National Statement by Sweden at the Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Somalia

National Statement by Sweden at the Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Somalia, Friday, 27 January 2017, New York.

Thank you, SRSG Keating, Special Representative Madeira, and Ms. Asha Gelle for your briefings. Thanks also to Foreign Minister Omar for joining us here today for this important discussion.

At the outset, I want to express our condolences to the Government of Somalia and to the victims' families for the deplorable attack in Mogadishu on Wednesday. This was yet another example of Al Shabaab’s barbarous attempts to derail Somalia’s Peace- and State building process, as well as the country’s efforts to consolidate democratic progress.

Today’s discussion is timely as it comes as the largely successful electoral process is coming to a close, and more worryingly, at a time of increased humanitarian needs, due to drought, as well as continued instability.

Sweden welcomes the successful electoral process, both in terms of its peaceful implementation and the overall positive outcome. We complement both the Somali security forces and AMISOM for having successfully provided a secure environment where major attacks, of a nature that could have derailed the process, were prevented.

The new parliament is both inclusive – 25 percent of parliamentarians are women, 16 percent are under 35 – and renewed, with half its members elected for the first time. This is welcome; all members must now focus on building a better future for all Somalis. With the announcement of the Presidential Election on 08 February, the focus must now move to forming a government that can set priorities for continued peace- and state building. Ensuring clear Somali ownership and responsibility, the international community must play its role, supporting the many tasks ahead.

Building a better future for all Somalis should benefit from the input of all Somalis, and the presence here today of Ms. Asha Gelle is a testimony to a vibrant civil society. The representation of women and youth seen in parliament must be replicated at every level in peace- and state-building efforts.

Colleagues,

The report before us today highlights a deteriorating humanitarian situation, which is likely to worsen in coming months. There is an urgent need to address the effects of the ongoing drought. Five million people are already suffering from acute food shortages. A rapid scale up of humanitarian assistance is critically needed if famine is to be avoided.

AMISOM remains of crucial importance for the stabilization of Somalia. We commend the TCC’s and their soldiers, and pay tribute to their efforts and sacrifice. Sweden and the EU are, and remain, committed to supporting AMISOM, both financially and politically. Funding gaps must be addressed and we join the AU in calling on the international community at large to assist the effort, while we also need to look, with an open mind, at different options. However, achieving sustainable peace and stabilization in Somalia goes beyond AMISOM. The development of a credible and capable Somali national security sector must be a priority, within a well-coordinated comprehensive approach to security 

It is unforgivable that the people of Somalia must endure a seemingly endless cycle of violence, famine and humanitarian crisis. The current humanitarian situation underscores just how high the stakes should the new political leadership fail to deliver. A failure to respond to basic needs of the population undermines confidence, and could have severe security and political consequences. While immediate needs must be met, long term solutions must be found so that Somalia and all Somalis can enjoy a better future.

Thank you.