Communique of the London Conference on Somalia
The London Conference on Somalia took place at Lancaster House on 11 May 2017, co-chaired by the UK, the Federal Republic of Somalia, the United Nations and the African Union, and attended by 42 friends and partners of Somalia. The Federal Republic of Somalia’s delegation was led by His Excellency President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and included representatives of the Federal Member States.
The Conference comes at a critical moment for Somalia, after a more inclusive electoral process. A new Federal Parliament with increased women and youth representation and a new administration are now in place. There is therefore an opportunity to set out an ambitious agenda for Somali-led reforms supported by the international community over the next four years and in the longer term. We emphasise the importance of maintaining the momentum towards positive change and reconciliation in the country, reaffirm our support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, and pledge our support for a democratic, stable and prosperous Somalia. We recognise that the credibility of the Somali government hinges largely on its ability to deliver for the Somali people.
Somalia has made significant progress in the last few years. In particular state formation has progressed significantly and the country has made substantial progress towards reengagement with the International Financial Institutions. Somalia has drafted its first National Development Plan in 30 years, articulating its priorities for the coming period, and Somali leaders have recently reached a historic agreement on a National Security Architecture.
However many challenges remain. Terrorism is still a threat to peace and security; work to address constitutional issues needs to be expanded and accelerated and a stable federal settlement reached; security sector reform has not progressed as quickly as envisaged; the threat of piracy remains real; further progress on democratisation, human rights and rule of law is needed; corruption must be tackled; poverty reduced and economic recovery advanced. There is a risk of famine which requires a continued scale up in coordinated efforts to address immediate needs, and to build resilience going forward.
The Federal Government of Somalia set out its plans to address these challenges, and the international community its commitments to support these, under three main headings: Strengthening National Security and International Security Guarantee; More Inclusive, Stable Politics; and Economic Recovery. We agreed a Security Pact and a strong New Partnership for Somalia, in support of Somalia’s National Development Plan, founded on mutual accountability and with commitments to follow up on progress and results achieved including at a Security Conference in October 2017 and High Level Partnership Forum (HLPF) within six months and on a regular basis thereafter.
Throughout the Conference, we recognised the close inter-linkage between security, politics and development; the need for strong political will from both the Federal Government of Somalia and the leaders of the Federal Member States to implement reforms together with continued support from the international community; and the importance of demonstrating tangible results for all the people of Somalia. We particularly recognised the contribution regional
partners including the African Union have made to Somalia, including through AMISOM, and the importance of the
African Union’s continued engagement in the transition to a secure and stable Somalia.
- We are deeply concerned by the serious and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Somalia caused by the ongoing drought and resulting disease outbreaks and the risk of famine. This has been exacerbated by years of conflict and insecurity. We are saddened by the loss of life and livelihoods including the particular effects on women and children in hard to reach areas.
- We recognise and welcome the Federal Government of Somalia’s formal declaration of drought as a national disaster and the establishment of a Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management. We welcome the work of the National Drought Committee and other civic initiatives in raising awareness and funding for the drought response. Following the humanitarian appeal, the international community has committed over $600 million to the drought response. This admirable mobilisation of funds enabled humanitarian NGOs and UN agencies to reach millions of Somalis with life-saving assistance and protection.
- Together, we remain fully mobilised to avert famine in Somalia, and to ensure an effective and coordinated response throughout the duration of the crisis. In this regard we welcome the revised Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia presented by the UN and are committed to strengthening coordination of the drought response under the leadership of the government. We call on the international community to ensure sufficient resources to allow for its implementation. We call on all parties to commit to working with humanitarian partners, fully respecting humanitarian principles, and call on all parties to facilitate full, timely and unhindered access to those in need, in particular those in hard to reach areas and to ensure a safer operating environment for humanitarian actors. We emphasise the importance of complying with obligations to protect civilian populations. We welcome the commitment made by Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member State leaders on 17 April 2017 to improve road access.
- We also commit to working together to support Somalia’s longer-term recovery and resilience- building from this drought, to prevent similar crises in future including through addressing root causes of vulnerability and food insecurity, and strengthening the links between early warning and early action, as outlined in the National Development Plan. We also encourage all parties to implement the Declaration on durable solutions for Somali Refugees adopted in Nairobi on 25 March 2017.
Strengthening national security
- We recognise that effective security underpins political and economic progress, and is fundamental to preventing recurring humanitarian crises and note that progress in improving Somalia’s security needs to be accelerated. To defeat terrorist organisations Somalia’s security forces need to train under a common doctrine; be better equipped, better housed, and better coordinated; and be regularly paid and with clear status and responsibilities. We therefore welcome the commitment made by Somalia’s Federal Government and Federal Member State leaders to address these issues, including through urgent reform of the Somali security sector and a renewed Somali campaign to defeat Al Shabaab.
