New York, 18 June 2010
I would like to thank the Council, collectively and on an individual level, for your renewed and increased attention to the "question of Somalia". As I have noted earlier, Somalia is a serious threat to itself, the region, and the world and therefore should remain a priority on your agenda. The Security Council's visit to Djibouti in June 2008 and the recent trip by your Sanctions Committee on Somalia and Eritrea in May to the region, both sent the right message, and expressed their interest and concern about Somalia. Resolution 1907 (2009) has contributed to the possible reduction of tension in the region.
The increased level of diplomatic engagement over the last two years on the "question of Somalia" was highlighted by the active participation of the Secretary-General at the Istanbul Conference on Somalia in May this year and in April 2009 in Brussels. In this connection, I thank the European Union for co-hosting, with the UN, the Brussels conference, whose objective was primarily to address funding of security sector institutions. I would also like to thank Turkey for its active leadership in co-organizing, with the UN, the recent Istanbul Conference on Somalia. The conference, which was not a fundraising-exercise, successfully focused on political, security, piracy and reconstruction issues. I am pleased to inform you that follow up action has already been initiated.
These important developments would not have taken place without the Security Council's support, the unwavering attention of the Secretary-General, and the strong commitment and the backing of Under-Secretary-General, Lynn Pascoe. Both have been exceptionally supportive of my efforts and those of my colleagues at UNPOS. I thank the Council and the Secretary-General for this support. In addition, the UN Country Team has played a positive role, considering the current circumstances, particularly the outstanding contribution by the World Food Programme.
I would like to reiterate to the Council that its continued commitment is needed for the success of the overall approach of the International Community on Somalia. Clearly, this commitment should include an exit strategy. To this end, I would like to present to you a way forward that reflects on: Where we are now; Where we want to go; and How to get there.
Where we are now
We now have a one and a half year old Government as a result of the Djibouti Agreement signed in August 2008. The Agreement, the first of its kind on Somalia not originating from a specific regional state, is fully backed by the United Nations, the African Union, the League of Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and the European Union. It was also witnessed by France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with IGAD actively supporting its implementation. To date, significant progress has been made with respect to the Constitution, of which a first draft shall be presented by 1 July 2010, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the country's independence.
Professional and integrated security institutions are needed to facilitate the return to normalcy in Somalia. Currently, 2,000 TFG troops are being trained by the EU, supported by the US and Uganda. TFG troops are duly screened and do not include child soldiers among them. Nevertheless, regular payment of salaries to these troops remains critical in ensuring discipline and loyalty to the Government. The initial target of 8,000 AMISOM troops should be doubled. However to do so, we must ensure that they benefit from allowances and equipment comparable to those of United Nations peacekeeping operations. The excellent efforts by AMISOM troops present a model for future peacekeeping operations. National and international efforts to improve security inside Somalia constitute the best defence against various forms of illegal trafficking and the scourge of piracy. The international maritime presence off the coast of Somalia demonstrates the strong interest of the International Community in the Somali crisis in all its dimensions from piracy, illegal fishing, dumping of toxic waste, to other criminal activities.
Presently, more cohesion is being achieved among member states, particularly through regular meetings of the International Contact Group (ICG) on Somalia. Still more needs to be done. We should also note the important role played by the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD). In this connection, I am pleased to note the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the AU, IGAD and my Office on 28 April 2010. It indeed opens a new chapter of cooperation between the three organisations and invites less interference by external meddlers and other informal mediators.
Where we want to go
The main objective is to have a Government, and a leadership that is representative, cohesive, and effective, as well as an able partner for the International Community. The TFG must adopt an effective command and control structure of its National Security Forces that is grounded in a national spirit. The Government is fragile, and the recent political infighting has been a distraction from addressing its key transitional tasks. It must do much more for its people, and be more cooperative with regional and international partners. However it cannot do this alone.
In the face of serious threats to stability, the International Community has in the past supported weak and fragile Governments during civil wars, such as in Bosnia, Cambodia, Kosovo, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, etc. Similarly, the Government in Somalia should also benefit from such support.
In this connection I would like to draw the Council's attention to a real dilemma with far reaching effects. The dilemma is: How to assist, as needed, a fragile Government as a conflict prevention measure, while at the same time, ensuring financial accountability as a matter of principle? Is it possible to combine both and how? Today, international cooperation policies seem geared primarily towards rigorous implementation of financial regulations. However, it appears that there are serious limitations to these policies. The time has come to initiate assistance to fragile states through new payment-mechanisms, satisfactory to both partners – compliance with development partner regulations and meeting the emergency needs of fragile states. This new policy should be applied to Somalia as the present status quo is detrimental to all.
How to get there
Our current efforts may lead nowhere if we do not change our approach on the ground. A UN international presence in Somalia, and especially in Mogadishu, has become indispensible. The high risks associated with such a presence should be overcome with an adequate response as in other difficult places. Without such a presence, Somalia's existing capacities and institutions will remain hostage to various groupings and interests based in Mogadishu and particularly Nairobi.
Our key priority is to "do no harm" in Somalia. The UN should focus on the coordination of its policies and activities. Therefore, the integration of UN entities working on Somalia should not be further delayed.
Overall, the basis of our actions in Somalia should underscore the nexus between governance, economic activities, human rights and humanitarian assistance. In this context, impunity which is one of the key drivers of conflict in Somalia must be addressed more forcefully: Justice delayed is justice denied.
The vast majority of Diaspora members have played a positive role in Somalia. The unhelpful behaviour of a few should not stain the positive role played by the majority.
The International Community should address internal and external spoilers, illegal economic activities and piracy, through targeted sanctions against individuals, entities or states. Joint action by IGAD, the AU and the UN in identifying and taking measures directed at these spoilers, would be most productive. Meanwhile, we should continue to encourage those willing to join the peace process, provided they declare their commitment to peace and renounce violence. This could include the removal of names from the Security Council sanctions list.
Several milestones have been achieved in the last two years. To fulfil our promise to help bring durable stability, we need to provide more sustained and tangible support to the Government, at a much faster pace.