United Nations High-Level Meeting on Somalia
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Somalia, Ethiopia, Italy and the United States co-hosted a High-Level Meeting on Somalia on September 25, 2019, which brought together Heads of State and Government, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and other participants from more than 40 member states and international organizations to review the status of state-building and reform efforts in Somalia. The meeting opened with remarks by President of the Federal Republic of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmaajo”, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde, Chairperson of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale. Numerous representatives from member states and international organizations also delivered remarks.
Citing positive developments in Somalia on security, economic, and political fronts, the participants collectively expressed confidence in Somalia’s future and underscored the critical period presently facing Somalia. Many expressed appreciation for the sacrifices of AMISOM troops in securing Somalia and combatting Al-Shabaab and called for the full implementation of the Somalia Transition Plan to preparing Somali security forces to assume greater responsibility from AMISOM. Participants agreed that the reconfiguration of AMISOM should take into account conditions set out in the Transition Plan, including the ability of Somalia to generate able, accountable, and affordable forces. Participants praised the ongoing transitionrelated operations in Lower Shabelle, where the Somali National Army (SNA) continued its offensive operations, supported by AMISOM troops and international partners, to capture territory and fight Al-Shabaab.
Participants also focused on the need to strengthen governance and constitutional reform, as well as the need to adopt by the end of the year, and to subsequently implementing, the electoral law in preparation for 2020/21 national elections. Progress in this direction would help mobilize donors in support of the financial efforts of the Federal Government of Somalia in organizing elections. In this regard, participants also expressed concerns over the security of the electoral process, considered a prerequisite for universal suffrage. The need for dialogue between the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States and commitment to national reconciliation was raised as a condition for the above progress.
Other key issues that participants raised included:
– The need to coordinate international support according to the priorities set out by the Federal Government of Somalia and in line with the National Development Plan;
– The desire to see Somalia contributing to democracy and stability in the Horn of Africa;
– Progress on benchmarks for debt relief and the need for creditors to make the necessary preparations with an eye to formally enter the debt relief process in 2020, which will bring greater investment and economic growth;
– The need for the international community to fully fund the UN’s 2019 Somalia humanitarian response plan, and prepare for humanitarian needs, and;
– The importance of women and youth participation in all aspect of society and the peacebuilding process.
– The importance of the Somalia sanctions regime to cut off funding and other sources of support to al-Shabaab;
The High-Level Meeting reaffirmed the need to support Somalia across the spectrum of economic, security, political and humanitarian challenges as it continues its transition period, and precedes the Somalia Partnership Forum to be held in Mogadishu in early October. These platforms provide a strategic dialogue and underscore the unity and interest of the international community in ensuring a secure, prosperous future for Somalia, in line with the need to strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus, in line with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as Agenda 2063. In concluding summary remarks, Somali Foreign Minister Ahmed Isse Awad asked for partners’ continuous engagement as the country progresses on these core elements to ensure Somalia’s success.