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In Wake of London Conference on Somalia, Security Council, in Statement, Affirms August Deadline for Ending Transition, Encourages More Permanent UN Footprint

Security Council

6729th Meeting (AM & PM)

In Wake of London Conference on Somalia, Security Council, in Statement, Affirms


August Deadline for Ending Transition, Encourages More Permanent UN Footprint


Ahead of Open Debate, Secretary-General Warns New Window of Opportunity ‘Narrow’;

His Representative Agrees ‘We Do Not Have Luxury of Time’, Urgent Action Required

Security Council members affirmed this morning that the period of political transition in Somalia must end in August and that, in order to meet that deadline, the country’s leaders, supported by the international community, must use the results of the 23 February London Conference to pursue a comprehensive strategy for peace, security and development.

“There will be no further extension of the transitional period,” the Council stressed through a statement read out by Henry Bellingham, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, which holds the rotating presidency this month.  Today’s agreement preceded an open debate following up on the Conference as well as the 22 February adoption of resolution 2036 (2012) expanding the authorized deployment of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) both in troop strength, geographical reach and means of reducing the threat from the Islamist rebel group Al-Shabaab.

“Maintaining this momentum is critical,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said ahead of the read-out of the statement.  He encouraged the entire international community to support the implementation of the communiqué produced by the Conference.  “A new window of opportunity for peace and stability has opened.  But it is a narrow window.  All stakeholders must act with urgency and unity of purpose,” he added.

Mr. Ban’s Special Representative in Somalia and Head of the United Nations Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS), Augustine Mahiga, briefed on challenges including consolidating stability in areas recently liberated from Al-Shabaab, overcoming political challenges, such as the stalemate within Somalia’s Transitional Federal Parliament, and dealing with “spoilers” of the peace process, providing necessary services to the people and bolstering humanitarian mechanisms to fend off a recurrence of famine, all within the narrow window cited by the Secretary-General.  “We do not have the luxury of time,” he declared, adding that “we are faced with a situation that demands urgent action.”

Through the presidential statement, the Council welcomed commitments made at the London Conference to work for a more representative government in Somalia, as well as relocation of UNPOS to Mogadishu, encouraging the United Nations to achieve a more permanent, full relocation there when security conditions allowed.  In line with resolution 2036 (2012), the Council called for further support to AMISOM from existing and new partners.  It also called for increased support to the Somali security and justice sectors.

Affirming the need for effective governance and provision of services in Somalia, the Council underlined the need for further efforts to fight corruption and promote transparency in institutions of the country.  It supported efforts to expand existing stabilization plans to new sectors and welcomed increased international support to that effort.  Affirming also that significant humanitarian needs continued even if the famine had ended, it called for effective assistance and demanded unhindered access to those in need.

Finally in the statement, the Council welcomed new commitments made at the London Conference to repress piracy and renewed international action to address terrorist attacks by Al-Shabaab and other groups.  It welcomed the intention of the Government of Turkey to hold the next conference on Somalia in Istanbul.

Following the reading of the statement, more than 30 representatives of Council members and interested countries took the floor to welcome the recent gains made in Somalia and urge that Somali stakeholders, with international support, ensure that those gains were consolidated through timely implementation of the agreed road map to complete transitional tasks.  Most called for enhanced support to AMISOM as well as to the nascent Somali security and justice sectors and to the fund for localities newly freed from Al-Shabaab control, as well as continued efforts to suppress piracy off the coast and build capacity for prosecution of pirates in the region.

British Under-Secretary Bellingham, speaking in his national capacity, expressed gratitude for the wide participation in the London Conference and said that it was critical to ensure that the Somali-led political process was truly representative and open to all those willing to reject violent opposition.  He stressed that pressure must be put on potential spoilers while support offered to those contributing to positive developments, and he underlined the need for the Somali people to see a peace dividend in the form of development progress.

Somalia’s representative, endorsing statements made by Council members today, hailed the London Conference, saying that it stood out from the other 19 international conferences that had been held on his country since the collapse of the Government in 1991 as it put committed focus on the most critical issues and went well beyond “business as usual”.  He affirmed the commitment of Somali leaders to deliver on agreements already made and to end the transition period on time.  However, Somalia’s problems were long-standing and complicated and commitments from all must be followed up through comprehensive partnership.  “A long journey is ahead,” he said.

Also speaking today were the representatives of South Africa, Colombia, France, Portugal, Russian Federation, India, Morocco, Azerbaijan, United States, China, Germany, Guatemala, Pakistan, Togo, Uganda, Kenya, Turkey, Brazil, Australia, Japan, Luxembourg, Egypt, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Kazakhstan (on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation), Sweden, Indonesia, Norway and Ethiopia.

The head of the European Union delegation also made a statement.

The meeting began at 10:10 a.m., suspended at 1:10 p.m., resumed at 3:05 p.m. and adjourned at 4:10 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of the presidential statement contained in document S/PRST/2012/4 reads as follows:

“The Security Council welcomes the International London Conference on Somalia held on 23 February 2012 and fully supports its conference communiqué.  The Conference demonstrated the international community’s political will and determination to support the Somali people as they build peace and stability in Somalia.

“The Security Council supports the progress made at the London Conference on Somalia, which affirmed international support, progress on the political process, security, increasing stability, economic development and action to address terrorism, piracy and hostage taking.  The Council emphasised the need to build on agreement in London and continue to pursue a comprehensive strategy for the establishment of peace and stability in Somalia through the collaborative effort of all stakeholders.  The Security Council also welcomes the meeting, which preceded the London Conference, on the ongoing and protracted humanitarian situation in Somalia.

“The Security Council further welcomes the consensus in London that the mandate of the Transitional Federal Institutions will end in August 2012 and that there will be no further extension of the transitional period.  The Council welcomes commitments to work for a more representative government in Somalia, in line with the Transitional Federal Charter, the Djibouti Agreement, the Kampala Accord, the End of Transition Roadmap and the Garowe Principles.  The Security Council reaffirms its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia.

“The Security Council reiterates its full support for the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Augustine P. Mahiga, and the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) in facilitating progress towards peace and stability in Somalia, as well as that of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the African Union.  The Council welcomes the relocation of UNPOS to Mogadishu and encourages the United Nations to achieve a more permanent, full relocation to Somalia when security conditions allow.

