UN chief reaffirms support to Somali ‘New Deal’ approved at international conference

UN chief reaffirms support to Somali ‘New Deal’ approved at international conference

General view of the High-Level Conference on a New Deal for Somalia in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: European Union

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16 September 2013 – The international community and Somalia begin a new partnership today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said urging parties to align their political and financial support begin a ‘New Deal’ to drive the country’s economic and political recovery.

“Today we take forward that commitment by endorsing the Somalia New Deal Compact and aligning international support to implement its principles and priorities,” the Secretary-General said in his message to the High-Level Conference on a New Deal for Somalia delivered in Brussels by his Special Representative Nicholas Kay.

Finalized today, the New Deal is seen as a roadmap for promoting statebuilding and peacebuilding over the next three years by focusing on the Somali political processes, security, legal system and economic foundation.

During the one-day meeting, hosted jointly by the European Union and the Somali Federal Government, the Somali leadership set out its priorities and plans on a course to deliver on them, while the international community laid out future support for those priorities.

“The New Deal is about the people, for the people, and with the people of Somalia,” Mr. Ban stressed. “Our meeting today is a milestone, the beginning of a new partnership based on mutual commitments and accountability that bind all of us in support of Somalia.”

Some 200 Government delegates attended today’s meeting, along with aid groups and global finance institutions, and representatives of the UN.

“The United Nations stands ready to assist the Government to coordinate international assistance in line with Security Council resolution 2102,” said Mr. Ban’s statement, highlighting the UN Multi-Partner-Trust Fund.

The UN will continue to support the Government’s efforts to bring the political process, security needs, human rights protection and development activities together under one framework, according to the statement. The Organization will also continue to improve its own operations in Somalia, promoting international coordination and working progressively towards strengthening national systems.

The UN Assistance Mission to Somalia (UNSOM) is also working to enhance the Government’s capacity to provide basic services, justice and the rule of law.

Addressing the African Union Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mr. Kay, who is also the head of UNSOM, said this support is not limited to the capital, but expands to various regions including the facilitation of dialogue Somaliland and supporting an inclusive process for future elections in Puntland, among other issues.

In his statement today, Mr. Ban referred to the Vision 2016 Conference held this month in Mogadishu as the start of a new dialogue among Somalis over federalism, governance and reconciliation.

Mr. Ban said he encouraged the continuation of efforts to develop the Federal States, advance the constitutional review process and prepare for elections.

“The United Nations stands ready to play its part, particularly in promoting progress in relations between the Federal Government and other entities, including those in Puntland and Somaliland,” Mr. Ban said, noting the importance of genuine national reconciliation through Somali-to-Somali dialogue.