At a Glance:
UNSOM’s Environmental focus works on the Security Council’s requests on climate issues within the context of SCR 2540. One of the main goals is to better understand the interconnectedness between climate change and root causes of insecurity in Somalia.
Climate-related change in Somalia has negatively impacted people’s livelihood options and exacerbated Somalia’s already grave displacement statistics. It has also left significant parts of the population vulnerable to the effects of the protracted conflict and insecurity, further climatic shocks and without safety nets. Numerous studies have shown the link between climate change and insecurity. Conditions for insecurity occur when climate related crisis contribute to grievances and increase inequality and fragility, which in turn create additional challenges to the implementation of UNSOM’s mandate. It is therefore imperative to look at climate and insecurity in a holistic manner to be able to address the root causes of insecurity, including the negative impact of climate related shocks.
The Integrated Approach:
UNSOM has developed several solutions to respond to climate-related challenges. Having learned from previous failed responses—notably the 2011 drought—UNSOM’s new initiatives will help to deliver a set of responses that meet the short-term need for a rapid humanitarian response and the long-term objective of achieving a sustainable and resilient society. Addressing climate emergency will require interventions across the humanitarian-development-peacebuilding nexus, thereby producing durable solutions that build resilience and help mitigate future shocks.
The challenges faced by UNSOM and its responses to them have wider implications. There is a need for synergetic policy responses that can turn the responses to climate-related security risks into opportunities for UN efforts to sustain peace.
The Climate Security Team is focusing on several areas:
- To mainstream Environment and Climate Security approaches across the UN Country Team and across the UN and its partners. We are delivering this through climate sensitive conflict analysis, environmental peacekeeping and environmental approaches to stabilization. We run several task forces on environmental coordination and on flooding and water management bringing together partners to respond to the issues of flooding and droughts.
- To form partnerships with local organizations, international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, and with relevant UN agencies, funds and programmes to deliver interventions on the ground around mitigation and adaptation approaches. We are also working with the Government at Federal and State level on policy development and delivering capacity building support to enhance the overall UN approach to capacity building.
- To gather data and evidence and conduct research that will enable us to understand the links and the impacts of climate change on the political and security situations in the country. This will also help us pilot and innovate in the area of responding to the climatic shocks and how to build resilience in the programmes and projects we are delivering.
Research and Published papers:
Fact sheet on Somalia: here
Research on Somalia and Climate security: here
At a Glance:
UNSOM, in partnership with the UN Country Team, promotes an enabling environment for the effective delivery of international assistance in Somalia by supporting the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) in the coordination of the many international actors providing technical and financial assistance to the country's political and socio-economic recovery.
We approach integration and the aid coordination aspects that allow us to move the country forward from transition into a more long-term stage of peace and development. So, to assist achieving this, we have an integrated mission that works closely with Agencies, Funds and Programmes to find common approaches.
The Integrated Approach:
Overall, the UN’s work in Somalia is guided through four main frameworks: the NDP9, the New Partnership for Somalia, the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) and the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). These are frameworks through which we support Somali priorities. We use aid coordination systems to develop programmes and work to run them through PWGs and the Somalia Development and Reconstruction Framework (SDRF).
The Somali aid architecture is a coordination framework that brings together State and non-State actors to regularly discuss at the technical and political level on national development and reconstruction and the effectiveness of joint action in support of agreed priorities. It also includes a set of pooled funding mechanisms jointly administered by the FGS and the UN, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, which reduce administrative costs, contribute to using government systems and ensure project alignment to national priorities. To ensure coordination we follow government led aid coordination systems with the Somalia Partnership Forum (SPF) at the top.
The last SPF held on 7 December 2020 brought together the FGS, the five Federal Member States (FMSs) plus the Banadir region and international partners to review high-level commitments. The participants discussed the Mutual Accountability Framework (MAF) and the 2020 commitments, as well as the progress achieved so far in this regard. They further agreed on a set of priority commitments for 2021 and presented their views, strategies and approaches regarding those issues.
The Partnership Principles articulate the desired terms of relationship between the FGS and the international community; they include clear targets and indicators and aim at improving aid effectiveness. Principles such as national leadership and ownership, inclusiveness, focus on results, alignment of external aid to national priorities, institutional strengthening, use of country systems, transparency and accountability will continue to be essential in the implementation of the National Development Plan.
The decision to adopt the New Deal and implement it in Somalia a few years ago was a political decision that marked a shift in the international community’s engagement with the country. It was deemed the be the right framework for a state building approach that put government legitimacy at the forefront of the assistance provided, following decades of limited engagement and, from a programmatic perspective, an almost exclusive focus on humanitarian assistance, outside of government channels.
