Security Council calls on Somali parties to protect relief workers

Security Council calls on Somali parties to protect relief workers

Members of the United Nations Security Council today called upon the parties to the conflict in Somalia to respect international humanitarian law and ensure the safety and security of relief workers.

The call came in a statement to the press by this month's Council President, Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso of Colombia, following a briefing on the humanitarian situation in Somalia by Carolyn McAskie, the UN Deputy Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs.

Noting the improvement in the humanitarian situation within the overall context of the Somali conflict, members of the Council stressed that a "substantive and definite improvement in the relief situation could not be sustained without significant progress in the settlement of the conflict and of political reconciliation."

They called on the donor community to extend general assistance by responding to an inter-agency appeal by the UN, stressing the importance of support to UN, national and international organizations in addressing humanitarian needs in Somalia, and to the peace process in general.

Members of the Council also expressed support for the work of the UN Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and non-governmental organizations on preventing female genital mutilation.