Thank you to SRCC Madeira, SRSG Swan and Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdirisak for their briefings.
First and foremost, Norway welcomes the revitalised dialogue under the leadership of Prime Minister Roble.
We are encouraged by reports from Mogadishu that the atmosphere in the negotiations is positive and that a solution can be expected within short time. But we call on Federal Government, and Federal Member State leaders, to continue to engage constructively without preconditions based on the 17 September agreement.
There is no more time, energy, and good will to lose.
The current political impasse has severe consequences for the Somali people, and we note from the Secretary-General’s report that poverty continues to increase.
We are fully behind the efforts of Prime Minister Roble to get all relevant stakeholders onboard. His ability to build trust between the parties will be crucial. Norway encourages the Somali leaders to make full use of the good offices of the UN, and AU.
We applaud the active role played by the African Union Peace and Security Council contributing to getting the electoral process back on track. Through its firm, and effective, involvement it helped prevent the situation from spiralling out of control.
While a return to dialogue based on the September agreement is a welcome step, we believe an active involvement by the AU continues to be important. Including in breaking the cycle of distrust between the FGS and FMS. A key measure will be supporting mechanisms for constructive and inclusive dialogue in the implementation phase of the agreed electoral model.
A significant flaw in the dialogue thus far, has been the lack of inclusion. Particularly of women- but also of wider segments of the Somali society, including civil society. We strongly encourage inclusion of women in the resumed political dialogue. They are important Somali political stakeholders, and are key to finding consensual electoral arrangements and sustainable solutions for the future of all of Somalia.
We also appeal to Somali political leaders and stakeholders to commit to, and work to, defining a clear mechanism for implementing the 30 % quota for women in both Houses of Parliament. We hope the AU and the UN will be able to continue to provide support to ensure the fulfilment of this part of the 17 September Agreement.
We note with concern also the continued attacks against, and harassment of, journalists and media workers. And urge Somali authorities- in particular the security sector- to facilitate press freedom in the preparations for an electoral process.
Drought, desert locusts, and COVID-19 represent three looming threats to large parts of the Somali population. The full attention of the Somali government is needed to manage these crises, and other climate-related security risks. The high number of civilian casualties caused by armed conflict is also alarming, and has increased since last reporting period.
We are very concerned by reports of unlawful detention of children associated with
Al-Shabaab. We reiterate that children recruited or used in armed conflict- including children associated with armed groups- must be treated first and foremost as victims.
The overall effect of the political impasse on reforms is of great concern. The implications for the security situation and in particular the transition process must be assessed. We acknowledge steps taken by the AU to map options to address and mitigate the possible security implications of the impasse.
The timelines in Security Council resolution 2568 for transferring responsibility for security to Somali authorities, and for the reconfiguration of AMISOM are clear. We now need to do our utmost to prevent significant delays.
I thank you.