In Security Council debate, States urge support for reconciliation in Somalia
After meeting behind closed doors to hear a briefing by the Somali Foreign Minister, the United Nations Security Council today held an extensive open debate on the situation in Somalia and ways of promoting the national reconciliation process currently under way in the country.
During the open session, in which representatives of over 20 countries took the floor, numerous speakers emphasized the importance of achieving peace and stability in Somalia, which had long been without functioning state structures. Speaking on behalf of the Arab Group of States, Jordan's Ambassador, Zeid Ra'ad Zeid, urged "support for the interim national government in its efforts to promote a comprehensive reconciliation process and national unity." He also underscored the importance of the Arta peace process, and suggested that the Council send a fact-finding mission to the country to begin the process of setting up an observation mechanism to verify the arms embargo imposed by Council resolution 733 (1992).
Speaking for the European Union and associated States, Spain's Ambassador, Inocencio F. Arias, welcomed the upcoming Intergovernmental Authority for Development meeting on Somalia, and stressed that the parties must put aside their differences and participate in the talks without preconditions and with a genuine resolve to complete the national reconciliation process. He also highlighted the importance of resolution 733, stressing that all countries and other actors must comply with its terms.
Speaking to reporters at the conclusion of the formal discussion, Somali Foreign Minister Yusuf Hassan Ibrahim said he had stressed to Council members the importance of humanitarian assistance to his country.
"The international community should support the Somali Government and the people of Somalia in order to re-establish a unified and independent national Government [able] to play its part in securing peace and cooperation within the international community," he said.
According to the text of his remarks to the Council, the country's Transitional Government has improved the security situation by expanding its territorial control, reaching out to warlords to bring them into the political process, and participating in internationally organized reconciliation conferences for Somalia.
The Security Council is expected to meet later this week to adopt a presidential statement on Somalia, the body's current President, Ambassador Ole Peter Kolby of Norway, told the press after today's meeting.