Swedish Statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Somalia
National Statement delivered by Ambassador Skoog on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Somalia, 13 September 2018, New York.
Thank you very much Madame President,
I thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson for Somalia, and the Executive-Director Phumzile for your briefings this morning. Your remarks and the report of the Secretary-General underline the significant political progress that has been made in Somalia and the region during the reporting period.
The past few months have seen positive regional developments take place at an astonishing pace, mainly driven by the rapprochement between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The tripartite summit in Eritrea and last week’s high-level meeting in Djibouti between the Foreign Ministers of the region, hold out the prospect of true change and a possibility to end the instability that has plagued the Horn of Africa for far too long.
And I want to take this opportunity to welcome, as others have done, our new colleague from Ethiopia, and repeat how important it is that we, the Security Council, recognize and acknowledge the historic significance of the decisions taken, not least by Ethiopia, and the positive momentum that those decisions have had for the entire region and how such leadership should serve as a model for so many other situations that are frequent on our agenda.
And it is imperative in that light that Somali actors now seize this opportunity for historical and significant change and continue this positive trajectory in addressing its own internal conflicts, not least the aggravated situation between Somaliland and Puntland.
We strongly welcome the Federal Government’s positive agenda and the high goals it has set for Somalia. It is important that a constructive and inclusive political dialogue continues at all levels when taking on the challenging tasks ahead, not least regarding constitutional review, the strengthening of federalism, and preparing for general elections in 2020-2021 - which will be the true peace accord for Somalia.
The recent deterioration of relations between the federal member states and the federal government are of great concern in this regard. We urge all stakeholders to promptly meet in the National Security Council, to address current grievances through mutually respectful dialogue. Functioning collaboration between the government and the member states is a precondition for moving the government’s ambitious reform agenda forward, and for Somalia’s aspiration of debt relief and economic development to be advanced.
We welcome the successful outcome of the Somalia Partnership Forum in July, co-hosted by my government, Somalia and the European Union, as it was an important opportunity to take stock of progress made and setting priorities ahead. Active support from the international community to Somalia’s development remains crucial.
We commend the federal government’s ambitious and hitherto successful economic reforms. Continued reforms are central for the overall state-building process in Somalia and for restoring trust in the Government. It is important that efforts are now geared towards the implementation of more demanding reforms. We also commend the steps taken by the Government and the federal member states on security sector reform. The adopted Transition Plan needs to be swiftly and successfully implemented. To this end, strong commitment by Somali actors, as well as by AMISOM, its TCCs and other partners, will be vital. Better coordination of the international support will also be crucial. We need to acknowledge however, that the build-up of security in Somalia will take time. We must therefore also continue to address the challenges to AMISOM’s efforts, including by ensuring adequate, predictable and sustainable funding.
We commend the efforts of UNSOM to engage women and its efforts towards increasing their political representation. The executive Directors briefing shows how gender issues are central to peace and security in Somalia. The Council needs to stand with the federal and state governments in their efforts to advance gender equality. Dedicated support for women’s participation is needed, not just regarding elections, electoral reforms and the constitutional review process, but also for efforts to advance national and local reconciliation, prevent violent extremism and reform the security sector. In this regard, Sweden is working to create a women network for mediation in Somalia. We commend the reporting on gender equality and women’s empowerment, in order to better follow up on these issues we would in future reports welcome the use of gender-disaggregated data.
We also welcome the reporting with respect to climate related security risks as there is no doubt that they have a direct impact on the stability and security of the country. We look forward to receiving further information and risk analysis to this end. We also welcome the Resilience and Recovery Framework launched by the Government at the Somalia Partnership Forum, as this will help us be proactive instead of reactive in the face of climate related threats.
I want to just conclude by thanking SRSG Michael Keating again for your relentless engagement and valuable work for Somalia’s development. We welcome your reform of UNSOM and the introduction of the Comprehensive Approach to Security which paved the way for a more effective approach of the international communities’ efforts in Somalia. We are also highly appreciative of the good cooperation we have enjoyed with you and your staff in Somalia and wish you every success in your next assignment.
Thank you very much, Madame President