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Interactive Dialouge on Somalia

Norwegian statement delivered by First Secretary Paul Ø. Bjørdal

Mr President,

Norway commends the engagement of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia. We welcome the expressed willingness by the Federal Government of Somalia to fulfil its human rights obligations and improve the situation of human rights in the country.

The human rights situation in Somalia remains a grave concern to Norway. We stress the need to solve ongoing conflicts through a process of genuine consultations, negotiations and compromise in order to achieve peaceful solutions to political problems.

It is almost 6 months since the independent expert’s last visit to Somalia. How do you see the situation today? Are there any sign of progress? What has been the follow-up process to the recommendations of your report from last year?

The Federal Government of Somalia has committed to drafting a law banning female genital mutilation (FGM). Norway welcomes this important step, which is in line with the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in January.

However, we continue to be concerned by the abuses and violations perpetrated against women and girls, including FGM and sexual violence. How will the government work to ensure implementation of the law? Does the independent expert see a notable change in this work over the last year?

There are reports of Somali journalists being harassed, arrested, censored, even imprisoned, and media organisations are closed down. Norway urges the Federal Government to ensure that civil society and the media can enjoy freedom of expression.

Despite pledges by Somalia during its first UPR to implement a moratorium on the death penalty, reports are that the government has executed at least 28 people in 2013 and 2014. Norway urges the Federal Government to implement the moratorium on the death penalty and to provide civilian courts with basic security.