UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs urges Somalia to continue reconciliation and State-building process
NEW YORK, August 25, 2017 (UN) — The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, visited Somalia from 24-25 August. During his visit, accompanied by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Michael Keating, he held discussions with the President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre, Speakers of both Houses of Parliament, the Minister for Constitutional Affairs, the Chair of the National Independent Electoral Commission, and Special Representative of the African Union Commission Chairperson.
“The political commitment of the Federal Government of Somalia to deliver results for all Somalis is impressive” said Mr. Feltman. “These include job creation, infrastructure, fighting corruption, strengthening civil service and improving security.” He urged the Somali Government to continue addressing issues critical to successful peacebuilding and state-building processes, including the advancement and conclusion of the constitutional review process, to advance federalism in the country. Preparations must begin now to lay the groundwork for elections based on universal suffrage in 2020/2021.
Mr. Feltman emphasized the importance of strengthening accountability mechanisms to address and prevent human rights violations. “We also urge the Government of Somalia to ensure dialogue and meaningful participation of women, youth and minorities in the political and reconciliation processes,” he said.
Commending the efforts of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali security forces in the fight against Al-Shabaab, Mr. Feltman emphasized the need to intensify efforts to develop increasingly capable Somali security forces. This will play a key role in facilitating the transition of security responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somalis, and in achieving long-term security. “The fundamental importance of the African Union support, and the role that AMISOM plays in peace-building in Somalia cannot be overstated,” Mr. Feltman stated.
The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs reaffirmed the support of the United Nations to the Federal Government, along with key international partners, in implementing a viable National Security structure and a comprehensive approach to security that includes countering violent extremism and improving local governance.