First public consultation on the constitutional review process concludes in Mogadishu
Mogadishu – A three-day public consultation on the constitutional review process ended today with a renewed appeal for all Somalis to participate in an inclusive and transparent dialogue, and contribute to finalizing the country’s fundamental law.
"We would like all of you to help us carry this message across, about the ongoing public outreach campaign on the constitutional review process," said Abdikani Ali Adan, Public Outreach Director at the federal Ministry of Constitutional Affairs (MoCA).
"The Constitution is our shared identity. Governance is hinged on a Constitution that governs its people - since it's a social contract and our principles and values guide us,” added Mr. Adan. “If we adopt an inclusive Constitution, it will minimise conflicts and herald good governance."
The public consultation in Mogadishu brought together over one hundred representatives of youth, women, elders and persons with disabilities, eager to have their views included in the final Constitution.
Abdirahman Osman Mohamed, a member of the National Union of Somali Students, hailed the initiative to consider the opinions of ordinary citizens, including the youth.
"The government is cognisant of the fact that youth constitute more than seventy percent of the population, with the ability to influence the political process, and the potential to tap into their talents. Hence the need to involve the youth in the constitutional review process," observed Mr. Mohamed.
During this inaugural consultative meeting, participants reviewed all the chapters of the provisional Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and raised pertinent issues related to immigration, security, the electoral process, power and natural resource sharing, the justice system, the structure of the government, and the status of the capital city.
"I support and encourage public consultations, they are a step in the right direction,” noted Faiza Ibrahim Abdullahi. “The consultations have broadened my understanding of the Constitution and other issues, including security and the electoral law."
Abdullahi Hassan, who represented persons with disabilities, urged the youth to use their energy to advocate for the plight of vulnerable groups.
"Two things need to be included in the Constitution, for the benefit and the future of persons with disabilities,” Mr. Hassan noted. “We need a special commission that champions for our welfare. We also need a specific quota allocated to persons with disabilities, just like the women's quota.”
The three-day meeting is part of an ongoing nationwide outreach campaign, organized by MoCA with the support of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia. The campaign will cover all the federal member states of Somalia and will enable citizens to contribute to the constitution-making process.