Integrated Electoral Support Group (IESG)
UNSOM is mandated by the UN Security Council to support federal elections.
In its Resolution 2592 of 30 August 2021 and reaffirmed by SC 2632 on 26 May 2022, , the UN Security Council mandated the UN to “…continue to support efforts to make progress towards the objective of universal suffrage elections, in consultation with FGS [Federal Government of Somalia] and Federal Member State (FMS) authorities, provide good offices, technical and operational support, subject to available resources, to the constitutionally mandated electoral management bodies for the conduct of free, fair, inclusive and transparent one-person, one-vote elections at the Federal Member State and district levels, in preparation for holding such elections at the federal level in 2025, and support strengthened coordination of international electoral support to Somalia.” The UN’s support for Somalia’s electoral process is carried out by the Integrated Electoral Support Group (IESG) – comprising experts from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Assistance Missions in Somalia (UNSOM) – and centred on assisting the country’s constitutionally mandated electoral management bodies to conduct universal suffrage elections.
IESG has worked closely with the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) since its establishment in July 2015, providing technical advice, capacity development, offices and equipment. With the support of donors, UNDP, UNSOM and the UN Peacebuilding Fund, IESG has supported NIEC in the construction of a data centre, a warehouse and an office block at the Commission’s headquarters in Mogadishu. IESG has also assisted in the establishment of NIEC offices at the FMS level in Jubaland, South-West State, Galmadug, Hirshabelle, and Puntland.
UN support to the 2020-2022 indirect electoral process focused on
- Provision of technical, financial and logistical support for the organisation and conduct of the indirect electoral process;
- Coordination of international partners’ support to the electoral process; and
- Provision of technical support to the advocacy for the 30 per cent women’s quota in the federal parliament.
A key priority for the next federal elections is to revise the electoral legal framework to ensure an implementable electoral law and political party law that enhances trust and collaboration towards the common goal of ensuring the peaceful implementation of a transparent and accountable electoral process and the UN will support the process in line with agreed frameworks including promoting the meaningful political participation of women and youth and underrepresented groups.
The IESG managed three other projects between 2019-2022 that supported the Joint Elections Project:
- Support to Mechanisms to Prevent and Manage Conflict During Elections (Security) funded by the Peacebuilding Fund.
- Support to Electoral Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (EDRM) also funded by the Peacebuilding Fund.
- Support to the Establishment of Secure Electoral Assets- Management Centre for the NIEC funded by the Government of Japan.
IESG will continue to provide support to national and sub-national Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) to conduct direct elections.
Technical Support to State Level Electoral Management Bodies
The Security Council Mandate 2592 (2021) expanded the UN’s role to provide support to the FMSs and districts level to conduct universal suffrage elections in preparation for holding such elections at the federal level. This enables IESG to engage with the Transitional Puntland Election Committee (TPEC) by providing technical support on preparations for the Puntland district council elections and to coordinate with other UN entities providing support, including UNOPS and the Joint Programme on Local Governance. IESG is also looking into providing additional resources to TPEC through the Joint Electoral Support Project funded by donors. Support to FMSs is envisaged following the establishment of respective EMBs to organise universal suffrage elections at the district and FMS levels and to strengthen coordination between national and sub-national EMBs.
- Capacity building, institutional development and establishment of infrastructure so that NIEC is equipped and ready to conduct credible and inclusive elections
- Support to FGS institutions on developing an enabling electoral legal framework
- Support to the indirect electoral process 2020-22 focused on the provision of technical support, capacity building, operational support and resource mobilisation
- Support to electoral security focused primarily on operational planning and support to coordination
- Technical support provided to the TPEC on preparations for the Puntland district council elections
- Support to the UN mission’s good offices and coordination of international technical assistance.
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