“The Security Council pays tribute to the contribution of AMISOM and the Somali national security forces to achieving a more peaceful and stable Somalia, and expresses its appreciation for the commitment of troops by troop-contributing countries to AMISOM and the significant sacrifices made by both AMISOM and Somali forces.  In this regard, the Security Council recalls resolution 2036 (2012) authorizing an expansion of AMISOM, increasing the scale and scope of the United Nations Logistic Support Package to enhance the predictability, sustainability and flexibility of AMISOM’s financing, and imposing an international ban on Somali charcoal.  The Council welcomes the valuable financial support provided by the African Union’s partners to AMISOM, including through bilateral support programmes from the United States of America and from the African Peace Facility of the European Union.  The Security Council stresses the need for continued support to AMISOM and calls for further support from existing and new partners to provide equipment, funding for troop stipends to AMISOM and uncaveated funding including through the United Nations Trust Fund for AMISOM.

“The Security council recalls its resolutions 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, welcomes the progress made by AMISOM in reducing civilian casualties during its operations and urges AMISOM to continue to undertake enhanced efforts in this regard.

“The Security Council emphasizes the importance of effective governance in Somalia and the delivery of basic services to the Somali people throughout Somalia.  The Security Council underlines the need for further efforts to fight corruption and promote transparency in Somalia, and welcomes initiatives to increase transparency and accountability in the collection, and efficient use, of Somali public revenues.

“The Security Council underlines that the development of the Somali security forces and institutions is vital to ensure Somalia’s long term security and stability and calls upon the international community in coordination with the United Nations and AMISOM to provide increased support to the Somali security and justice sectors.  The Council fully supports the training of Somalia security forces through the bilateral support programmes of Member States and the European Union Training Mission for Somalia (EUTM).

“The Security Council supports efforts to expand existing stabilization plans in Somalia to new sectors, welcomes increased international support to areas of stability, including through a new stability fund, and encourages further efforts to address Somalia’s long-term reconstruction and economic development.

“The Security Council recognises that while the famine may have ended in Somalia, there are significant ongoing humanitarian needs.  The Council underlines the high number of internally displaced persons in Somalia who urgently need support, and persons in need of emergency relief.  The Council emphasizes the need for the international community to provide well coordinated, timely and sustained humanitarian assistance to the Somali people, and to help build their resistance to future shocks, and stresses the importance of upholding and respecting the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.  The Security Council demands that all parties ensure full and unhindered access for the timely delivery of humanitarian aid to persons in need of assistance across Somalia, consistent with relevant humanitarian and human rights law.

“The Security Council welcomes the fact that effective countermeasures have led to a substantial reduction in the number of successful piracy-related attacks, although it notes with concern the increased incidence of attempted attacks.  The Security Council remains gravely concerned about the ongoing threat posed by piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia, including the issue of hostage taking and the increasing use of violence against hostages,and the extended range of the piracy threat into the western Indian Ocean and adjacent sea areas.  The Security Council recognizes that the ongoing instability in Somalia contributes to the problem of piracy and armed robbery at sea, and stresses the need for a comprehensive response to repress piracy and armed robbery at sea and tackle its underlying causes.  The Council welcomes the commitments made at the London Conference on new efforts to repress piracy, including efforts by bilateral donors and regional organizations to strengthen the capacity of Somalia and relevant States in the region to prosecute those responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia and to imprison convicted pirates.

“The Security Council remains gravely concerned about the threat posed to Somalia and the international community by terrorist attacks by Somali armed opposition groups, in particular Al-Shabaab, and welcomes the commitment made at the London Conference for renewed international action to address this threat, while ensuring full respect for the rule of law, human rights and international humanitarian law.  The Council also stresses the importance of addressing conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.

“The Security Council welcomes the intention of the Government of Turkey to hold a Conference on Somalia in Istanbul.

“The members of the Security Council will keep the situation in Somalia under close review.”


The Security Council today held an open debate on the situation in Somalia, following a briefing by the Secretary-General and his Special Representative Augustine Mahiga.  For a summary of the report before the Council, document S/2012/74, see Press Release SC/10550 of 22 February.


BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, commending the leadership of the United Kingdom in sustaining international support for Somalia following the London Conference, said that the summit, the AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) resolution and the Garowe II Consultative Conference held last month had presented “a rare opportunity to the Somali people and the international community to rapidly advance the peace process, albeit with guarded optimism, and to bring Somalia fully back to the international arena”. 

He said that military gains in the country should be consolidated through continued progress by Somalia’s leaders in the implementation of the road map for ending the political transition, with the international support reconfirmed by the London Conference.   At the Conference, he had received assurances that the guard force, as authorized by the Council, would be deployed.  “I looked forward to the day when Somalia forces themselves ensure security and this force will no longer be needed,” he added.

He was pleased to report that Mr. Mahiga had relocated to the capital, Mogadishu.  The initial deployment was focusing on the core business of the United Nations Political Office in Somalia (UNPOS), but additional staff would deploy as accommodation and other logistical facilities became available.  He hoped that would happen within the coming weeks.

“Maintaining this momentum is critical,” he said, thanking Turkey for agreeing to host a second conference and asking the Security Council to encourage the international community to support the implementation of the communiqué from the London Conference.  UNPOS would require immediate human and financial resources “to put in place the processes and structures for ending the transition period in a satisfactory manner within a tight timeframe”. 

“A new window of opportunity for peace and stability has opened.  But it is a narrow window.  All stakeholders must act with urgency and unity of purpose.  We cannot afford to miss this opportunity,” he concluded.

AUGUSTINE MAHIGA, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, briefing the Council via video-conference from Mogadishu, said that during “Garowe One”, principles had been adopted on parliamentary reform, elections, the Constituent Assembly, the Independent Electoral Commission, the new Parliament, as well as the sequencing of timelines for ending the transition in August. “Garowe Two” had deliberated on operationalizing the earlier Principles and had also considered key constitutional provisions related to federalism, the system of Government and other important constitutional issues, such as land policy, citizenship and sharia law, which had been included in the draft constitution.

He said that the challenges before the international community were in implementing the Garowe process within a very tight timeframe.  Indeed, the drafting of the constitution had to be completed by the end of this month, and the selection process for the 1,000-member Constituent Assembly for over eight community-based constituencies, including women, must be completed in eight weeks, leading to the adoption of a provisional constitution by the end of April.  “This is an enormous exercise in political outreach and logistical organization,” he said.  Failure to consolidate control over the recovered areas could create a vacuum and allow warlords to use the instability to their advantage.