- We welcome in particular the historic political agreement Somalia’s leaders reached on 16 April 2017 to integrate regional and federal forces into a coherent National Security Architecture capable of gradually taking on lead responsibility for providing security, and the swift establishment of the National Security Council and National Security Office. These bodies should take forward further political agreement on the roles and responsibilities set out for Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States, affordability of forces, and the timelines in the Architecture. We commit to standing behind the Architecture as set out in the Security Pact, recognising the inclusive federal institutional framework established for a reformed security sector,
- We have agreed to put this Somali led and owned political agreement at the heart of a comprehensive Security Pact between Somalia and the International Community. The Security Pact sets out the agreed vision of Somali-led security institutions and forces that are affordable, acceptable and accountable and have the ability to provide the security and protection that the people of Somalia deserve and need as part of a comprehensive approach to security. We recognise the vital importance of the rule of law and of security forces complying with international humanitarian and human rights law, as an integral part of the Security Pact and as a cross cutting issue during implementation.
- Through the Security Pact, Somalia’s leaders commit to taking a lead on providing security in Somalia, including securing recovered areas, main supply routes and security for the 2021 elections, and to implementing reforms in line with the National Security Architecture and agreed milestones. The international community, recognising that Somalia’s security reform is at a critical juncture, acknowledges the need to commit additional and more effective support, including more standardised and better coordinated mentoring, training and capacity building of police and military forces. Partners committed to support security reform, to be delivered in line with agreed security sector reform milestones, including the introduction of improved public financial management and payroll systems, and the principle of mutual accountability with the context of civilian oversight of the security institutions. Commitments from the International Community, including financial and other means, will be made at the October 2017 follow up conference, as the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States make progress on remaining issues related to the security architecture and implementation mechanism in partnership with Comprehensive Approach to Security Executive group - membership and mandate to be agreed after the London Somalia Conference.
- Recognising that Somalia is able to import weapons and ammunition under the terms of the partially suspended UN arms embargo, partners also committed to continuing to support Somalia’s ongoing efforts to build stronger weapons management and control capacities. These actions are an important step towards creating the conditions for any further suspension of the arms embargo, on which the Federal Government will continue to engage with the UN Security Council.
- We recognise that charcoal remains a significant source of financing for terrorists and a cause of serious environmental degradation. We call on all parties to ensure compliance with the UN Security Council resolution banning the export of Somali charcoal.
- We recognise that the improvement of the Somali security forces is also dependent on its international partners commitment to working in a fully coordinated way through the implementation mechanism set out in the Security Pact. This mechanism recognises that achieving enduring peace and stability in Somalia will require a new Comprehensive Approach to Security (CAS) through coordinated action across traditional boundaries – to strengthen Somali security forces, to achieve an effective transitional role for the African Union Mission In Somalia (AMISOM), to extend and improve early recovery and stabilisation efforts, and to prevent and counter violent extremism and terrorism. We commit to using this CAS framework as the basis for overseeing and organising delivery of the Security Pact and holding all parties to account on their commitments.
- Recognising the need for non-military approaches as part of this coordinated comprehensive approach, we endorsed Somalia’s National Strategy and Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, launched on 12 September 2016. We welcomed the Somali President’s renewed offer of amnesty for certain crimes to those who renounce terrorism and violence and want to leave Al Shabaab and other terrorist groups, and encourage the development of amnesty legislation, which is consistent with the need to fight impunity and ensure accountability for crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes. We agreed to support counter-terrorism, reconciliation and economic recovery efforts to develop better alternatives and address conditions which may be conducive to terrorism and violent extremism. We agree to accelerate efforts to support implementation of the new policing model and access to fair and affordable justice. We also agreed that the Federal Government’s extensive Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration (DDR) programme will need additional assistance to better support the implementation of Somalia’s national security architecture.
- We also welcomed the Federal Government and the Federal Member States’ commitment to revise Somalia’s stabilisation strategy and accompanying policy and coordination architecture by December 2017. Recognising that achieving peace and stability is a multifaceted process, we agree that security sector development should align with progressing inclusive state authority at a local level together with local peace-building and community led efforts. We welcome the commitment of the Federal Government and the Federal Member States to collaborate on the Wadajir National Framework for Local Governance to support community recovery and grassroots reconciliation processes. The International Community agrees to continue to support Somali efforts to build community resilience. All partners agreed to support improved coordination through balanced and sustainable support to ensure the enhanced impact of collective stabilisation efforts.
