I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this statement.
First of all, I would like to express our appreciation for having been invited to participate in todays session on behalf of the European Union. Also, I would like to thank the Under-Secretaries-General, Ms. Malcorra, Mr. Pascoe and Mr. Le Roy, for their respective briefings, and extend my gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Somalia for his contribution to todays debate.
The EU acknowledges the recommendations of the Secretary-General contained in his most recent report. Given the current security conditions, the proposed phased approach of continued support for AMISOM and strengthening of the Somali security institutions, is the best available option. The EU takes note that after the two first phases, the Secretary-General recommends that the Security Council decide whether conditions set in his report and timing are conducive to a shift to the final phase in which a UNPKO could be established to take over from AMISOM.
Despite positive development at the political level and the powerful political momentum created by the Djibouti peace process, the overall security situation on the ground remains extremely volatile. In this context, the EU welcomes the continued efforts of President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed to reach out to those groups that remain opposed to the Djibouti process.
Of consistent great concern is the humanitarian situation, the continued plight of the IDPs, and the dramatic increase of pirate attacks off the Somalia coast and beyond on international high seas.
The EU welcomes the pledges made during the International Conference in support of the Somali Security Institutions and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which was held in Brussels on 23 April 2009, under the joint auspices of the UN, the EU, the African Union and the League of Arab States. The pledges made during the conference reached 164 million EUR (both for AMISOMs needs which were not covered by the UN logistical support package, and to support the Somali transitional security institutions) of which the European Commission alone pledged more than 70 million EUR1. This testifies to the strong commitment of the EU to work with the international community to help the new Somali Transitional Federal Government to bring about peace and stability. The EU stresses that building up the Somali security and police forces is vital for the stability of Somalia.
The EU also calls on the international community to step up its support for Somali institutions, in order to take on challenges and opportunities to further consolidate reconciliation, restore peace and to rebuild the country. The EU remains committed to engage in such support. In Brussels, the international community also highlighted the need to continue to address the issue of piracy, i.a through an international naval presence, underlining that the land-based solutions to the root causes of piracy must be urgently addressed.
The EU would also like to express its gratitude to AMISOM troop contributing countries for their contribution to stabilizing the situation in Mogadishu, given the difficult operating environment. It is important to continue to support AMISOM through the UN logistical support package, the UN Trust Funds and bilaterally with a coordinated approach.
In addition, the EU and its Member States are supporting AMISOM in the training of the Somali National security force and Somali police. In regards to the support of AMISOM, the European Commission has committed, so far, a total of 40 million EUR and several EU Member States have offered both financial, material and logistical assistance. The EUs priority is to support good governance, human rights and the rule of law. At the Brussels pledging conference, the European Commission announced that it planned to allocate more than 215 million EUR in these areas from 2008-2013. The EU also provides humanitarian emergency relief and other forms of assistance to ameliorate the suffering of the Somali people.
The EU is contributing to the international efforts to curb piracy off the Somali coast and in the Gulf of Aden. The EU is ready to continue, through the deployment of the maritime military mission ATALANTA, to protect the UN vessels delivering the logistical support package to AMISOM and the shipments of humanitarian relief, as well as surveillance and patrolling in the maritime areas. At the same time, the EU is aware of, and committed to support, the need to address the root causes of piracy through sustainable development and the full restoration of the rule of law in Somalia.
The EU, together with other members of the international community, stands ready to continue assisting Somalia. However, Somalia must do its part. The imminent goal is to develop its own National security force and civilian police force. A long term security strategy is a precondition for future development. The EU welcomes the announcement by President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed in Brussels that the issue of security is one of his Governments highest priorities. Any meaningful progress can only be based on Somalias ownership and responsibility for its implementation.
* Croatia and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
1 60 million EUR for AMISOM and 12 million EUR for police forces under the UNDP project Rule of Law and Security.