New UN envoy arrives in Mogadishu to support Somali peace and stability

3 Jun 2013

New UN envoy arrives in Mogadishu to support Somali peace and stability

Mogadishu – The new Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, arrived in Somalia today to assume his duties as head of the new UN political mission, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).

Upon his arrival, SRSG Kay said “I am very pleased to be in Mogadishu and to have this opportunity to support the Federal Government and people of Somalia to bring peace, security and prosperity back to Somalia.

“Somalia is a proud country with ancient traditions, a vibrant culture, and strong values. I will not forget that as I strive to support the Somali Government and people in their quest for peace.

“I pay tribute to Dr Mahiga and the UNPOS team. They have completed their mission and can be proud of their achievements. Today marks the new beginning of a new phase for the UN and UNSOM as a new mission.

“This is an historic moment for Somalia. The people of Somalia rightly have high expectations. We need to aim high. We look forward with hope towards a national election in 2016. The challenges are tremendous, but we must work hard to seize the moment.

“Over the coming days I will meet His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and his government, with our partners in AMISOM and IGAD, and the many other partners working together to support the country, particularly Somali civil society groups.

“I intend to build strong relationships with all actors working in the interest of the Government and people of Somalia. Our staff will be based initially in Mogadishu, Hargeisa, Garowe and Baidoa and are committed to working with their counterparts”

“The people of Somalia have asked the UN for a new partnership to match their aspirations. The UN effort will become more unified, more joint and more effective – based on the principles of true partnership with the African Union and all other partners of Somalia. The international community has recognised this through its commitment to support UNSOM.

The UN envoy concluded by saying “I am personally deeply and passionately committed to this mission and look forward to the months ahead.”

UNSOM is a new United Nations political mission that started its operations today. It has a mandate to support state building and peacebuilding with a focus on good governance, security sector reform, rule of law, human rights, providing “good offices” for mediation and political reconciliation and coordination of international assistance.

Mr. Kay previously served as Africa Director at the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, a position he has held since 2012. Prior to this, he served as Ambassador to the Republic of the Democratic of the Congo and the Sudan from 2007 to 2010 and 2010 to 2012, respectively. He was also the United Kingdom’s Regional Coordinator for Southern Afghanistan and Head of the Provincial Reconstruction Team for Helmand Province from 2006 to 2007.

In his earlier career with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr. Kay served in policy and country positions in London, as well as overseas in Spain and Cuba. Mr Kay is married with three children.