Thank you for your commitment to Somalia, and thank you for your participation discussing the situation in Somalia. I am glad to see so many partners, including the leaders from Ethiopia, Italy and the United Kingdom who jointly suggested this meeting.
I am delighted to welcome my co-chairs, the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
I would like to salute the leadership of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, the Federal Parliament and the Federal Government, in carrying out an ambitious political process under challenging circumstances.
I wish to express appreciation to the African Union for its continued support to the Federal Government’s security and stabilization efforts, especially the latest joint operations against Al-Shabaab. We pay tribute to AMISOM, the Somali security forces and the Somali people for their courage and sacrifice.
I also take this opportunity to recognize the staff of the United Nations, under the leadership of Special Representative Nicholas Kay, and other international partners serving in Somalia for their dedication to peace.
The peace process in Somalia is gathering momentum.
Since we last met, the Federal Government has set out its “Vision 2016” plan for Somalia’s political transformation. Agreements have been reached to forge interim administrations in south, south-west and central Somalia. I welcome IGAD’s important support to these developments.
But there is no time to lose if elections are to take place in 2016 as the President has pledged. I urge all Somalia’s political institutions to keep this process on track. Parliament has a central role to play in establishing the National Independent Electoral Commission and the Boundaries and Federation Commission that must be delivered this year.
National reconciliation remains crucial. I welcome the efforts of the emerging interim regional administrations, together with the Federal Government, to convene inclusive reconciliation conferences. Inclusive local administrations are also urgently needed in newly recovered areas. The participation of women at all levels in these processes and in Somalia’s institutions is an imperative.
Political progress also depends on security, the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights. I welcome the recent discussions in London on building effective and human rights-compliant security forces. I urge the Federal Government to firmly place human rights, especially the protection of women and children, at the centre of its state-building policies and programmes.
The current operations to recover more locations from Al Shabaab are critical to enable delivery of critical supplies to communities cut off by the group’s blockades.
I remain extremely worried about the humanitarian situation. Malnutrition rates are again on the rise. If we do not increase humanitarian support, all other gains could be jeopardized.
I am pleased to announce that the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund under the Somali Compact is operational. We are also working with the World Bank on an initiative to promote resilience and economic development in the Horn of Africa.
There is much work still ahead. I urge you, Mr. President, and the Federal Government to redouble efforts to deliver on “Vision 2016” and the Somali Compact. Yet they cannot achieve this ambitious agenda alone. As we look forward to the High-Level Partnership Forum in Copenhagen in November, I appeal to the international community to continue its support to Somalia so that its people can reap the dividends of peace.
The United Nations remains strongly committed to supporting these efforts.