Speech by H.E. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General of the UN, at the Opening Session
 

Excellencies,

I welcome the open, constructive and fruitful discussions we have had throughout the day.

We welcome the strong commitment laid out by President Hassan Sheikh to ensure a timely and inclusive electoral process this year in line with the Mogadishu Declaration.

We urge that work on the implementation plan for this process, and for a political roadmap to prepare universal suffrage elections in 2020, be finalized as soon as possible. We also noted the importance of state formation and the constitutional review, which should proceed without delay.

We underline the urgency of establishing a Constitutional Court and Human Rights Commission.

We have shared our concerns on the security situation. We have welcomed the Government’s proposal for a process to define a national security architecture in consultation with Somalia’s regions. This includes a police plan. We urge quick progress on this critical goal. We pledge to come together as international partners to ensure coherent support.

We reiterate the urgent need to work on a comprehensive strategy to deal with Al Shabaab. We cannot rely only on military operations. We must tackle the grievances that underlie extremism.  We have pledged to support the recovery of communities and extension of state authority and accountability. 

We acknowledge that economic recovery in Somalia at all levels is critical to support peacebuilding and state building. We acknowledge the Government’s efforts on public financial management. We urge that these efforts continue. In that regard, we commit to increase the use of country systems and to support Somali governance with direct funding wherever possible. We recognize the importance of preserving remittance flows – a life line for millions of Somalis.

We welcome the engagement of the International Financial Institutions in Somalia, and encourage them to increase that engagement commensurate with Somalia’s progress in economic management, including to consider the adoption of an IMF Staff Monitored Program.

We recognize the importance of an inclusive approach to peacebuilding. We underscore the critical role of  women and youth in peace and development in Somalia. We applaud the Government’s launch of a Youth Policy and agree to support its implementation.

We agree on the value of the partnerships that we have established under this Compact. We commit to maintain them while making the adjustments to support the National Development Plan. In particular, we stress the urgency to make sure that politics, development and human rights must advance hand in hand, as we work jointly for a stable, united and prosperous Somalia.

Somalia is at a crossroads. We approach the 2016 milestone with cautious optimism, recognizing Somalia’s great potential as well as its serious challenges.

We should not underestimate those challenges – conducting fair and transparent elections; gathering national support of a road-map to universal elections in 2020; conducting the constitutional review; completing a national security policy.

We call on Somalia’s leaders to work together to meet the expectations of their citizens. The United Nations and all international partners pledge our sustained support.

Thank you.