I thank SRSG Swan, SRCC Madeira, and Asha Siyad for their insightful briefings.
Somalia is still at a political impasse. One which has absorbed too much energy, for too long. There is a high risk of power and governance vacuums in several areas; which could be filled by Al Shabaab, and severely set back the peace and state-building process. There is, therefore, an urgent need to finalise the electoral process, and to address fundamental security and development challenges in Somalia.
Recurrent humanitarian crises- which are compounded by the effects of climate change and insufficient economic growth- continue to affect the lives of vulnerable Somalis.
Lifesaving humanitarian response is critical, but long term solutions can only be found through: economic development, reforms, stabilisation, and reconciliation.
The government, at all levels, needs to strengthen service delivery; implement sustainable mitigation strategies; and focus on implementing the National Stabilization Strategy.
I again thank Ms Asha Siyad for her account of the challenges that remain to achieving the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in all parts of Somali society.
Even though there has been minor progress compared to 2016, it is disappointing that the 30% quota was not met in the Upper House elections.
We strongly urge those responsible- at all levels- to redouble their efforts, and ensure a clear mechanism for implementing the 30 % quota in the Lower House of Parliament.
Somalia’s ambition should be to move well beyond what was already achieved almost five years ago.
The call for the inclusion of women in political processes is not one imposed from the outside. It is expressed loud and clear from Somali women themselves- including through the Somali Women Charter. We appreciate that UNSOM’s renewed mandate is strengthened on the issue of Women, Peace and Security, and look forward to its implementation, and reflection in future reports.
Norway remains deeply concerned about the high levels of grave violations against children occurring in Somalia.
While Al-Shabaab remains the main perpetrator, we are particularly concerned about the recent return of Ahlu Sunna wal-Jama’a to Galmudug state, due to their documented recruitment and use of children.
We urge all parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian, and human rights law.
And we call on the FGS to engage with the United Nations to strengthen its commitments on ending and preventing rape, and other forms of sexual violence- including against children.
We are concerned about the lack of progress in the talks between the AU and the FGS on the nature of the new African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, and the concept of operations.
The timelines in SC resolution 2568 are clear. We urgently need to see progress in developing the joint proposal on the strategic objectives, size, and composition of a reconfigured African Union mission.
A new or reconfigured AMISON should contribute to ensuring obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights compliance are upheld- along with the accountability of AMISON itself.
Our common goal is for Somalia to be responsible for its own security. To this end, we need a Mission that more effectively builds the capacity of Somali security forces, in line with the Somali Transition Plan.