Nairobi, 26 March 2010 – On the eve of the Arab League Summit in Libya, the United Nations Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, today said that he was pleased with the momentum of the events taking place related to advancing the Somali peace process.
"We are a quarter of the way into the second year of the TFG's term and managing the status quo is not an option. A number of firm and significant steps have been made that show the willingness and ability of the Government to use this transitional period wisely and for the benefit of the Somali people."
Mr Ould-Abdallah said that the signing of an agreement between the Somali Government and Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'a which took place on the 15 March was an additional indication of the Government's commitment to associate all willing parties towards restoring peace and reconciliation.
On the 23 March, Mr Ould-Abdallah, together with the Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke and Ambassador Boubacar G. Diarra, head of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) opened a meeting of the Joint Security Committee (JSC) in Nairobi. The meeting looked at the progress made to date in area of Security Sector Reform and discussed forward actions required in the area of the Transitional Federal Government's national security and stabilization plan. Training initiatives supported by the European Union and the other members of the international community were also assessed.
"Increasingly, and at a realistic pace, the Government is working together with Somalis and its international partners to achieve the benchmarks within the framework of the Djibouti Peace Agreement," Mr Ould-Abdallah said.
A three-week workshop in Djibouti convening members of the Independent Federal Constitutional Commission (IFCC) ended on 23 March with new parameters laid out for the Constitutional process. The Commission - previously made up of 15 members of the TFG - extended its participants to 30 and appointed a new Chair. The group agreed on an organizational chart, delegating responsibilities to various standing committees and thematic subgroups in areas such as civic education, legal affairs and public awareness. The IFCC is expected to have a final draft Constitution prepared by the 1st of July.
Following up from a meeting held in December last year in Jeddah where the TFG presented its priorities to the International Contact Group (ICG), a meeting of the group hosted by the League of Arab States (LAS) will take place on the 21 and 22 April in Cairo. The meeting will survey what has been achieved and determine what tasks require urgent undertaking.
In accordance with Article 11 of the Djibouti Agreement, a conference addressing Somalia's Reconstruction and Development is expected to take place on 22 May in Istanbul, hosted by the Government of Turkey. High level participation from Somalia and its partners will convene to discuss concrete projects.
"Even though it is still faced with a number of critical challenges, the Somali Government is increasingly a credible partner. If it and the international community stay the course and remain focused, by August 2011 Somalia will have a solid foundation on which to build."