COMMUNITY RECOVERY AND EXTENSION OF STATE AUTHORITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY (CRESTA/A) /A
At a Glance:
UNSOM, through its Community Recovery and Extension of State Authority and Accountability (CRESTA/A) stabilization team aims to support the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and its Federal Member States (FMS) to implement the National Stabilization Strategy which promotes coherent responses around four areas:
- Community recovery,
- Social cohesion,
- Local governance, and
- Rule of law
The core of the CRESTA/A team’s work is to support the implementation of the National Stabilization Strategy in order to build confidence in state structures and improve the lives of Somali communities by promoting human security based approaches in stabilization programmes.
CRESTA/A along with stabilization partners supports the Government’s broader civilian-led efforts under the leadership of the Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs, and Reconciliation (MoIFAR), in conjunction with State Ministry of Interior counterparts in Jubaland, South West, Galmudug and Hirshabelle, and to a lesser extent with the Benadir Regional Administration. Each of the State Ministries of Interior have developed state-level plans to adapt the principles and policies in the strategy to their respective contexts. Collectively these interventions intend to remove conflict drivers that are exploited by malign actors, particularly Al-Shabaab, and replace them by developing more inclusive, accountable and democratic structures. For example, the development of effective and responsive reconciliation efforts and governance structures are critical in ensuring that local conflicts, service delivery and other Government functions are managed in a way that supports wider state-building and peace-building goals and addresses the needs of the population.
CRESTA/A’s stabilization work is anchored in existing frameworks: the stabilization strand of the Comprehensive Approach to Security (CAS) architecture, the Transition Plan and the Mutual Accountability Framework. The Stabilization Strategy recognizes that the extension of state authority is predicated on components such as the presence, capacity and legitimacy of the Somali institutions. In order to bolster confidence in the Government, efforts will continue to support expanding government presence throughout the territory where State and district administrations represent the normative and legal order and delivery of related services brings legitimacy and credibility in the eyes of the population. These efforts provide an important balance in the broader security-peace-development nexus tied to the operational, institutional capacity and support elements of the Government’s Transition Plan.
The National Stabilization Strategy is built upon a horizontal coordination platform to help stabilization stakeholders discuss mutual areas of interest and linkages between activities, policy, and strategy, e.g. synergies between community policing initiatives and development of community recovery projects. In doing so, the team works with a broad range of Somali and international partners: principally MoIFAR and its state counterparts, AMISOM, UN Organizations and the joint programmes on police, justice, and governance, the UNSOM political affairs office, and donor initiatives and programmes.
The CRESTA/A unit’s stabilization work focuses on two areas:
CRESTA/A supports MoIFAR, as the chair of the CAS Stabilization Strand, as it leads the coordination of the upstream policy architecture and advocacy around the National Stabilization Strategy. This includes support to MoIFAR to promote stabilization in the broader CAS architecture and the operational efforts of the Transition Plan and support the coordination and implementation of activities with the State Ministries of Interior. The national stabilization coordination meeting provides the platform for the FGS, FMS and other national and international partners to hold strategic discussions on thematic and geographic priorities. The team also coordinates closely with both the Somali Security Forces and AMISOM to synchronize stabilization efforts with security operations to buttress and sustain gains made through the implementation of the Transition Plan.
The team supports MoIFAR and its state counterparts by providing an evidence base through two analytical tools developed in conjunction with MoIFAR to identify gaps, inform policy and programme decisions, and promote a prioritization and sequencing of the different partners’ programme activities:
- The Fragility Index and Maturity Model (FIMM)
- 4W Stabilization tool
The FIMM provides a dashboard and narrative analysis on progress and conditions in thirty-two districts in Jubaland, South West, Galmudug and Hirshabelle, and the Benadir Regional Administration around local governance, social reconciliation, security/rule of law, and community recovery conditions. It also provides a broad monitoring and tracking tool for the Stabilization Strategy. The 4W tool provides a basic analytical picture illustrating who is doing what where with regard to stabilization programming to help both Government and stabilization partners identify areas for cooperation, avoid duplication of activities and identify geographical and activities gaps.
Highlights and Partnerships
MoIFAR and the CRESTA/A team have focused on mobilizing resources to promote convergence between various stabilization partners programmes that support the National Stabilization Strategy and ensure the balance between stabilization programming and more security orientated programmes. These efforts have focused on supporting the Security Pact / CAS stabilization strand deliverables with financial assistance from the UK ERI programme including:
- Development of the updated National Stabilization Strategy and accompanying development of the Jubaland, Southwest, Hirshabelle and Galmudug and BRA Stabilization Plans
- Improved coordination and analysis of stabilization activities with operational elements of the Transition Plan e.g. support to newly recovered areas in Lower Shabelle
The implementation of the National Stabilization Strategy and the Transition Plan are fostered through the development of strategic partnerships with key stabilization stakeholders including USAID TIS +, EU-IOM, UK ERI and Norway among others. These efforts focus on both the delivery of stabilization activities with communities, as well as supporting the institutional capacity development of MoIFAR and the State Ministries of Interior.
