National Statement by Sweden at the Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Somalia
National Statement on behalf of Sweden, Ambassador Olof Skoog, at the Security Council briefing on the Situation in Somalia. Tuesday, Wednesday, 17 May 2017, New York.
Thank you Mr President,
I would like to start by thanking the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson for Somalia for their briefings this morning. Their remarks and the report of the Secretary-General underline the significant political progress that has been made in Somalia during the reporting period. The political and security advances of recent months must be consolidated and built upon, as all of you have already said.
It is clear that continued international support for the government and people of Somalia will be necessary as they seek to build on the promise of recent gains and to tackle the remaining challenges. In this regard, I would like to extend our thanks to the government of the United Kingdom for hosting and arranging the very successful conference on Somalia in London on 11 May. We strongly welcome the result; not least the Security Pact and the New Partnership for Somalia, which will guide our continued cooperation and support for the country. The important agreement between state and federal leaders on the architecture and accountability of Somali security forces was instrumental in making the Security Pact possible.
Important peace- and state-building tasks remain. These include a resumed review of the constitution, based on inclusive, transparent and broad based consultations, and preparations for national elections in 2020 and 2021. The building of trust and constructive relations within and between the federal member states and central government will be key.
The strengthening of the capacity of local governance and institutions must be a top priority, with the aim of building confidence in the legitimacy of state functions, including through the provision of basic social services. The agreements reached last week will be of fundamental importance for our continued and increased cooperation in support of these efforts.
The United Nations has walked the difficult road of the past with the Somali people. Going forward, it will be essential that we configure UN support for Somalia appropriately as the outcome of the London Conference is implemented. Therefore, we welcome the strategic review of the United Nations' presence in Somalia and look forward to engaging constructively with Council members on the renewal of UNSOM's mandate.
The ongoing strategic review of AMISOM is equally important so as to ensure well-calibrated and well-coordinated support to Somalia. It is crucial that the projected drawdown of AMISOM is conditions-based, and synchronized with a corresponding strengthening of Somali Security Forces. A failure to carefully manage this process could imperil the political and security gains already made. We should also acknowledge AMISOM's critical role in counter-terrorism efforts in Somalia, which has positive effects also well beyond borders of Somalia. Given its importance, we recognise that AMISOM deserves more predictable and sustainable financing to carry out its mission and we look forward to the Secretary-General's recommendations on how to achieve this.
We are greatly concerned about the current drought conditions, the impact on the lives and livelihoods of Somalis is immense and devastating as we heard this morning. While first and foremost a humanitarian issue, we must recognise that the drought could also have severe security and political implications.
We commend the impressive efforts so far by the government and the international community to respond, which have avoided a more wide-spread famine, but it is essential that we sustain the effort, to the end of the year at the earliest. However, urgent humanitarian assistance needs to be coupled with efforts to build long-term resilience to droughts and other crises.
As Chair of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, I would like to highlight the Conclusions on Somalia adopted last month. It is important that they are now implemented, particularly the recommendation regarding UNSOM's Child Protection mandate on the need to allocate sufficient child protection capacity to the mission. We would also like to express particular concern regarding the continued detention of children by federal and regional authorities.
I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome the detailed reporting on cross cutting issues, including on women's empowerment and women, peace and security in the Secretary-General's report.
We also commend UNSOM for having scaled up protection efforts in light of increased incidents of sexual violence following the humanitarian emergency. We note that the Secretary-General's strategic review of UNSOM says that the women, peace and security agenda should be better integrated into UNSOM's mandate, going beyond protection of women to also include their participation.
The review's call for a strong emphasis on the good offices and conflict resolution role of the mission is also important. We look forward to discussing how this can be achieved in the updated mandate.
Despite the challenges still facing the government and people of Somalia, the significant progress made in the reporting period underlines the potential for Somalia to move forward towards peace and stability. The outcome of the London Conference shows that the international community remains committed. We must all now redouble our efforts to implement the outcomes for the good of all Somalis.