I send my best wishes to this Conference and especially to His Excellency the President of Somalia as he and his Government continue the hard work of charting a new path of stability and hope.
Last December, we committed to the New Deal process for Somalia, with the aim of ensuring lasting progress in political reconciliation, security, the rule of law and economic and social development.
Today we take forward that commitment by endorsing the Somalia New Deal Compact and aligning international support to implement its principles and priorities.
I congratulate the Somali people and Government for bringing different stakeholders together in crafting this new Compact. And I applaud the remarkable work of the European Union that has guided the international contribution to it.
I remain optimistic about the future of Somalia. Behind the day-to-day crises and violence, some of the fundamental foundations for progress are in place:
an international community united behind a credible, legitimate Federal government; resources to meet the most immediate needs; and political will to compromise and manage disputes.
It is right that we focus today on the political agenda. The political process will lay the foundation for all other peacebuilding and statebuilding goals. The success of the political process rests, fundamentally, on inclusive politics.
Recent weeks have seen notable efforts by the Federal Government to promote national dialogue and reconciliation. I welcome the agreement reached on 28 August in Addis Ababa, which sets out interim governance, security and economic arrangements for Lower Juba, Middle Juba and Gedo. The United Nations condemns in the strongest terms the violent attack on a vehicle in which the leader of the Interim Juba Administration was travelling. We call for calm and for all parties to continue their efforts to advance peace in Kismaayo.
The Vision 2016 Conference held this month in Mogadishu marked the start of a new dialogue among Somalis over federalism, governance and reconciliation.
I encourage the continuation of efforts to develop the Federal States, advance the constitutional review process and prepare for elections. The United Nations stands ready to play its part, particularly in promoting progress in relations between the Federal Government and other entities, including those in Puntland and “Somaliland”. This includes genuine national reconciliation through Somali-to-Somali dialogue.
Even as Somalia’s transformation deepens, recent atrocities in Mogadishu and elsewhere remind us that Somalis continue to pay a high price at the hands of terrorists. I pay tribute to the courage and sacrifice of AMISOM and Somali forces. We must all help AMISOM to regain the initiative against Al-Shabaab. The Somali national army is also ready to do its part, and must be properly backed in a coherent and sustainable way. The Compact will play a critical part in achieving this.
I am especially pleased to note the adoption of a post-transition Human Rights Roadmap, which will point the way towards a society built on the rule of law and justice, where the most vulnerable are looked after, where all have a voice and the role of women is recognized and enhanced.
The New Deal is about the people, for the people, and with the people of Somalia. Our meeting today is a milestone, the beginning of a new partnership based on mutual commitments and accountability that bind all of us in support of Somalia.
In this new era, Somalia assumes full responsibility for setting its own priorities and charting a course to deliver them. The Somali people and Government are determined to rebuild a shattered state and rescue millions of people from conflict and poverty. This is the moment for Somalia’s international partners to reaffirm their full commitment to this difficult but essential work.
I therefore call on all partners of Somalia to align their political and financial support in a well coordinated and sustained fashion. The United Nations stands ready to assist the Government to coordinate international assistance in line with Security Council resolution 2102. In this context, I am pleased to announce the establishment of a rule of law window as part of the broader UN Multi-Partner-Trust Fund.
The United Nations will continue to support the Government’s efforts to bring the political process, security needs, human rights protection and development activities together under one framework. The United Nations will also continue to improve its own operations in Somalia, promoting international coordination and working progressively towards strengthening national systems.
Somalia is breaking new ground today. Tomorrow the hard work starts in earnest, including even more efforts to consult and communicate the New Deal to all Somalis. The United Nations will do its utmost to support Somalia on the long journey ahead.