Local populations must know that the departure of Al-Shabaab should be followed with peace dividends, he said, and to that end, the Transitional Federal Government had issued in January a “national policy for reconciliation and stabilization in newly liberated areas of south-central Somalia”.  The United Nations aimed to pursue a multipronged approach, which would reach out to the existing local actors and convince them that the only meaningful way forward was to work with the transitional authorities, and identify and implement, jointly with AMISOM and the United Nations country team, quick-impact projects that brought immediate dividends to the local population.

He said that another ongoing challenge was the political stalemate within the Transitional Federal Parliament.  The continued efforts of the United Nations and the African Union to resolve that crisis had yet to bear fruit.  The break-away group had rejected the Garowe process and had passed a motion bringing forward the presidential elections earlier than July or August, to 30 April, but the President, the Council of Ministers and the National Security Committees had declared that process illegal.

“I am concerned that this parliamentary vote and stalemate could disrupt the painstaking gains which the Somali stakeholders and their partners have achieved,” he said, stressing that Parliament had paralyzed the peace process.  He had actively continued to engage both the Transitional Government leadership and the two factions in Parliament to find a way out of the impasse and restore the unity and functionality of Parliament.  “It is critical that we preserve the institution of Parliament as it has a central role to play in the peace process and other maters of governance, but we should not allow the group to hold hostage the process to end the transition,” he said.

He went on to say that spoilers continued to benefit from the protracted conflict that had prevailed in Somalia over the past 10 years.  The international community must identify such internal and external trouble-makers — both State and non-State actors — and take decisive action to end their obstructive activities.  Likewise, if the spoilers manifested their influence inside transitional institutions, including Parliament, the Somali political leadership, in close collaboration with the region, individual Member States and the wider international community, should stand ready to put in place the appropriate mechanisms to protect the implementation of the road map.  “This will require the collective effort by the international community,” he said.

The London Conference had brought unprecedented attention to the two-decade Somali political crisis.  The Conference had also reaffirmed the centrality of Somali ownership of the peace process and the need for coordinated and scaled up international support.  The meeting had also received a “great boost” from the Council’s recent decision to increase AMISOM’s troop strength from 12,000 to a maximum of 17,731, sending a message to the international community of peace, security and stability for Somalia by reducing the threat of Al-Shabaab.  For the Somalis, the Council’s move had brought encouragement and hope as it had also recognized the need to expand the development of the capacity and effectiveness of the Somali security forces.

Continuing on that point, he was pleased to report that the African Union Commission had already begun implementing resolution 2036 (2012), through, among others, a meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee, chaired by the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security and with AMISOM troop contributing countries, and that Mission’s Force Commander aimed to give advice on AMISOM’s Concept of Operations.  Meanwhile, on the eve of tomorrow’s fifth anniversary of the mission’s presence in Mogadishu, AMISOM and Transitional Federal Government forces had captured the Al-Shabaab and terrorist base of Maslah on the outskirts of the capital.  Further, the Transitional Government force, along with Ethiopian troops, had captured the strategic town of Baidoa last week.  In the south of the country, Kenyan and transitional forces were pressing ahead with a steady ground offensive.

Turning to the humanitarian situation, which he recalled had been noted in the communiqué from the London Conference, he said the famine had begun to loosen its grip and relief agencies had been able to increase the population’s access to food and to contain disease outbreaks.  However, unacceptably high rates of child mortality, disease and malnutrition persisted, with more than 320,000 Somali children coping with acute malnourishment.  As such, many areas that had pulled back from the cusp of famine were on the verge of falling back, he said, noting by example that, in a village of some 5,000 people, one person died of hunger every day, usually a child.  Consequently, some 2.34 million people in Somalia were still categorized as facing humanitarian emergency conditions requiring immediate life-saving assistance throughout 2012.

“Let us remember that humanitarian assistance in Somalia continues to be provided in the context of conflict,” he said, stressing that fighting disproportionately affected civilians.  The relocation of his office from Nairobi had enabled him to engage more easily with transitional authorities and other key Somali stakeholders.  It was important for the international community to deploy to Mogadishu without delay, especially as efforts to step up implementation of the road map gained momentum.  “I hope that my presence in the country will encourage other international organizations and diplomatic premises to follow,” he said.

“We do not have the luxury of time,” he declared, adding that:  “We are faced with a situation that demands urgent action.”  The transitional authorities remained the international community’s main Somali interlocutor, and, therefore, building their capacity was critical to transforming the country into a functioning State.  Somalia today had the greatest opportunity to end the two-decades-long conflict and bring lasting peace and stability to the entire country.  Yet capitalizing on that momentum and ending the transition on time would require more efforts from all international actors in the coming months.  “We must ensure that all of as are pulling together in this regard,” he said, explaining that he was developing a plan to, among other things, support the establishment of a functioning Constituent Assembly and facilitate the establishment of a new bicameral Parliament, and support outreach to Somali civil society and the diaspora towards implementation of Garowe II.  He also planned to ensure that the Mogadishu stabilization plan, as well as “low-hanging fruit” activities, was implemented, both in the capitol and newly recovered areas.  “For all this to happen, we need strong political and financial support form this Council,” he said.


DOCTOR MASHABANE (South Africa) said the adoption of resolution 2036 (2012) was an important achievement, and he particularly welcomed the authorization to increase the troop level to 17,731, as requested by the African Union.  Indeed, the resolution was an important milestone and further testimony to the commitment of the United Nations to help AMISOM and the Somalia leadership to consolidate the progress made towards the completion of the transition process, and he commended the contribution and sacrifices of AMISOM’s troop contributing countries.  Even as he welcomed those important developments, he reiterated South Africa’s long-held view that the military strategy for Somalia needed to be in support of a broader and strategic political objective, stressing that investment in the military operation should be viewed, not as an end, but a means to the creation of a conducive environment for political engagement and dialogue. 

He thus called on the international community to continue its support for Somalia's Transitional Federal Institutions, and said the extension of the Transitional Federal Government’s authority throughout the country had to lead to improvement in the lives of ordinary citizens.  In that regard, he encouraged the international community to continue its support for building the Somali judicial capacity.  Piracy remained a critical challenge off the country’s coast, and he urged the international community not to forget that the solution to that problem had to come from land and not sea.  Equally, Somalia’s myriad challenges, including its humanitarian situation as well as terrorism, would persist as long as the instability was not addressed.  In addition to the humanitarian support already provided, South Africa was finalizing further assistance in the areas of social services, health facilities, school infrastructure, and small business development.

