Press remarks of the UN Secretary-General in Mogadishu

11 Apr 2023

Press remarks of the UN Secretary-General in Mogadishu

Your Excellency Mr. President,

Dear members of the press,

I am happy to be back in Somalia, six years after my first visit as Secretary-General, not to mention the many visits as High Commissioner for Refugees during more than 10 years.

And I want to thank President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the Government for the warm welcome I enjoyed.

This is - above all - a visit of solidarity.

Every year during the Holy Month of Ramadan, I have the honour of visiting a Muslim country.

And today, I am happy to continue this tradition here in Somalia, and to fast with you in solidarity.

And I wish to thank everyone for allowing me to join in this special time, and I look forward to later sharing an Iftar, invited by His Excellency the President with a group of distinguished guests.

The President and I discussed the government’s valuable efforts to tackle terrorism and advance peace and security for everyone.

And we underlined the importance of an ever-stronger collaboration between the Federal Government and States.

Federal and State authorities can count on our support for further advanced state-building, and we are particularly encouraged by the recent agreement that was established in relation to the different matters of power sharing.

And I am also here to ring the alarm on the need of massive international support, massive international support because of the humanitarian difficulties the country is facing,  massive humanitarian support in relation to the build-up of a security capacity of Somalia, and massive humanitarian support in stabilisation and development of the country.

Somalia is experiencing its worst series of five years of drought in recorded history, and I hope that the rain that is coming will persist and will help address the very challenging situation that has been created in the country by drought.

And although Somalis make virtually no contribution to climate change - as a matter of fact, Somalia contributes 0.003 percent to the emissions that cause climate change - although Somalis make virtually no contribution to climate change, the Somalis are among the greatest victims.

Nearly five million people are experiencing high levels of acute food insecurity.

And of course, rising prices make matters worse.

So I call on donors and I call on the international community to step up their support:

To urgently fund the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan, which is currently just 15 percent funded, Somali people deserve the solidarity of the international community.

And deserve it to prevent malnutrition and displacement;

To save lives, to avert famine.

But also to be able to launch a new process of stabilisation and development in the country and to build up its capacities to fight Al-Shabaab with even more efficiency than in the recent past.

Dear friends,

Somalia embodies Ramadan’s timeless message of renewal and hope.

In these challenging times, I want to commend your energy and resilience and reiterate the United Nations’ unwavering support.

We stand in solidarity with the Somali people and the Somali Government - for peace, for security and for sustainable development.

Ramadan Mubarak, Ramadan Wanaagsan!

Thank you.