- We commend AMISOM’s vital work in enabling security and stability to allow Somalia to establish political institutions and extend state authority, both key to laying the foundations for a staged transfer of security responsibility to Somali institutions and forces. We recognise that AMISOM’s effort comes at great sacrifice to the troop contributing countries (TCCs) themselves, and commend the bravery and commitment of their troops, as well as Somali forces, in fighting Al Shabaab. We recognise the ongoing commitment of AMISOM TCCs and police contributing countries to support stabilisation in Somalia and acknowledge the need for sustainable and predictable funding for AMISOM and the provision of necessary force enablers and multipliers to meet its obligations. All partners recognise the critical funding provided by the EU since 2007 and the need to take collective responsibility for sustainable funding for AMISOM beyond 2018, while working together with the UN and other international partners to meet AMISOM and Somali security forces’ requirements in order to address Somalia’s current and short term security challenges.
- We expressed support for a conditions based transition from AMISOM to Somali security forces, starting in late 2018 and with clear target dates linked to the security sector reform milestones set out in the Security Pact. The UN-AU review of AMISOM beginning in May 2017 in close cooperation with the Federal Government of Somalia will set out recommendations to all partners of AMISOM’s role based on Somalia’s needs, pending approval of the AU Peace and Security Council and UN Security Council ahead of AMISOM’s mandate renewal in July 2017.
- We commend the efforts made both by the Federal Government of Somalia and the International Community to tackle piracy, resulting in the significant decrease in piracy incidents in recent years. We recognise that piracy remains a threat off the coast of Somalia and reconfirm our commitment to deterring and combating it and to ensuring Somalia has an effective and legal seagoing law enforcement presence. We recognise the importance of ensuring the safe operation of the sea lanes in the region. We commit to tackling the serious problem of illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing which has a serious economic impact on Somalia. The Federal Government and the Federal Member States of Somalia reiterated their commitment to developing maritime security with a capable Coast Guard under the Ministry of Internal Security and appropriate anti-piracy legislation, with the Maritime Security Coordination Committee as the central mechanism for developing capability and identifying and channelling support.
More Inclusive Stable Politics
- Reaching a settlement on outstanding constitutional issues, including completing the constitutional review process, and developing more inclusive politics is crucial for Somalia’s stability and prosperity. The constitutional review process must promote the building of peace and rule of law in the country and contribute to addressing conflicts and building trust.
- We welcome the commitment of the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States to work closely together and with the Parliament to take this forward, building on the existing work on the constitutional review. The review process must be open, transparent and inclusive and we welcome the first steps taken by the Somali government to reach out to the Somali people on these issues. The division of roles and responsibilities should be clarified.
- We welcome the commitment of the Federal Government of Somalia, in accordance with the rule of law, to address immediate issues of formalisation, including the status of the Federal Member States, and allocation of powers; resource and revenue sharing; the type of political system; and federal justice model.
- We emphasise the importance of high level political guidance and follow up on these issues, and welcome the commitment to establish a high level inter-governmental body (Federal Government and Federal Member States), consistent with the Provisional Federal Constitution, to provide this.
- We commend the recent progress made on political dialogue setting out an interim agreement on how fisheries resources will be shared and regulated between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States and express hope that progress can soon be made on other resource sharing issues.
- We welcome the commitments of the Federal Government of Somalia to democratisation, including one person one vote elections in 2021. We welcome the outline roadmap presented by the Federal Government of Somalia, including the commitment to develop an electoral law setting out the legislative framework by the end of 2018. We welcome the ongoing technical work done to develop the options for models of representation, and encourage these to be presented to a high level political body at the earliest opportunity. We look forward to receiving an update on this work at the next High Level Partnership Forum (HLPF).
- We welcome the commitment of the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States to take forward inclusive political dialogue to support the peaceful resolution of disputes that threaten internal peace and security.
- We underline the importance of continued dialogue between Federal Government of Somalia and Somaliland administration and welcome the Federal Government of Somalia’s commitment to this. We expect that the Somaliland presidential elections now due in November 2017 will provide the opportunity to reinvigorate and accelerate this.