NÉSTOR OSORIO (Colombia) welcomed the results of the London Conference and other recent progress on Somalia while also acknowledging the continued risks, saying that progress in all areas must be consolidated and lead to sustainable development.  It was crucial that the international community help strengthen the State institutions.  AMISOM was fundamental, and it was critical to provide it with the necessary resources, as well as the forces of the Transitional Government.  Expressing concern over reports of violations of the arms embargo, he called for a harmonization of forces in Somalia through the cooperative work of all Somali leaders to bolster security.  Building capacity for Somalia to fight piracy was also critical, which required the provision of other economic opportunities and addressing the issue of maritime borders.  He encouraged all stakeholders in Somalia to redouble their efforts to implement the road map, with the United Nations providing targeted and integrated assistance towards that end.

MARTIN BRIENS (France) said that all stakeholders in Somalia must work to ensure that recent gains were lasting.  He called for a swift mobilization of the additional forces authorized for AMISOM and the speedy establishment of a chain of command for Somali national forces.  Noting assistance of the European Union for AMISOM, he said that discussions were being held on increasing that aid.  It was vital that new donors share that responsibility.  He expected all Somali stakeholders to adhere to the timeline of the road map; also critical was the establishment of local administrations in areas liberated from Al-Shabaab.  He welcomed the establishment of a new fund for that purpose.  He encouraged the relocation of UNPOS staff to Mogadishu as soon as possible.  Turning to piracy, he called for intensified efforts to build prosecution capacity and the adoption of anti-piracy legislation in the region. 

JOSÉ FILIPE MORAES CABRAL (Portugal) said for the past several months, Somalia had been undergoing positive developments.  While some situations remained worrying, the international community remained committed to ensuring peace and stability in that country.  That commitment was evident during the London Conference, the work of the African Union to help assist the peace process, and the Security Council’s recent decision to increase the AMISOM’s troop strength.  It was also clear by the recent decision of the Turkish Government to hold a follow-up conference in Istanbul.  The international community must also remain committed to improving the humanitarian situation and step up the combat against piracy.  In all that, efforts to ensure peace and stability and promote good governance hinged on the will of the Somali people and Transitional leaders, and he urged them to press ahead with implementation of the Garowe process.  He also encouraged a wide pool of donors to contribute to financing AMISOM, particularly its military components.

VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) expressed hope that the London Conference would help catalyze progress towards settlement of all issues in Somalia, which had entered a critical stage.  The main priorities were suppressing the activities of Al-Shabaab and moving forward with the Garowe process.  While there had been some success against Al-Shabaab, there was recent evidence that that and other terrorist groups remained active and capable of carrying out attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere.  Continued support for AMISOM was necessary to combat such groups.  Somalia was awash in weapons and it was therefore important for all States to enforce the Security Council’s weapons embargoes to stop the flood of illegal arms from Libya and elsewhere.

He said that force could only be accompanied by a full-fledged political process, and that exercise could only be led by Somalis themselves.  In that regard it was necessary for the Transitional Federal Government authorities to bring all Somalia parties together and to expand the Government’s control throughout the country, especially in recovered areas.  He was also worried about the ongoing “piracy business” and had been encouraged by the call of the London communiqué to address that issue.  The Russian Federation would continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that Somalia became a stable and secure country.

HARDEEP SINGH PURI (India), welcoming the results of the London Conference, said that the past year had been a “mixed bag” for Somalia; despite the gains, millions still suffered from the humanitarian crisis, the implementation of the road map left much to be desired and Al-Shabaab remained a serious threat, despite the pressure it was under.  The transitional institutions, in that context, could consolidate the gains by urgently addressing the issues of governance and basic services in areas recovered from Al-Shabaab.  Welcoming the recent Council resolution expanding AMISOM, he hoped that the Council agreed on the inclusion of naval assets for reimbursement of contingency-owned equipment when it considered the extension of AMISOM’s mandate later this year, noting that India made an uncaveated contribution of $2 million in 2011 to trust funds for AMISOM and stood ready to provide further support. 

He called for intensified and broad-based efforts by Somali stakeholders to implement the road map.  He also called for the international community to think about adopting a comprehensive counter-piracy strategy that included the sanitization of the Somali coastline, the enactment of necessary national laws, and patrolling, to which India continued to contribute.  He also expected the transitional institutions to contribute to the effort.  Finally, he stressed the need to expand development assistance to Somalia as an integral part of international efforts, and India would continue its contributions in that regard.

MOHAMMED LOULICHKI (Morocco), welcoming recent developments in Somalia and international support for the country, said that the only guarantee for a sustainable constitutional order in Somalia was progress by Somali stakeholders through broad-based participation in constructive nation-building.  The six months remaining in the transitional period were crucial in that regard.  Equally important was reducing the threat posed by Al-Shabaab, but security achievements could not be sustainable without effective administration in the areas liberated from the group.  He, therefore, welcomed the targeted fund for localities.  He also hoped that the improvement of the security situation would improve humanitarian access and that international solidarity would increase in that area as well.  He looked for a return to normalcy in Somalia, which was located in an area critical for the future of the African continent.

AGSHIN MEHDIYEV (Azerbaijan) said as Somalia moved towards the end of the transition, additional steps were needed to protect the security and political gains of the past few years, and ensure that all efforts ultimately contributed to the delivery of the road map.  Azerbaijan believed that continued international assistance to the Transitional Federal Government to implement the end of transition was necessary to bring unity, peace and stability to that country.  While it was obvious that Somalis had to take over responsibility for their own security and develop their own justice system to deal with the threats to their security, it was essential that political, security and institutional reforms conformed to the pace of military gains.  Also, while it was encouraging that combinations of measures, including those of the Transitional Government, had contributed to the decline in the number of successful piracy-related attacks, further effective counter-measures and strengthened international cooperation were crucial against the background of the ongoing threat posed by piracy and armed robbery of the Somali coast and increased incidents of attempted attacks.

He said that the long-awaited durable peace in Somalia demanded the economic recovery of the country suffering from the grave consequences of the two-decade war and instability.  It was important to expand existing stabilization plans to new sectors and to increase international support to areas of stability, and to encourage further efforts to address Somalia’s long-term reconstruction and economic development.  In that context, Azerbaijan welcomed Turkey’s initiative to host a conference next month that would focus on Somalia’s economic development.  On the humanitarian situation, he stressed the importance of lasting support to Somalia and the need to redouble efforts to find long-term solutions for internally displaced persons.

