President, thank you for organising this briefing. Focusing on Women, Peace and Security in Somalia is indeed timely. And I thank you to Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed and Dr Shukria Dini for your briefings and important recommendations.
Let me express our deepest condolences to all those affected by Saturday’s Al-Shabaab attack in Mogadishu, including the family of the Gender Focal Point at the Office of the Prime Minister, Hibaq Abukar.
I would like to add three main points on this issue today.
First, building an “inclusive democracy” has been a central goal in the Somali-led and Somali-owned Peace and State Building Process. However, a significant flaw in the democratic reforms thus far, has been the lack of inclusion. Particularly of women. Looking at the current figures from the elections to the Upper House, it seems unlikely that women will get more than around 25 % of the seats. Yet, Somalia’s ambition should be to move well beyond what was already achieved almost five years ago. We therefore urge those responsible- at all levels- to redouble their efforts and ensure a clear mechanism for implementing the 30 % quota in both Houses of Parliament.
Second, achieving the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women is about more than implementing the 30% quota. The Somali Women Charter is designed and promoted by Somali women and provides a solid foundation towards more broad-based and inclusive processes in all reform areas. It deserves our full support.
Further, a clear timeline for the implementation of the 1325 National Action Plan should be developed; and we encourage UNSOM to establish a Women’s Advisory Board that could advise on how the National Action Plan can be implemented.
And third, today's political crisis demonstrates the need to prioritise national reconciliation. The implementation of the National Reconciliation Framework (NRF) could be one such way; and may give women greater opportunities to participate. Women have shown their capacity to build bridges between clans, and act as a first channel for dialogue between parties to conflict. As well as being important influencing agents vis-à-vis elders and others with decision-making authority. And women mobilise resources.
To this end, Norway has supported the work of the Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs, and Reconciliation (MOIFAR) in preparing the Somali Women Reconciliation Action Plan which proposes several concrete activities to strengthen the role of women in peacebuilding and reconciliation. We also support the establishment, and training, of inclusive networks for reconciliation, where young people and women have key roles.