contact Group and deployed ships. But we should do more to implement existing laws and tackle the problems on land, where piracy originates.
For our part, the United Nations will continue to support AMISOM, the Somali security forces and the political process.
We are working with IGAD and the AU so that the Transitional Federal Institutions work better together. I commend the great service of the troops from Burundi and Uganda.
On the humanitarian front, the number of people in need of aid in south-central Somalia has dropped in the past six months, partly due to a bumper harvest. But this reduction may be temporary. I urge the international community to maintain its support.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Less than one year of the transitional period remains.
As much as the international community can help, the success of the Djibouti peace process -- and Somalia's future -- will be determined primarily by the extent to which Somalis themselves can find the will to overcome their differences and work together for peace.
The United Nations will remain Somalia's close partner in this effort.