JEFFREY DELAURENTIS (United States) said Somalia stood at a critical moment; the international community had a limited window of opportunity.  Al-Shabaab had been driven from the country and the transitional authorities now had a blueprint to implement a strategy for a secure and stable State.  Yet, the country was also recovering from the worst humanitarian crisis in recent memory.  The international community, as recently reaffirmed at the London Conference, was committed to ensuring and maintaining progress on all those fronts.  “We have accomplished much, but this is no time to lose momentum:  we have six months and we must use them wisely,” he said, stressing that the participants at the London Conference had galvanized the international community towards the realization that August must be the deadline for the end of the transition process, for which critical next steps included completing the drafting of the constitution and installing the Constituent Assembly.  Essential to that would be developing an effective communications and outreach strategy.  The United States would continue its support to that end, as well as to all efforts to combat the spoilers trying to derail the peace process.

He reminded the Council that sanctions only worked when they were implemented, and he urged all States to support the Council’s charcoal ban and to work harder to stop the flow of terrorist finances.  The Council should continue advancing international cooperation in those areas, with the overall goal of paving the way for Somalis to take over their own security.  The sacrifices made by AMISOM and national security forces were a testament to their dedication to the fight against terrorism and other security challenges.  Support for AMISOM must become a truly international effort, especially to secure critical maritime support assets in the coming months.  The international community must also help to ensure immediate humanitarian assistance for all in that crisis.  The United States remained particularly concerned about the plight of Somali women and children, many of whom were susceptible to sexual and gender-based violence the longer the conflict lasted.

WANG MIN (China) said the peace process in Somalia was moving forward and the end-of-transition road map was being implemented, and the humanitarian situation had significantly improved.  Yet, the overall peace process remained “an uphill battle”, which called for greater efforts by Somali parties and the wider international community.  He urged Somali parties to press ahead with national reconciliation so the road map could be implemented effectively and the transition period could end on time.  The international community had recently begun to scale up its activities in Somalia, as witnessed by the Council’s recent decision to increase AMISOM troop levels, the successful convening of the London Conference, and ongoing efforts of such regional bodies as the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).  He urged continued support so that the Garowe process would be completed and the transition brought to a successful conclusion.

PETER WITTIG (Germany), aligning himself with the European Union statement to be delivered, welcomed recent developments, but warned that the way ahead was not easy.  “It will be long, winding and extremely challenging,” he said.  He pledged his country’s continued significant support through the United Nations, the European Union and bilateral assistance.  The relentless engagement and support of the international community should encourage the Somali leaders to achieve tangible progress in the implementation of the road map and address the many questions still unresolved.  Finding administrative and security arrangements for the newly liberated areas in the south and centre of Somalia remained a priority.  Spoilers in the peace process must be dealt with. 

Turning to piracy, he affirmed that the threat remained active, that prosecution capacity needed to be further strengthened and that efforts against profiteers of the crimes needed to be increased, noting that his country had provided substantial support to anti-piracy efforts.  Finally, he stressed the need to implement the new Strategic Concept for AMISOM in a timely and comprehensive manner, noting the contributions made by the European Union and reiterating the call for more donors, for the mission as well as for strong Somali security forces, which he called a key factor.

GERT ROSENTHAL (Guatemala) said that even with the support extended at the London Conference, Somalia had a challenge before it like that of a marathon runner, given the time left to draft the constitution and finish all tasks of the political transition.  “Rigid discipline on the part of the authorities and civil society of the country, as well as strong support from the international community, will be required if this highly ambitious itinerary is to be met,” he said.  The Security Council must remain vigilant on the compliance with the deadlines.  Welcoming the requirement of 30 per cent women in the new Somali Federal Parliament, he trusted that the country’s new Government would be more representative of the Somali people.  Reiterating that support to AMISOM must be predictable, he added that capacity-building of Somalia’s forces was also critical.  He also strongly supported expanding stabilization plans to recovered sectors and stressed that the sustainable management of Somali natural resources must benefit the local population.  He was pleased, therefore, that Somalia’s economic development was on the agenda of the forthcoming Istanbul conference.

RAZA BASHIR TARAR (Pakistan) said that, at the present critical juncture in Somalia’s quest for peace and stability, “hope outweighs the usual scepticism associated with the country”.  The end of the transition process in August should mark the end of conflict spanning more than 20 years.  A domestic consensus among all political stakeholders was essential to oversee the changes during this critical period, and Pakistan welcomed the commitment of the Somali leaders, through the Garowe process and the London Conference, to work towards a representative post-transition Government, in line with the Transitional Federal Charter, Djibouti Agreement and Kampala Accord.  Political progress would remain fragile without corresponding gains in security, and the role of AMISOM would be crucial in that regard.

He said that Security Council resolution 2036 (2012) had increased the mission’s scope and expanded the logistical support package.  An upgraded mission would help meet the objectives for Somalia set by the African Union and the United Nations.  Pakistan supported the addition of the maritime component to AMISOM to combat piracy and armed robbery in costal areas, including by complementing international activities in the Gulf of Aden.  As part of the international naval coalition, Pakistan could attest that strong coercive measures alone were not enough to eradicate piracy; the root causes of the scourge must be addressed, including on land, through ending political strife and dealing with environmental degradation.  Illegal fishing in the country’s waters must also be stopped.

KODJO MENAN (Togo) said the current debate, following on the heels of the London Conference, was testament to the will and determination of the international community to ensuring peace and stability in Somalia.  Togo believed that such international solidarity would undoubtedly have a positive impact on the future of Somalia, which had long been beset by conflict.  The adoption of resolution 2036 (2012) had also been a show of support, but it had also sent a message to the Somali transitional authorities that such support was only supplemental to the goals that they themselves set for their own country.  Togo, therefore, supported home-grown efforts to address security sector needs and justice reform, as well as capacity-building to ensure the creation of effective post-transition institutions.  He urged the international community to continue to support the aims of the African Union and to live of up to the London communiqué.

HENRY BELLINGHAM, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, speaking in his national capacity, expressed gratitude to all countries that attended the London Conference.  To build on the London platform, he said that it was critical to ensure that the Somali-led political process was truly representative and open to all those willing to reject violent opposition.  Pressure must be put on potential spoilers while support offered to those contributing to positive developments. 

He called for all international partners to comprehensively support and fund AMISOM, as well as Somali security and justice sectors.  Coordination and focus must be improved in that area, so that the need for international troops would eventually be removed.  On piracy, he welcomed progress in international coordination.  He also said it was essential to support local institutions by the mechanisms created in London as well as large-scale investment in Somalia’s development, to show a peace dividend to the people.  “There was an opportunity now more than ever to build stability in Somalia,” and efforts to that end must be redoubled.