In order to continue support to the Government and stabilization stakeholders the focus will be on the following areas:
- Support to Somali civilian leadership, ownership and oversight in the coordination of stabilization efforts, which includes the implementation of the National Stabilization Strategy and the respective state-level plans and coordination structures;
- Incorporate lessons learned in coherence through, for example, strengthening links between social reconciliation interventions with rule of law, community recovery and local governance interventions, whilst retaining coherence with the broader security transition;
- Promote expansion of stabilization programmes to areas and districts where fragility persists, including in support of the Transition Plan, to ensure appropriate and balanced support to areas newly recovered from Al-Shabaab and neglected/under-developed areas.
Overall, the interventions will aim to address the underlying causes of fragility and the accompanying conflict drivers to support state-building and peace-building efforts necessary to build a functional federal system in Somalia.
PREVENTING COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM (PCVE)
At a glance
After years of instability, Somalia is still in conflict, burdened by threats and attacks carried out by armed groups including violent extremism and terrorist groups. Somalia’s most infamous violent extremist group, Al-Shabaab, continues to control and influence territory and communities in large parts of the country, particularly in the south and central parts, despite territory gains made in recent years by the Somali National Army (SNA) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in the implementation of the Somali Transition Plan. In the north, a small fraction of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorist group – (ISIL or Daesh) has taken ground.
Particularly in an environment of volatile politics and localized security vacuums, violent extremism and non-state armed groups have space to thrive and can fill the void left behind by fragile and untrusted institutions, the absence of a functioning state and still very unequal society. Violent extremist groups continue to influence communities via complex gendered narratives and clan influenced tactics, reinforced by propaganda, indoctrination via radical curricula for young children, “justice” provision and a particular administration, including an elaborate taxation system.
Until today, conditions conducive to terrorism and violent extremism are a reality in urban areas as well as communities in newly recovered areas, where – without efforts for local reconciliation and political inclusion, employment opportunities, particularly for young people, and rebuilding the trust between the people and the state – groups like Al-Shabaab have the tactical potential to retake territory and strengthen credibility as provider of social services.
Preventing Countering Violent extremism (PCVE)
In January 2016, the UN Secretary-General launched the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, which emphasizes how violent extremism undermines peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. The Plan acknowledges that violent extremism does not arise in a vacuum, and how narratives of grievance, actual or perceived injustice, promised empowerment and sweeping change become attractive perspectives where good governance is being ignored and aspirations are being crushed.
To address that broad spectrum of factors, the Plan is based on seven priority areas: 1) dialogue and conflict prevention; 2) good governance, Rule of Law and human rights; 3) engaging communities; 4) empowering youth; 5) gender equality and empowering women; 6) education, skills development and employment facilitation; and 7) strategic communications, the Internet and social media.
The Plan for Action recommends greater coordination and integration of efforts to prevent violent extremism into activities of UN peacekeeping operations, special political missions and United Nations Country Teams, wherever relevant and in accordance with their respective mandates.
It is precisely here where the United Nation’s approach to Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism (P/CVE) plays a critical role in building capacity to support the coordination, prioritisation, sequencing, and regular review of Somalia’s efforts at the higher governmental level-upstream. Additionally, it links up with downstream efforts – reaching out to local communities and civil society to bring them in as partners for continued analysis, advocacy, and joint implementation, additional to monitoring and evaluating progress.
PCVE in Somalia
In September 2016, the Federal Government of Somalia took initial steps to implement its obligations under United Nations Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions by adopting a National Strategy and Action Plan on Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism.
Somalia requested further support and assistance of the United Nations in Somalia to fully implement its obligations pursuant to relevant UN Resolutions on Countering Terrorism and Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism, including Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001), 1624 (2005), 2178 (2014) and the Secretary-General’s Plan of Action.
Ever since Security Council Resolution 2358 (2017), UNSOM has a mandate to advise and assist Somalia in the implementation of the National Strategy and Action Plan to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism. This mandate includes the support to coordinate PCVE activities, advise on specific thematic issues, share good practices and enable information exchange with other partners.
Strand 4 of Somalia’s Comprehensive Approach to Security (CAS)
In 2017, in the broader security context, the Government of Somalia, the United Nations, international partners and AMISOM have endorsed the Comprehensive Approach to Security (CAS) integrating PCVE with military and law enforcement efforts, aiming to enable Somali authorities at the federal and state levels to provide security for their own citizens.
