Statement on the situation in Somalia

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the briefing on the situation in Somalia

Thank you very much Mister President,

I would also like to thank acting Special Representative Mr. Swan and African Union Special Representative Souef for their briefings. I also welcome the Permanent Representative of Somalia to this meeting.

I also take the opportunity to congratulate Somalia on the election to the non-permanent seat in the Security Council and we look forward to working together next year.

Mr. President, before coming to my points on Somalia let me congratulate international day on women in diplomacy to all our colleagues in the Council and the United Nations. Today we celebrate and honor women who are significantly contributing to making this world a better and more peaceful place.

I would like to make the following remarks:

First, we offer our full support to UNSOM’s mandate and we commend substantial contribution made by the mission and its staff. Slovenia takes note of request for termination of UNSOM and transition to a UN Country Team. We recognize consent of the host country as key ingredient of UNSOM’s mandate. At the same time, we encourage collaborative process for transformation and we underline the need for any transition to be gradual, planned and carefully managed. A transition that safeguards gains achieved by the mission in the years since its inception.

Second, we urge Somalia to continue with constitutional and other political reforms and we call on Puntland to return to the National Consultative Council and participate meaningfully in its work.

Furthermore, we reiterate our call for a full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of Somali women in political and public life. A step forward would be passing legislation and codifying the minimum 30 per cent quota for political participation of women.

We welcome the announcement of climate action investment programme by the Green Climate Fund. We urge Somalia to use all available resources to achieve its climate goals.

Third, we remain concerned about the general security situation in the country. More than 3.8 million people are displaced, majority are women and children. Increasing numbers of civilian casualties remind us that the fight against Al Shabaab is far from over. We condemn in the strongest terms all committed grave violations and abuses against children by Al Shabaab and other parties to the conflict.  We strongly urge Somalia to do its utmost to prevent and punish such violations, regardless of the perpetrators. We call on Somalia to enhance its cooperation with the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), Council’s Working group on CAAC and the country task force on monitoring and reporting on the ground. We furthermore condemn sexual and gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence. We call for accountability for these violations. We reiterate importance of adopting legislation to protect women and girls and to end harmful practices.

As ATMIS continues its planned drawdown, we should avoid security vacuum. We take note of the AU Peace and Security Council communique supporting the phased approach to Phase 3 drawdown of ATMIS and endorsing the establishment of a new AU-led mission for Somalia. Slovenia supports in principle the plans for a new AU-led multilateral mission to replace ATMIS. Somalia should continue to engage with African Union and its security partners, including the European Union as the main donor to ATMIS. The new mission should have an adequate, predictable and sustainable financing, a clearly defined mandate and an exit strategy.

Mister President, in closing, let me again reiterate our continued support to UNSOM and ATMIS as they continue to execute their mandates.

Thank you.

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