ELMI AHMED DUALE (Somalia) thanked the international community for the attention paid to his country.  He said that the outcome of the London Conference was hailed by “most well-meaning Somalis inside and outside the country”.  There had been 20 international conferences on Somalia since the collapse of the Government there in 1991.  Commendable, good-faith efforts had been made at all those conferences, but the tangible difference in London was the wide attendance of the international community and Somali stakeholders, focusing on the most critical issues with renewed commitment, well beyond “business as usual”.  He welcomed the forthcoming Istanbul conference as well.

He endorsed the statements made by Security Council members today.  Somali leaders had committed themselves to deliver on agreements already made and to end the transition period on time.  However, commitments from all must be followed up.  “A long journey is ahead,” he said, hoping for enhanced support for the efforts to implement the road map, including financial and increased security support.  Somalia’s problems were long-standing and complicated.  Comprehensive partnership was needed to overcome them that included more funding for stability initiatives and the productive sector, so that progress made could be maintained.

ADONIA AYEBARE (Uganda) said that his delegation was convinced that peace and stability in Somalia were attainable, especially in light of the progress that had been made by the Transitional Federal Government.  He encouraged those authorities to complete the outstanding transitional tasks and welcomed the commitments made at the London Conference to work towards a more representative Somali Government in line with the Garowe Principles and other agreements.  “We believe that a representative Government will enhance greater accountability and unity, which is essential for peace and stability in Somalia,” he said, adding that his delegation appreciated the Council’s recent expansion of AMISOM’s scope in support of the African Union-United Nations strategic partnership.  He also urged scaled-up efforts to build the capacity of Somali security forces and institutions, whose roles would remain vital.  In addition, the international community must remain cognizant of the troubling humanitarian situation, and all stakeholders must redouble their efforts to support the relief workers and aid agencies.  He also stressed the need for a “durable and effective approach” to combating piracy in the region, which included addressing its land-based causes.

JOSEPHINE OJIAMBO (Kenya) said that today’s meeting came on the heels of a host of recent activities in support of Somalia, including the Council’s recent adjustments to AMISOM’s mandate.  Yet, resolution 2036 (2012) did not provide a maritime component to that mission even though that aspect was critical to overall success in Somalia, including in the fight against piracy and international terrorism.  While she hoped that gap would be addressed later in the year, in the meantime the huge costs of sustaining the maritime operation continued to weigh heavily on Kenya and it would soon be necessary for an alternative form of assistance to enable it to continue those operations. “It is our hope that our international partners will support us in this crucial endeavour,” she added. 

She outlined her Government’s long commitment to ensuring peace and stability in Somalia and also recognized the critical support being provided by Uganda, Burundi and Ethiopia.  Their efforts and Kenya’s decision to “re-hat” its troops into AMISOM’s forces would strengthen the mission, especially towards elimination of Al-Shabaab, which had recently declared its affiliation with Al-Qaida.  Kenya’s ongoing pursuit of Al-Shabaab and other extremist elements had so far liberated large areas of Somalia and freed large segments of the population from the groups’ control.  As the international community pursued political and military objectives, it must not lose sight of the humanitarian situation.  Kenya hosted some 600,000 Somali refugees at Dadaab camp, and it stood ready to work with the international community to map out a firm and durable solution, including the return of that population to its home country.  “Indeed, Somalia, now more than ever, needed its displaced human resources to help speed up its recovery,” she said, adding that humanitarian actors should take advantage of the ouster of Al-Shabaab from some areas to resettle refugee populations.  “This is a matter of utmost urgency as Kenya can no longer continue carrying the burden occasioned by this situation.”

ERTUĞRUL APAKAN (Turkey) agreed that now was a critical time to build on recent gains to solidify peace and stability in Somalia.  In that effort, the transitional federal institutions should spare no effort to complete their remaining tasks on time.  “Military gains without political progress will be in vain and create a political vacuum, which would only serve the spoilers,” he said.  The priority of the international community must be to unconditionally support the Somali authorities to fulfil their responsibilities.  He stressed the importance as well of increased support to AMISOM.  In the time ahead, other priorities included national reconciliation, development of security-sector institutions and the establishment of regulatory and administrative bodies for the State and economy.  Also key were development, job creation and assistance targeted at avoiding a recurrence of famine. 

He said that Turkey, for its part, had launched one of the largest aid programmes in its history in support of the Somali people, opened an embassy in Mogadishu in November 2011 and was planning to establish regional development offices.  He announced that tonight, Turkish Airlines would start regular service between Istanbul and Mogadishu.  The second conference on Somalia, to be held in Istanbul on 1 June, would be aimed at following up the London Conference and consider the post-transition strategy.  “The people of Somalia deserve peace, security, stability and welfare.  It is our common responsibility to make it possible,” he said.

REGINA MARIA CORDEIRO DUNLOP (Brazil) welcomed the adoption of resolution 2036 (2012) and the authorized expansion of AMISOM and increased support package.  As AMISOM strengthened its operations, it needed to take extra care to protect civilians from the consequences of conflict and avoid deepening humanitarian problems in the affected areas.  Pointing out that the humanitarian situation in Somalia remained a source of major concern, she said that while the famine had ended, the country continued to need assistance.  In her view, progress in Somalia depended on the commitment by the Somali transitional institutions to uphold the agreements reached among the stakeholders, and Brazil was convinced that a stable Somalia would require a comprehensive strategy that combined security with development.  Whatever progress had been achieved on the political, military and humanitarian fronts must be consolidated through the creation of conditions for long-term development and resilience to further crises, she added, noting that generating economic opportunities for the Somali people also needed urgent attention.  In that regard, Brazil provided significant humanitarian assistance, through food donations and financial support, and pledged to continue to do so to the country’s best ability.

THOMAS MAYR-HARTING, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, reiterated his deep concern about the situation in Somalia, as well as the Union’s determination to support the Somali people, who needed peace, a prosperous economy and a stable political future to be able to live in security under the rule of law.  Only such improved governance would bring an end to the suffering of the Somali people, as well as to the twin scourges of terrorism and piracy beyond Somalia’s borders.  The European Union had set out its approach on Somalia with its Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa, adopted in November 2011, and was putting its words into action through a wide range of development, political and counter-piracy interventions, totalling some €1 billion.  Overall, the Union looked to Somalis to build a new Somalia based on the Garowe Principles and the Kampala agreement.  All Somali groups that renounced violence and allowed humanitarian access should be included in that process, he added.