- We welcome the outcomes of the side event on the contribution of diaspora and civil society to Somalia, and recognise their collective role in supporting stability and prosperity in Somalia. We recognise the importance of women’s representation and participation in decision making, and welcomed the increase in the number of women members of Parliament to 24% and in the Cabinet achieved through the recent electoral process. We recognise the meaningful and active contribution that women provide to peace processes and peacebuilding, as set out in the relevant UNSC resolutions. We also highlight the vital contribution that Somali youth have made and continue to make to Somalia and agree to further promote youth empowerment, including through vocational training for youth, employment creation and entrepreneurship promotion.
- We recognise the vital and cross cutting importance of human rights and the rule of law, International partners stand ready to assist Somali authorities to uphold Somalia’s human rights obligations, including the establishment of the Human Rights Commission. We note the limited reach of state authority in some regions of Somalia. This affects peace-building efforts and provides fertile ground for continued violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. We remain deeply concerned about the use and recruitment of children by Al Shabaab and other armed groups. We commend the efforts of the Federal Government to prevent the use of child soldiers in Somalia including in Somali security forces. We are similarly concerned about continuing sexual violence, with internally displaced women and girls, and members of minority clans, particularly vulnerable. Enhancing the legal framework, human rights protection systems, and the capacity and legitimacy of institutions is essential to help combat impunity and improve accountability for human rights violations and encourage reconciliation. We recognise the need for all parties engaged in security, to uphold the highest international human rights standards, to address abuse and excessive use of force against civilians.
Accelerating Somalia’s Economic Recovery
- A stronger economy that improves Somali livelihoods and offers job opportunities, and generates domestic revenue will be essential in reducing vulnerability, consolidating stability and promoting inclusive resilient and sustainable development. We agreed that accelerating Somalia’s economic recovery must be a shared priority for the coming period. We welcome the endorsement of the National Development Plan (NDP) and the identification of infrastructure, including energy, the productive sectors (agriculture, fisheries and livestock), access to skills and finance, and measures to improve the enabling environment as the top economic development priorities. We welcome international partners’ commitment to align support with the priorities highlighted in the NDP. We commend the Economic Recovery Cooperation Agreement between Somalia’s public and private sectors and welcome the commitment of both sides to work together closely through the Public Private Dialogue Forum to accelerate the delivery of much needed economic development priorities for the Somali people over the next four years.
- Given that remittances provide a lifeline for Somalia’s humanitarian needs and are a key catalyst for Somalia’s economic growth, we must work towards securing durable relationship with correspondence banks; addressing regulatory and risk concerns in originating remittances markets; and meeting supervision, regulatory and identity requirements within Somalia. Making progress on these areas will require collective efforts from government, the private sector and international partners alike.
- While the productive sectors are the basis for economic regeneration, substantial investments are required to support economic recovery, particularly to rebuild the country’s physical infrastructure and to promote building a sustainable energy sector. Increased domestic revenue mobilisation will play a crucial role in this, and in providing basic services. For many countries access to concessional lending from the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and other development partners is also an important source of investment financing. We commend the commitments agreed by the Federal Government of Somalia and IFIs which set out the priority short and longer term economic reform measures to facilitate economic growth and stability. Success in this area will reinforce the legitimacy and stability of Somalia’s governance arrangements, attract investment, and help advance Somalia along the path towards IFI normalisation and the debt relief process The Federal Government of Somalia is committed to providing the political and technical leadership necessary to achieve these milestones, and development partners are committed to supporting the Federal Government of Somalia to achieve them by ensuring that our technical assistance and institutional support is appropriately aligned behind them.
- We welcome the Federal Government of Somalia’s commitment and the steps recently taken to fight the pervasive corruption that undermines both political and economic progress in Somalia. We encourage further action by both the Federal Government and Federal Member State governments to demonstrate zero tolerance of corruption and increase financial transparency.
New Partnership for Somalia
- We recognise that progress in these areas is interdependent and mutually reinforcing. Today we endorse a New Partnership for Somalia in support of the NDP as the framework through which we will build on the gains made under the New Deal Compact over the last three years and deliver clear and measurable progress on Somalia’s priorities as stipulated in the NDP. This includes on security, the constitutional settlement, inclusive politics, human rights and the rule of law, good governance, measures to tackle corruption, and economic recovery. Through the New Partnership for Somalia, the Federal Government of Somalia and the international community reaffirm our commitment to work closely together in a transparent, mutually accountable and coordinated manner that strengthens national systems and is in line with and in support of Somalia’s National Development Plan, to bring enduring peace, security and prosperity. We recognise the importance of accountability including to the Somali people. We commit to develop a performance and milestones-based Mutual Accountability Framework by December 2017 to measure the progress we will make and to report to the High Level Partnership Forum on a six monthly basis.