New York

24 January 2012

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Somalia

Further to the Secretary-General's announcement during his recent visit to Somalia, the United Nations Political Office for Somalia officially relocated today to Mogadishu. This relocation demonstrates the strong commitment of the United Nations to work alongside the Somali people and their leaders to build peace, political stability and a hopeful future. It will permit intensified political cooperation and engagement toward these goals.

The initial relocation, led by the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Mr. Augustine P. Mahiga, along with core staff, will be followed by deployments of additional staff as resources and security permits. The Secretary-General hopes that this important development will encourage others to follow suit.

The Secretary-General pays tribute to the efforts and sacrifice of the Somali people and the African Union Mission in Somalia to make this relocation possible. He commends the men and women serving in the United Nations and partner organizations who operate under difficult conditions in Somalia.