Continuing, he said the European Union’s largest contribution to the broader international effort on Somalia had been in the area of security, and to that end, he welcomed the withdrawal in recent months of Al-Shabaab from some key cities.  The Union remained a steadfast supporter of AMISOM and praised the bravery and commitment of the mission’s staff and leadership.  It also supported security to create space for good, inclusive governance and for improving lives through development.  “We must tackle both the causes and symptoms of instability,” he said, stressing that the Union, already the largest donor to Somalia, was increasing its development assistance to support governance, education and economic development.  While encouraged by the United Nations announcement on 3 February that the famine conditions in Somali had ended, he stressed that nearly 2.5 million people remained in crisis.  “We continue to call on all parties involved to allow unfettered access to Somalis in need,” he said.  Turning to piracy, he said that poverty and unemployment were the main drivers of that scourge, and the European Union’s development aid programmes aimed to bolster the country’s education and job-creation sectors.

GARY QUINLAN (Australia) said the London Conference had helped sharpen the international community’s collective focus on tackling Somalia’s complex challenges in a more comprehensive and coordinated way.  While he shared the guarded optimism of others about Somalia’s recent progress, he said that for that country to truly turn a corner, “it will require rapid, sustained and coordinated action from all stakeholders”, as well as strong political leadership from the Somali authorities themselves.  Indeed, developing legitimate Government institutions and mechanisms that were broad-based and representative was a fundamental first step towards ensuring that the people of the country had a say in their future.  There had been many failed attempts to bring stability and effective governance to Somalia, the consequences of which had been clear:  extremism, violence and terrorism, which continued to threaten Somalia, wider East Africa and beyond.  The international community, therefore, must not let the tentative progress of recent dissipate, he said, looking forward to the forthcoming Istanbul conference as an opportunity to ensure that 2012 marked a turning point in Somalia’s history.

TSUNEO NISHIDA (Japan) said that after more than two decades of devastation, a window of opportunity had finally opened for Somalia, thanks largely to the efforts of the Transitional Government, the Somali people and the international community.  He also appreciated the efforts of AMISOM and its troop contributing countries.  Japan remained fully committed to ensuring that Somalia made the most of recent achievements on the political front, including the Kampala Accord and the Garowe process, which specifically paved the way towards the end of the transition by August.

He said that Japan had taken the lead in the effort to reinforce the national and AMISOM police forces and, in that regard, had contributed some $38 million through two United Nations trust funds to provide stipends for 5,000 Somali police officers.  That contribution had also helped build police stations, as well as to procure equipment, including armoured vehicles.  Turning to the issue of piracy, he said that while his Government had been pleased that counter-measures had recently begun to bear front, it was nevertheless concerned that the scourge was extending its deadly grip into the western part of the Indian Ocean.  To help combat piracy, Japan had joined 20 other countries that were prosecuting alleged perpetrators, and had recently pledged some $2 million to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) trust fund to that end.

SYLVIE LUCAS (Luxembourg) said the next six months would be crucial for Somalia, and, heading into the final phase of the transition process, it would be primarily up to the Somali actors, including the transitional authorities, to size the opportunity to ensure a stable country that was governed by the rule of law and which left no space for pirates and terrorists.  She noted with satisfaction the recent retreat of the Al-Shabaab militia from strategic towns in the south of the country and welcomed the efforts of AMISOM and of neighbouring countries helping to keep that scourge at bay.  However, she said the humanitarian situation remained worrying, and although the World Food Programme (WFP) had recently announced that the famine had ended, close to one-third of Somalia’s population, particularly those people living in areas still controlled by Al-Shabaab, remained in need of emergency humanitarian assistance.  Luxembourg called on all parties to allow unhindered access of relief workers and stressed that Al-Shabaab’s continued denial of access by the main international relief agencies was unacceptable.  A sustainable solution for Somalia required putting in place a combined security, political, humanitarian and development strategy, in line with the plan adopted by the European Union in November 2011.

MAGED A. ABDELAZIZ (Egypt) noted recent developments that he said showed the determination of all concerned parties to create a new reality in Somalia, which promised a better future for all Somalis.  He reiterated the need, however, to implement the road map tasks to end the transition and to address the Somalis’ development and humanitarian needs.  The international community, in that light, should redouble efforts to support AMISOM and assist the transitional authorities to expand State authority beyond Mogadishu, enhance security, provide basic services and address the dire humanitarian situation.  All parties should commit themselves to facilitating access for humanitarian relief. 

Towards a comprehensive fight against piracy, he reiterated the need for an approach that built on security and political progress with serious developmental efforts that responded to the needs and aspirations of Somali youth for more jobs and a better standard of living.  Egypt, he pledged, would continue to lend its support in many areas, to allow Somalia to restore its role in the Arab, African and Islamic spheres and create a better future for all Somalis.

CESARE MARIA RAGAGLINI (Italy) said that his Government would continue to play a role in support of the Somali peace process.  It planned to host in Rome the next meeting of the International Contact Group and would ensure an Italian diplomatic presence in Mogadishu.  In the area of security, it funded the salaries of some 3,720 Somali security officers.  While the international community should do its part, the Somali authorities had the primary responsibility for achieving peace and stability in their country.  He believed that there now existed concrete opportunities for Somalis to re-build a viable State living in peace with its neighbours.  Political will, along with support from regional organizations committed to reconciliation, would be required to take advantage of those opportunities.  The Djibouti process provided the framework for a peace strategy that was open to all stakeholders.  Further extension of the transition process was not an option; neither was continuing the status quo.  Security, stability and effective governance would foster Somali development, and thus tackle the root causes of terrorism and the scourge of piracy.  Italy continued to believe that terrorism and piracy could not be combated by military means alone and required a comprehensive and well-coordinated strategy that combined deterrence, prosecution and rule of law, capacity-building and development.

CARSTEN STAUR (Denmark), aligning himself with the European Union’s statement, surveyed recent gains in Somalia and said it was critical for the international community to respond to the new opportunity for progress there.  Noting that his was a sea-faring nation and that two of its citizens were long-term captives of pirates, he stressed the importance of working with both the Transitional Federal Institutions and regional Governments to ensure the prosecution of pirates.  A lasting solution to the Somalia crisis could only be political, however, and Somali leadership needed to ensure that the political transition ended on time.  A strong international message must be sent to transitional leaders to use the opportunities provided to them and “get to work”.  Coordination of all assistance efforts, sur place, was critical. 

