UN committed to help Somalia deliver ‘for its people’ — Global Issues

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Catriona Laing, who additionally heads the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), briefed ambassadors on developments throughout eight areas, together with politics, safety, ladies’s political participation, and humanitarian affairs.

She expressed the UN’s “unwavering support towards the state-building agenda” in Somalia, underscoring that the Council’s assist is central to the nation’s success.

“Through our collective support, Somalia is demonstrating that a country can emerge from prolonged conflict to one that delivers for its people and acts as a force for good in the region,” she stated.

Solid progress

UNSOM works with the Federal Government of Somalia and federal member states to assist nationwide reconciliation and supply strategic and coverage recommendation on points comparable to peacebuilding and state-building, amongst different mandated duties.

An African Union (AU) power within the nation, ATMIS, is within the means of drawing down. Somalia has requested a smaller AU mission, targeted on safety, in addition to UN logistics assist to strengthen nationwide methods and capability.

Ms. Laing reported that the Federal Government has made stable progress in latest months in implementing its priorities. Some of those “very significant achievements” included finishing a essential safety roadmap, becoming a member of regional bloc the East African Community, and securing the lifting of a Security Council arms embargo.

‘Tragic events’

However, 2024 received off to a difficult begin for the “UN family” in Somalia, which continues to work to safe the secure return of personnel aboard a UN helicopter that was reportedly seized by Al-Shabaab militants on 10 January.

The following day, a member of a UN Guard Force Unit was killed in an Al-Shabaab oblique fireplace assault on the UN compound within the capital, Mogadishu.

“Despite these tragic events, our focus remains on supporting Somalia with its rightly ambitious agenda over the year ahead,” she assured the Council.

Maintain momentum, attain consensus

On the political entrance, Ms. Laing reported {that a} proposed new electoral mannequin in Somalia continues to be intensely debated. Broad public assist for the transition to one-person, one-vote elections has additionally include the belief that proposed timelines are too bold.

The UN is working with the authorities to develop a practical plan that can guarantee momentum in direction of one-person, one-vote is maintained. The international physique has additionally welcomed Parliament’s approval of the procedural guidelines for constitutional modifications.

“It is now urgent to reach an inclusive consensus on the electoral framework. And on the constitution, we encourage all parties to engage in the spirit of compromise to finalize the process,” she stated.

“Without an agreed constitution, Somalia remains vulnerable to perennial crises with no agreed rules of the game to enable resolution.”

Controversial deal

Turning to regional developments, Ms. Laing knowledgeable the Council concerning the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) introduced final month by Ethiopia and “Somaliland”, the breakaway area within the north. The deal reportedly grants Ethiopia a 50-year lease on 20 kilometres of shoreline in trade for sure political and financial advantages.

Although the complete particulars usually are not out there, public pronouncements concerning the MOU have generated sturdy hostile reactions, she stated. Furthermore, terrorist group Al-Shabaab have been exploiting the state of affairs as a device for recruitment – a worrying improvement.

“We recognise that the strong feelings in Somalia are putting pressure on the Government to respond, and we encourage the President to remain measured in his response,” Ms. Laing stated.

“I echo the words of the Secretary-General who has recalled that the Security Council has repeatedly affirmed its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Somalia, and called for all parties to engage in peaceful and constructive dialogue and to refrain from inflammatory words or actions that could further escalate tensions.”

Combating Al-Shabaab

Meanwhile, countering Al-Shabaab stays a prime Government precedence, and the authorities at the moment are getting ready to resume large-scale operations following heavy rains and flooding which hampered exercise in direction of the top of final yr.

There have been constructive developments on stabilization in newly recovered areas, particularly in rule of legislation, governance, reconciliation and the supply of primary providers, and she or he urged companions to assist UN programmes deployed in these areas.

The handover of safety obligations to the authorities in December was additionally an vital symbolic milestone for Somalia, and the second section of the ATMIS drawdown was efficiently accomplished by the top of January, regardless of delays.

As planning is now underway for a brand new AU-led mission, Ms. Laing stated plans for drawdown may have to be revised to enable for a easy transition and to stop a safety vacuum from rising.

Honour the quota

Women’s political participation and illustration stays one other critical problem and the UN continues to assist efforts to obtain a 30 per cent quota amongst parliamentarians.

Ms. Laing has met with ladies leaders who careworn that the 30 per cent minimal should be enshrined within the structure at present underneath evaluation. They additionally expressed sturdy assist for one-person, one-vote, and voiced sturdy opposition for the MOU, warning that it has the potential to spark battle that may disproportionately have an effect on ladies and ladies.

She informed the Council that Somalia’s humanitarian disaster stays dire. Last yr noticed the worst drought in many years, adopted by heavy rains and intensive flooding that affected greater than 2.4 million folks.

A $1.6 billion humanitarian plan for this yr goals to assist 5.2 million most weak folks. Although this represents an almost 40 per cent discount from 2023, it’s in step with a brand new, extra focused method, given dwindling humanitarian funding globally.

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