Under strand 4, Somalia and its partners take efforts towards an end state where conflicts are addressed politically as opposed to through violence. The strand is divided into two components:
- A stand-alone assistance, political and strategic guidance to the Federal Government to put in operation their P/CVE strategy, adopted in September 2016; and
- Targeted P/CVE interventions coordinated or implemented by the national authorities and institutions (FGS and FMS) supported by UN in Somalia and the international community, ensuring the delivery of related programs in line with the four pillars (Inclusive politics, Security and Justice, Social development and economic development) and the cross cutting themes (Human Rights and gender equality, Durable solutions, Environment and climate changes) of the National Development Plan 9, promoting right based approaches, avoiding stigmatization and ensuring that relevant institution or line ministries in their respective mandate contribute to the reduction of grievances and push factors.
There is no agreed international definition of violent extremism itself or what its prevention entails. The concept of “Prevention of Violent Extremism” is to limit the traction of terrorist groups on individuals, communities and society at large. Solid analysis and evidence-based assessment of specific, settings-based factors that lead to affiliation with violent organizations is needed. This requires a bottom-up approach to identify root causes, push and pull factors, recruitment strategies and drivers of violent extremism. It is crucial to link those efforts up with a top-down approach that addresses progress required and led by the Government on the policy and programmatic level to enable national and sub-national authorities and international actors to effectively take on root causes and drivers of violent extremism.
Somali federal and state authorities have identified P/CVE coordinators and focal points in the relevant line ministries, which form the basis of a mechanism that allow for top down and bottom-up communication flow and implementation scheme contributing to relevant intervention and confidence building. In addition, this provide for evidence base research and actions that if relevant and efficient can then be integrated into policies. Eventually the support to the Somali efforts by the international community is coordinated by the PCVE Coordination Unit in the Prime Minister Office through the CAS strand 4.
The UN in Somalia collectively, as well as the International Community are supporting the implementation of the National PCVE strategy through targeted and relevant interventions align with the NDP 9, such as programs promoting inclusive politics (including Women Peace and Security, Youth Peace and Security agenda), the Rule of law – security and justice, non-violent alternative, reintegration and rehabilitation of former Al Shabab fighters, deradicalization risk reduction intervention in prisons, security sector good governance, Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance, community resilience, civic education and national identity, economic empowerment and employability as well as counter-narrative through strategic communications including in the framework of the COVID 19 pandemic.
The joint PCVE UN Program has supported the institutionalization of the PCVE coordination mechanism as well as the implementation of the National Strategy. The second generation of PCVE joint program will support the revision of the National Strategy towards Tolerance and Dialogue. Efforts will increasingly focus on promoting dialogue as a valued tool for coexistence and social accepted means to address differences of opinions; encouraging non-violent alternatives of conflict resolution; cultivating common ground between conflict parties to create condition conducive to peace; and addressing intolerance of a deeply hierarchical, clan-based, patriarchal Somali society, leading to social, economic and political exclusion, discrimination of minority clans, and of minority sub-clans within the dominant clans.
At a Glance
Eight out of ten Somalis are younger than 35 years old, comprising more than 70% of the Somali population. Young Somali women and men play a crucial role in their country’s peacebuilding and state-building processes but are often excluded from opportunities and meaningful participation.
Supporting the meaningful participation of young people in reconciliation efforts, conflict resolution, peacebuilding and elections, is a core part of the UNSOM mandate, as well as the UN Security Council Resolutions 2250, 2419 and 2535 on Youth, Peace and Security. The UN in Somalia, through its Youth Strategy, has unified its efforts to work with and for young people throughout all political and programmatic efforts.
Through the strategy, all members of the UN family play a role to enhance the role of young people through six thematic priorities:
- Employment and Entrepreneurship
- Protection of Rights and Civic Engagement
- Political Inclusion
- Education and Skills Development
Through the Inter-Agency Youth Working Group, UNSOM coordinates an integrated youth response in Somalia, by facilitating joint situation and problem analysis; providing the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States with technical advice on youth-sensitive and youth-inclusive policies and programmes; facilitating engagement with and support to youth serving and youth-led civil society organizations; and creating and sustaining spaces for meaningful youth participation. To ensure the continuous input from young people in the work of the UN in Somalia, UNSOM has appointed a UN Youth Advisory Board.
By ensuring that young people’s rights and needs are at the heart of all the UN’s efforts, UNSOM aims to maximize coverage and impact, create space and equip youth with the necessary tools to play a positive and decisive role in bringing peace, social and economic prosperity to Somalia.