2016 is a “decisive year” for the future of Somalia
PRESS STATEMENT 07/2016
The third Ministerial High-Level Partnership Forum (HLPF) ended yesterday in Istanbul with a strong commitment from delegates to ensure that Somalia’s electoral process take place as scheduled in August 2016.
Representatives from 54 countries and 11 international organizations attended the two-day conference, which was hosted by H.E. Recep Tayyip Erodgan, President of the Republic of Turkey, and co-chaired by H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and H.E. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Delegates adopted a 33-point communiqué at the conclusion of the conference that described 2016 as “a decisive year” for Somalia that will witness the installment of a new federal government and parliament, the completion of a constitutional review process and continued efforts to reform the country’s security forces, among other national priorities.
“We have laid the groundwork for a more inclusive and participatory election,” said H.E. Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia, in the closing session of the conference. “We know the Somali people are counting on the federal government to deliver on the 2016 electoral process.”
The HLPF in Istanbul also affirmed the need to conduct a one-person, one vote election in 2020 through the development of a Road Map “in accordance with the strong desire of the Somali people.”
Delegates underscored the importance of completing the state formation process in the regions of Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle and clarifying the status of the national capital Mogadishu.
The communiqué welcomed the second annual progress report of the New Deal Somali Compact, stating that in spite of the many challenges facing the country, “remarkable progress has been achieved in many areas of Somalia’s peace and state-building agenda.” HLPF delegates also reaffirmed their “continued engagement and provision of assistance” to Somalia.
In his concluding remarks, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia Michael Keating thanked the Government of the Republic of Turkey for hosting the HLPF and welcomed “an extraordinary expression of solidarity by the international community for Somalis and for Somalia’s progress towards a democratic, secure and prosperous future.”
“This was made possible because of the hard work and determination of Somalis to leave decades of conflict behind them and create a federal state in which all Somalis have a stake and which delivers tangible benefits for them,” said SRSG Keating.