Statement on the situation in Somalia

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the briefing on UNSOM – United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia

Thank you very much Madame President.

I also want to thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia Catriona Laing and Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia Mohamed El-Amine Souef for their comprehensive briefings today as well as for their efforts in support of Somali continued progress. I also want to welcome representative of Somalia at today’s briefing.

Slovenia wishes to express its full support and appreciation for the work of UNSOM and UNSOS. Please also allow me to pay tribute to ATMIS Troup Contributing Countries, Somali Security Forces and other partners for sacrifices they made in their fight against Al Shabaab.

Madame President, I would like to make three points.

First, Slovenia commends Somalia for reaching several important milestones, including completing the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative and joining the East African Community. We encourage Somalia to continue with political, economic and security sector reforms, including on the crucial constitutional process. Somali-owned national dialogue with all Federal Member States and other relevant stakeholders is key and we welcome existing and future positive efforts of the Federal Government in this regard. We also stress the importance of respecting human rights and ensuring full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women at all levels of political and decision-making processes.

Secondly, we would like to raise attention to the persistently dire humanitarian situation. With five consecutive failed rainy seasons, followed by recent catastrophic floods, Somalia bears the heaviest burden of the global climate emergency. We are concerned about deeply food-insecure communities who are still battling to recover from the country’s longest recorded drought and impacts of conflict. We call on gender-responsive humanitarian response as women and children represent a majority of internally displaced people due to climate-related disasters and conflict. We encourage Somalia to continue with the climate adaptation efforts in line with their gender- and conflict-sensitive National Adaptation Plan. Cooperation in the Horn of Africa, including in the framework of IGAD, is crucial in tackling climate and environmental challenges, such as water resource management.

Finally, Madam President, we welcome the ambitious Security Sector Development Plan presented by Somalia at the December Security Conference, including the need for a new multilateral support and assistance mission to replace ATMIS. We encourage Somalia to work closely with the African Union, European Union, other regional organizations, bilateral partners and members of the Security Council in devising a sustainable proposal for a new mission with a clearly defined mandate, scope, size, duration and funding.

Fight against Al Shabaab is far from over and must remain on top of the agenda of international community for the foreseeable future, both in terms of a security response and through addressing root causes. We are concerned that recent tensions between Somalia and Ethiopia could undermine recent gains in this endeavour and bolster recruitment efforts by Al Shabaab. We reiterate our support for territorial integrity and sovereignty of Somalia and we call on both countries to exercise restraint and engage in meaningful dialogue to find a peaceful resolution on mutually acceptable terms.

To conclude Madam President, Slovenia remains optimistic that Somalia will be able to keep the positive momentum and solid progress as reported by the SRSG including during this year of transition. Slovenia as a member of the Security commits to continue supporting Somalia on its path.

Thank you.

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