Security Forces and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)
Brussels, 23 April 2009
I would like to thank the Secretary General and the Chairperson of the African Union, the Secretary General of the Arab League, the Secretary General of the OIC, and of course the European Union and the European Commission in particular for their participation, support and contribution to giving this exceptional diplomatic visibility to Somalia. This is the first time in years that such a high level international conference has been convened and has been so well attended, demonstrating strong support to Somalia, its people and its new Government.
The events of September 11, 2001 are a constant reminder that a devastating act can be arranged against a major country from a distant place. That lesson still applies.
Today Somalia is a threat to itself, to the region and to the world with unnecessary violence and continued acts of piracy. Supporting the new Government and President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to be more effective in running the country, will, in the long run, cost far less in human lives and resources than addressing the consequences of renewed instability. These threats are not pure speculation.
To be effective, international support must, as a matter of urgency, help the Government to carry out its state responsibilities. The support should simultaneously encompass development, humanitarian assistance, and indeed security. Today we are putting the emphasis on stability through concrete action to build Somalia's national security forces and provide more capacity to the AMISOM troops.
The funding requested is only a portion of Somalia's many needs in the security field. It is an even smaller percentage if we add development requirements – short recovery and rehabilitation – another essential pillar of stability. The ongoing political process also requires continued support. Somalis yearn for peace, dignity and a normal life as in most ordinary African states.
Today, this Conference sends a clear message to all Somalis that the door is open to every national who supports peace and renounces violence for violence's sake.
Since taking office, the UN Secretary-General has shown his full commitment to supporting Somalia. I have no doubt that you will respond generously and effectively to this call by the UN Secretary-General and the African Union Chairman to bring Somalia back from the brink. The long suffering people of Somalia deserve nothing less.