Communiqué Somalia Partnership Forum
Somalia Partnership Forum
1. Representatives from 25 countries and 6 multilateral organizations, as well as representatives from all of Somalia’s Federal Member States and the Benadir Regional Administration, gathered in Mogadishu on the 5th of December 2017 to participate in the inaugural Somalia Partnership Forum officially opened by H.E. Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed (Farrmajo), the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia and chaired by H.E. Hasan Ali Khaire, the Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
2. Somalia is emerging from a long and difficult period of instability that has negatively and adversely affected the nation. However, Somalia is undertaking a robust process of recovery, aimed at bringing peace, a culture of respect for human rights, development, and prosperity to the entire country.
3. We deplore and regret the loss of innocent lives as a result of continued terrorist attacks. In particular, we strongly condemn the 14 October 2017 attack in Mogadishu that resulted in the deaths of more than 500 innocent women, men, and children. We are collectively committed to supporting Somalia to confront, deter and eradicate extremism in all its forms, and in assisting with the development of effective justice processes as Somalia moves towards reconciliation.
4. The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) has taken concrete steps to secure its long‐ term goal of achieving peace and prosperity for the Somali people, as evidenced by Somalia’s National Development Plan (NDP), endorsed in 2016, with sets out the government’s security, politics, and development priorities.
5. The FGS and the international community also endorsed, at the May 2017 London Conference the New Partnership for Somalia (NPS), a framework for cooperation in support of Somalia’s National Development Plan.
6. The NPS identifies security, the constitutional settlement, inclusive politics, human rights and the rule of law, good governance, measures to tackle corruption, responding to humanitarian crises, and promoting economic recovery as priorities for shared action.
7. In 2017, the FGS, together with its international partners, reviewed and revised the aid architecture to ensure coherence and complementarity between the work of the Somalia Development and Reconstruction Facility (SDRF), the Pillar Working Groups, the Comprehensive Approach to Security Executive Group (CAS EG) and associated Strand Working Groups. We call upon all parties to engage with the new coordination architecture to ensure collective alignment, coherence and strong cooperation to implement the ambitious agenda ahead.
8. As the apex body for both the SDRF and CAS EG, the Somalia Partnership Forum convened for the first time today to discuss shared priorities, take stock of progress achieved in 2017 and review milestones to be achieved in 2018.
9. Throughout the day, partners discussed the importance of linking political and security progress with economic recovery and humanitarian intervention, noting the importance of building accountable state institutions, generating greater opportunities and livelihoods for the benefit of the population, and breaking the cycle of humanitarian crises. The Somalia Partnership Forum provides the forum for such overarching discussions and strengthens the spirit of mutual partnership required to sustained progress.
10. Recognizing that Somalia’s Federal Constitution will be the foundation for stability and peaceful politics, we welcome the agreement of a road map and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to complete the review of the provisional constitution.
11. We welcome the plan to take the MOU to Federal Member States and the Benadir Regional Administration for consultations to ensure greater participation and awareness of all stakeholders. In this regard, we welcome the establishment of the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs Forum, which brings together Federal and State Ministries of Constitutional Affairs and the Benadir Regional Administration together on a quarterly basis, thereby enhancing participation and inclusivity amongst stakeholders.
12. We welcome the FGS’s commitment to one‐person one‐vote elections in 2021. We urge all parties to agree on a roadmap to achieve this goal as that reflects the Somali people’s wish for a more representative and accountable democracy.
13. The roadmap that has been agreed on to secure an electoral law in 2018, the creation of a working group to take that work forward and the planned consultation with Federal Member States and Benadir Regional Administration create a platform to realize the hopes and the aspirations of the Somali people.
14. We welcome the conclusion of recent elections in Somaliland and encourage the resumption of talks between the FGS and Somaliland.
15. We welcome the joint effort, vision and commitment to Federalism at all levels of government and the commitment to continued regular and substantive dialogue between the FGS, FMS and Benadir Regional Administration which will help to take political decisions to advance the constitutional review process. This unity will be key to successful progress across Somalia, including during transition and hand over of security from AMISOM to Somali Security Forces.
16. We welcome progress made in the dialogue process between the Galmudug Interim Administration and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a and encourage further progress.
