Summary: May 18, 2004: Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union in support of the IGAD Ministerial meeting and the SNRC (Brussels)
The European Union welcomes the outcome of the IGAD Ministerial meeting in Nairobi 6–7 May which:
1) Witnessed the presence of all IGAD Ministers involved in the Somalia Peace Process and their common position on the future development of the Somalia National Reconciliation Conference;
2) Reaffirmed the crucial importance of inclusiveness and Somali ownership.
The European Union hopes that the course taken by IGAD will be reinforced in the upcoming IGAD Ministerial meeting and expresses the hope that an appropriate political framework, including a power sharing arrangement and reflected in a broadly owned roadmap, will lead to the successful conclusion of the conference within a defined time limit.
As previously stated by the General Affairs and External Relations Council in July 2002, the EU will support, technically and financially, emerging all-inclusive, broad-based governance, as well as existing and emerging regional governance, which is to the benefit of the Somali people.
The European Union calls upon all leaders in Somalia and all relevant Somali forces to rise to the challenge of a process that has reached a decisive stage and to take part in the IGAD consultations in a genuine spirit of compromise while observing maximum restraint and the cessation of hostilities on the ground. The EU notes the commitment of IGAD Foreign Ministers to use their influence to persuade missing Somali leaders to return to Nairobi and also urges them and those leaders to help facilitate the movement of traditional leaders to Nairobi. The EU reiterates the responsibility of all States to strictly abide by the UN arms embargo and supports current efforts by the UN to re-invigorate the embargo. The EU takes note of the UN Security Council meeting on Somalia scheduled for 25 May.
The European Union stands ready to provide its support to achieve an early and positive conclusion to the Somalia National Reconciliation Conference and promote effective governance in Somalia.
The Candidate Countries Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.