Speaking at the first day of the Somalia Partnership Forum in Brussels on Monday, senior United Nations officials commended the country’s government for its efforts in political reform, security, economic development, and recovery and humanitarian assistance – while flagging the need for further progress and international support for these efforts.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo praised Somalia’s leadership for the steps it has taken in developing a political roadmap for inclusive politics, especially with regard to preparations leading to the 'one person, one vote' elections in 2020-2021, and advances in its constitutional review process.
“The Federal Government of Somalia would need to continue its efforts in building constructive relations with all those who would benefit from its leadership: the federal Parliament, Federal Member States, political groups and civil society,” said Ms. DiCarlo.
“This will ultimately help to stabilize the political environment, achieve further progress and strengthen Somalia’s resilience against pressures that risk undermining its unity,” she added.
The Horn of Africa country is facing a range of political, developmental, security and humanitarian challenges as it rebuilds after decades of armed conflict and climate-related shocks.
Taking place in the Belgian capital, the two-day Forum also spotlighted the importance of supporting a nationally-owned and led reconciliation processes.
Ms. DiCarlo noted that further progress is needed to strengthen the constitutional, legal and institutional foundations of the Somali Federal State, including allocation of powers and resource sharing.
“Despite the challenges that may arise, it is critical that these processes are conducted in an inclusive, consensual manner to ensure ownership by the Somali people,” she said, adding that the UN is committed to advancing inclusive politics in Somalia.
“We are providing technical, financial and logistical support, and we strongly support nationally-owned and -led reconciliation processes, including the national reconciliation framework,” Ms. DiCarlo concluded.
In his remarks, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia Michael Keating encouraged the international community to “keep Somalia on the agenda,” and noted that the inclusive approach in Somali politics needs to be extended to building national security in an effort to build trust.
“I cannot commend the Government enough for its commitment to a genuinely holistic approach, to recognizing that it is not only about military and operations, it’s also about building institutions, rule of law, accountable local governance, reconciliation and countering violent extremism,” he said.