17. We also welcome the FGS’s prioritization of anti‐corruption initiatives and recognize progress made to develop the building blocks for a culture of accountability, recognizing the need to engage citizens and create strong institutions to jointly fight corruption. We urge all parties to continue to advance progress on this front including through finalization of legislation and implementation of key fiscal and legal reforms that eliminate corruption.
18. We recognize the valiant efforts by the Somali security forces and AMISOM in the fight against al‐Shabaab and commend the bravery and commitment of their troops.
19. We note the Somalia Security Conference held on 4 December 2017 where discussions were held on progress on implementation of the Comprehensive Approach to Security, the National Security Architecture, AMISOM conditions‐based transition and the Somali Security Sector, as well as efforts on Stabilization and Preventing / Countering Violent Extremism. We welcome the discussions held and key decisions taken at the 4 December Conference, as outlined in that Conference’s Communique.
20. We also recognize that security does not exist in a vacuum and that sustainable security reform will enable, but also rely on, broader equitable political, socio and economic progress as well as strengthened governance and peace‐ and institution‐ building as part of a comprehensive approach to delivering our long‐term vision of a peaceful and prosperous Somalia. We urge all partners to continue and further advance this comprehensive approach to security, enabling local reconciliation, community recovery and prevention of violent extremism to ensure human security.
Humanitarian and Resilience/Recovery
21. We applaud the efforts of the FGS and local relief efforts in responding to the severe drought that affected Somalis. In particular, we praise the role played by the Somali people, both in Somalia and abroad, in helping to avert famine.
22. We also applaud the efforts of the international community to mobilize resources and coordinate relief efforts, which have been instrumental in saving lives in 2017.
23. We welcome the efforts of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management in the formulation of the National Disaster Management Policy. This will enhance strategic policy support towards strengthening resilience and ensure greater inter‐ministerial co‐ordination, as well as effectiveness in overall disaster management.
24. We also acknowledge Somalia’s leadership on the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) and welcome progress on the drafting of the National Action Plan due to undergo consultations and for presentation at the IGAD meeting of Foreign Ministers in January 2018.
25. We however remain concerned that 6.2 million people are still in need of humanitarian assistance due to drought and conflict in Somalia and are particularly concerned that below average rain falls for a fourth consecutive season and forecast indications of a fifth consecutive below average season indicate that a risk of famine remains in many areas in 2018. We also remain concerned that over 1 million people have been newly displaced, in addition to the 1.2 million already in a state of protracted displacement.
25. We also recognize that sustainable investment into resilience and durable solutions, alongside humanitarian relief, can lift the country out of poverty and reduce risks from climate‐induced crises and insecurity. It is crucial that we start planning recovery and durable solutions now to begin reducing levels of chronic vulnerability and risks.
26. We strongly urge all partners, both local and international, to take necessary actions, including provision of resources, to ensure continued delivery of urgent humanitarian relief. The needs of women and vulnerable groups need to be taken into special account.
27. We also recognize that sustainable investment into resilience and durable solutions, alongside humanitarian relief, can lift the country out of poverty and reduce risks from climate‐induced crises and insecurity. It is crucial that we start planning recovery and durable solutions now to begin reducing levels of chronic vulnerability and risks.
28. We therefore welcome the FGS’s leadership in undertaking a Drought Impact Needs Assessment, which will inform the development of a Recovery and Resilience Framework (RRF), with the full cooperation of the Federal Members States and with support from the United Nations, World Bank, and the European Union.
29. We endorse the approach of building long‐term recovery and resilience solutions that address root causes of drought and famine. Somalia is at a critical junction where it has made huge progress, and these significant yet fragile gains should be protected and enhanced. The country has stronger, more effective and more accountable institutions which should increasingly play a role in breaking the cycle of recurrent crisis.
30. We look forward to the launch of the RRF and the Humanitarian Response Plan early in 2018, and urge all partners and the FGS to make progressive and incremental recovery investments targeting priorities. Future investments should be in a sequenced manner addressing root and structural causes of vulnerability whilst the humanitarian response proceeds.
31. We recognize the important efforts being made by partners to implement the NDP, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. We welcome the establishment of the National Development Council and plans to create the National Economic Council. Successful and sustained efforts to implement the NDP will contribute to Somalia’s overall economic recovery.
