– AS DELIVERED –
I am speaking on behalf of the European Union. The Acceding country Croatia*, the candidate countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland+ and Serbia*, the countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
I would like to join others in thanking Special Representative Augustine Mahiga for his briefing and the Permanent Representative of Somalia for his statement.
I would also like to thank and congratulate the Secretary-General and his staff for organizing the timely and successful Somalia mini summit in the margins of the General Assembly. It provided an excellent opportunity for participants, including the European Union, to hear from Somalia’s newly elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud with which priorities his government aims to set the foundations for a new beginning.
Like others we welcome the prospects the end of the transition has brought to Somalia for lasting peace, prosperity and stability. It is clear, however, that much work remains to be done.
The new Federal Institutions should embark on stabilization and reconciliation efforts throughout the country, including in those areas recovered from Al-Shabaab, where they will need to establish inclusive, representative administrations. Both are crucial for the future of a viable federal Somalia. The people of Somalia should also be assured of (1) good governance, (2) transparency and accountability, (3) justice, (4) respect of their rights and fundamental freedoms and (5) economic development. The new Federal Institutions should reach out to Somalis of all walks of life and act in their interests. And they should finalize key pending elements of the Provisional Constitution.
The humanitarian situation remains dire. All parties to the conflict have an obligation to comply with international humanitarian law and to protect civilians. Safe and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need must be ensured by all parties involved.
Against the background of these significant challenges, the international community should remain strongly committed in providing support to the Somali people. But in doing so, Mr President, we must respect Somali ownership, carefully structuring and aligning our collective actions into a truly comprehensive approach in partnership with Somalia. This requires increased coordination both among donor countries and among other international actors. We must avoid duplication and fragmentation of our support. We are ready to play an active role and look forward to the results of the UN strategic review of its presence in Somalia. We believe that such a review must also include a renewed commitment to help the Somali government improve the human rights situation and strengthen monitoring mechanisms to this end. The EU supports the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the implementation, with the Somali authorities, of the ‘human rights road map’.
Such a comprehensive approach would have to deliver the support at the right place and at the right time. In line with the President of Somalia’s initial vision that means in practice focusing on (1) an accelerated and intensified approach to security sector reform, (2) a comprehensive approach to the elimination of piracy, (3) immediate support to build the capacities of the institutions and improve their transparency and accountability through appropriate mechanisms, and (4) the rapid delivery of services to regions no longer under Al-Shabaab control.
The new Somali Parliament was able to vote for a change because of a new sense of security made possible by AMISOM. I therefore want to use this opportunity to once more acknowledge the great sacrifices made by the AMISOM troops for the benefit of the Somali people, and the role the mission played in finalizing the transition.
Since the deployment of AMISOM, the EU has been one of the main funders of the operation. The total support to AMISOM by the EU since 2007 amounts to €412 million. We join the African Union in its call for more predictable and sustainable AMISOM funding, as repeated in its latest report on AMISOM, and we call on others to contribute to the AMISOM trust fund in line with demands of successive Security Council resolutions. The planned assessment of the AU and the UN on the future of the international support to Somalia should take this issue into account.
In addition to its support for AMISOM, I can assure you that the EU will continue to contribute to Somalia’s efforts in addressing the remaining challenges, including through its large development assistance and its common security and defence policy operations. These operations include the EU Training Mission (EUTM), EUNAVFOR Atalanta and the new maritime capacity building mission EUCAP Nestor.
In conclusion Mr President,
The transition may be over but it is clear that the work of transformation is just beginning. In four years time, the Somali institutions need to create the conditions to hold a referendum on the provisional constitution and elections under universal suffrage. The UN and its members will have to stay committed in their support and – in close cooperation with our Somali counterparts – achieve a united, efficient and transparent organisation of our international assistance. The Somali people deserve no less.
* Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
+ Iceland continues to be a member of EFTA and the European Economic Area.