He commended the United Nations for expanding its footprint in Somalia and urged that presence be expanded to all regions of the country.  More also needed to be done to ensure that women were included in the political process.  In addition, he urged other countries to step up contributions to AMISOM as his country had done.  Denmark also stood ready to contribute to the fund to help stabilize the newly liberated areas, another important endeavour, and would continue to fight terrorism.  Finally, he stressed that the resilience of communities across the region needed to be built through a stronger, more coordinated and long-term response.

PEKKA HAAVISTO, Horn of Africa Special Representative for the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, said his Government was a member of the International Contact Group for Somalia and had been actively supporting the efforts of the Transitional Federal Government and the United Nations.  In addition, Finland had been taking part in naval and anti-piracy activities off Somalia’s coast.  Importantly, the large Somali diaspora also sought a peaceful solution to the crisis, and Finland supported their participation to that end, including that of elders and traditional leaders.  He said that the London Conference had refocused international attention on Somalia and had reaffirmed the message that, due to improvements in the security situation, it would be possible to complete the transition by the end of August and support reconciliation and development in areas that were relatively safe.  Once the transition process was complete, a great deal of work would still be needed to ensure peace and stability in the country.  The broader peace process would therefore need to be inclusive, and all parties who distanced themselves from terrorism should be welcomed to participate in building a stable country.  “This opportunity should specifically be open to women and youth who are often excluded form these processes,” he said.

BYRGANYM AITIMOVA (Kazakhstan), speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said that concerted actions on the part of the international community in collaboration with the Somali parties was now urgently needed more than ever to enable the country to make a new beginning.  Outlining recent gains, she said it was important now that political differences not derail progress.  She, therefore, welcomed agreements reached in Garowe as well as commitments for women’s representation, which she said were a particular priority.  Exploratory contacts of the OIC with some Somali opposition elements had reinforced, in addition, the need for reconciliation initiatives to provide an opportunity to moderates who were willing to join the peace process.  Military measures alone would not deliver sustainable peace, she commented.

Supporting other priorities of security, constitution-making and good governance, she said that the international community must ensure its support was provided in a coherent manner.  Efforts must be sustained as well to further address the food situation, including root causes, in the months ahead to avoid another shortage.  In particular, the gap left by the expulsion of 16 non-governmental organizations must be filled. 

She urged that the cultural affinities of the OIC be utilized in that context, explaining that the Organization would soon move from emergency relief to development in Somalia by focusing on the relocation of internally displaced persons to their home villages.  A number of water projects would be implemented in that context, and a joint project in education and health was being finalized with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), following contributions to meet the crisis last year.  The organization and its members were determined to be “pace setters” in humanitarian efforts in Somalia, and stood ready to expand cooperation with others in that regard.  She expressed hope that Somalis and all partners would live up to their commitments in the critical time ahead.

MÅRTEN GRUNDITZ (Sweden) said that it was urgent to maintain the momentum for the Somali political process generated by the London Conference, through ensuring support for a Somali-led reform agenda that aimed to produce broad-based and representative political representation when the Transitional Government ended its mandate at the end of August.  By that time, a democratic constitutional framework must be in place to further unify the Somali people and rally them to the common purpose of reconciliation and nation-building.  Flexible, transparent and accountable financial mechanisms should be further developed and operationalized.  At this crucial moment, the Somali leadership, the Transitional Federal Institutions and the road map signatories had a particular responsibility to demonstrate a constructive commitment to an inclusive government.  He also stressed that the nexus between security, political progress and recovery should be strengthened and that the goals of AMISOM to protect civilians must be constantly upheld.  He echoed the call of other speakers that the European Union’s contribution to AMISOM needed to be complemented by that of other donors.

DESRA PERCAYA (Indonesia), aligning himself with the statement made on behalf of OIC, affirmed that national authorities in Somalia must be fully responsive to the needs and wishes of Somali citizens and that the regional and international community must also do better by strengthening its support to Somali-identified solutions.  Welcoming the results of the London Conference, he underscored the importance for the future government to be fully representative of the Somali polity.  In that context, national reconciliation was crucial. 

Expressing deep concern by continuing terrorism and violence, he said that the increase of AMISOM troops must be supported by adequate and predictable resources.  Building well-functioning and accountable State institutions and reducing poverty would go a long way towards creating an environment conducive to ending violence and piracy.  He supported strengthened international cooperation to prosecute piracy under the Convention on the Law of the Sea.  He pledged that his country would play its part in helping to realize peace, security and prosperity for the Somali people.

MORTEN WETLAND (Norway) said:  “We are now at a critical turning point, not only for Somalia, but for Somalia’s relationship with the international community”.  Working together, concerned stakeholders and Somali parties now had an opportunity to bring Somalia out of the misery and political chaos that had plagued it for far too long.  “If we are successful, it will be the start of a new and more hopeful life for the Somali people, and a major step towards ending the threat of violence, terrorism and piracy that affects both the region and the wider international community,” he said, noting that Norway would help the Somali leaders seize the current opportunities, through providing resources to help alleviate the humanitarian situation.  It had also decided to contribute some $2 million to the new Stabilization Fund for Somalia, and would support the process for electing a new Parliament and elaborating a new constitution.  “We strongly urge both members of this Council and other countries to use the opportunity we now have to go the extra mile in supporting the effort to bring peace to Somalia and the region,” he said.

TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia) said that most of the progress in Somalia had been on the security front. Indeed, Al-Shabaab had suffered a series of defeats, and the recent extension of areas controlled by the Government was a significant turning point in the effort to stabilize Somalia.  Such gains had not been made without sacrifice, and in that regard, he expressed gratitude to AMISOM and troop contributors Uganda and Burundi.  Kenyan and Ethiopian forces had also been helping, highlighting increased cooperation for peace among East African countries.  The liberation of the town of Baidoa on the eve of the London Conference had helped validate the belief that Al-Shabaab had lost momentum.

He said that even with the success in the security environment, because the crisis in Somalia was largely political, resolving it required a political approach.  The transitional authorities had been making progress in that regard, including through the approval of the Garowe process, which paved the way for a successful completion of the transition by the end of August.  But the challenges were so great, the international community needed to scale up its support on all fronts, especially regarding security.  Indeed, the aim must be to keep Al-Shabaab on the run and to ensure that its funds were disrupted or cut off completely.  The entire Horn of Africa was united behind the effort to stop Al-Shabaab, he said, underlining the cooperation among IGAD, the African Union and the United Nations.

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For information media. Not an official record.