32. We welcome the drafting of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s Company Law and understand its crucial role in modernizing the business environment in Somalia. It will enable formalization of the business practice as well as provide a legal framework conducive for a progressive globally recognized private sector in partnership with the government. We look forward to the passing of the Company Law in 2018. We commend the ongoing work on the implementation of the Foreign Investment Law and support continued development of necessary regulatory frameworks. Full implementation of this legislation will undoubtedly improve the investment climate in order to attract foreign investment to drive the economic engine of Somalia.
33. We recognize progress achieved since the London Conference on advancing the Public Private Dialogue and welcome the recent passing of the Communications Act and we seek to support the administration in establishing the National Communications Authority in a timely manner. We urge all partners to promote a conducive environment for private sector to flourish in close partnership with government.
34. We stress the importance of creating sustained employment opportunities, especially for youth, as the backbone for sustainable economic development.
35. We also recognize progress made in rehabilitating and building crucial infrastructure, including on sustainable energy sources, to foster economic growth in Somalia. Substantial further investment is required.
36. We acknowledge the Ministry of Finance’s concrete steps to increase internal revenue collection and are encouraged by the FGS’ prioritization on achieving reliable domestic revenue. This will reduce aid dependency and help government finance its security, human development, institutional recovery as well as provision of social services to its citizens. Continuous progress on resource mobilization is a fundamental element to pursue IFI normalization and debt relief to which the international community reaffirms it commitment and for which effective working partnerships with the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank is playing an effective role.
37. We welcome the steps taken by the FGS, in line with FGC recommendations, to directly manage revenue collections and the successful agreement reached between the FGS and Federal Member States on custom tariff harmonization. We urge that further progress be made on revenue and resource sharing, especially with regards to offshore fisheries and extractives.
38. We commend the steps taken by the Benadir Regional Administration to self‐fund and invest in Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms such as implementing a robust financial management information system.
39. We call upon the international community to take responsibility for and work with Somalis to stop illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing by foreign boats, and to criminalize the actions of distant water fleets that operate within the unprotected marine environments of Somalia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). We also call upon the international community to support Somalia track the presence of foreign vessels within their EEZ through the sharing of real‐time data and information gathered from all domestic patrol boats and navies that operate in or near Somali maritime boundaries.
40. We recognize the significant progress made by the FGS and its commitment to successfully completing the second IMF Staff Monitored Programme. We look forward to the outcomes of the ongoing IMF review.
41. We strongly emphasize the fundamental role that expanded, equitable access to quality basic services – particularly health, education and social protection – will play in Somalia’s recovery and collectively commit to support the institutional, legislative and delivery frameworks needed to achieve this. We recognize that youth remain the backbone of Somalia’s future and call for action to ensure that youth are empowered and that there are social and economic opportunities for them. All parties commit to play our part to protecting and enhancing human rights, particularly the rights of women, girls and marginalized groups, and call for action to establish the institutions needed to enhance oversight, monitoring, reporting and protection of these rights.
New Partnership for Somalia
42. We welcome the development of the Mutual Accountability Framework of the NPS and endorse this tool as a framework for joint Somalia‐international community oversight and accountability, recognizing that this tool does not duplicate the NDP monitoring framework.
43. We applaud the progress achieved in 2017 and urge a collective redoubling of efforts on those areas where further progress must be achieved.
44. We affirm our collective commitment to achieving the 2018 milestones set out in the Mutual Accountability Framework, including strengthening our application of partnership principles.
45. The FGS wishes to thank its development partners for the support provided in 2017. According to preliminary data, aid to Somalia reached a record high in 2017 estimated at US$ 1.7 billion. This marks a 30% increase compared to the average of the past three years, primarily driven by the surge in humanitarian support in response to the ongoing drought. Development aid was also up more than 10% on 2016. However, there is more to do to make progress on all the partnership principles. In particular, all partners are urged to meet aid flow reporting requirements, and to undertake joint planning and implementation of ongoing and future programmes and projects to minimize duplication and maximize overall impact.
46. We agree to use the Mutual Accountability Framework to inform the agendas of regular SDRF meeting, to undertake light touch quarterly reviews of the Mutual Accountability Framework at the SDRF, and to undertake a first substantive review in six months’ time at the next Somalia Partnership Forum.
47. We thank the FGS for hosting the inaugural Somalia Partnership Forum in Mogadishu and commit to using this Forum as the venue for high‐level stock‐taking on overall progress achieved for Somalia.
48. We agree to reconvene the Somalia Partnership Forum, at a to‐be‐determined venue, at the end of the first half of 2018.