Progress made at the Somalia High Level Partnership Forum in Copenhagen

29 Nov 2014

Progress made at the Somalia High Level Partnership Forum in Copenhagen

Copenhagen - The first Ministerial-level High Level Partnership Forum (HLPF) was held in Copenhagen on 19-20 November. The conference was co-chaired by HE Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of the Federal Government of Somalia, and the United Nations, and hosted by the Government of Denmark. The conference reviewed progress in implementing the New Deal Somali Compact endorsed last September in Brussels. The Compact sets out how Somalia and its international partners will work together for political, security, justice, economic and financial progress up to the end of 2016.

Fifty-six delegations and over 370 delegates gathered at the Crowne Plaza. The hotel hallways and lounges were buzzing around the clock, with delegates taking the opportunity to come together, forge partnerships and discuss important business; the New Deal Somali Compact was endorsed, challenges encountered in 2014 were acknowledged, and priorities were identified for 2015. The conference also endorsed the Copenhagen High Level Partnership Forum Communique; setting the foundations for a sovereign, secure, democratic, united and federal Somalia, at peace with itself and the world and for the benefit of its people.

At the conference, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs (USG), Jeffrey Feltman, said “Overall Somalia is in a better state than it has been in a generation. These gains have been the result of a strategic, effective partnership among Somalia’s federal leadership, that gave Somalis and those of us in the international community faith and confidence. That is why I feel great sadness at the current political situation… Somalia cannot afford to repeat the pattern of division and paralysis that has led to ten Prime Ministers in a dozen years.”

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay urged the Federal Government of Somalia and its international partners to remain focused on delivering the tangible benefits of the New Deal to the Somali people.

“The New Deal is about the people, for the people and with the people of Somalia. It is the process of ensuring that after more than two decades of conflict and instability, the Somali people are able to reap the benefits of improved security and governance,” he said. “We need to sustain and increase partnership amongst Somalis and between Somalia and its international partners, so that we can deliver. The compact remains the best framework to do this. I urge the international community to maintain its support for the country’s ongoing peace- and state-building efforts, recognising that continued commitment by all partners is the key to achieving the targets set out in Vision 2016.”
SRSG Kay commended the Federal Government of Somalia on progress made in key country systems such as the initiation of a financial management information system, improved expenditure controls and publishing of national financial assets. He encouraged greater emphasis on achieving important milestones in the political process, including the passing of key legislation such as that to establish the National Independent Electoral Commission and the Boundaries and Federation Commission.
Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, Philippe Lazzarini, emphasized the importance of women’s representation and participation in all political, policy and decision-making processes, including the electoral processes, constitutional review process, reconciliation and state-building processes to ensure inclusivity, sustainability, equitability and fairness.

“In the context of Somalia, where exclusionary politics are known to be a driver of conflict, women, a major stakeholder, cannot be left without a voice and influence in crucial peacebuilding and statebuilding processes. To secure sustained peace and to ensure all political and policy-making processes are inclusive, just and fair, women, as any other stakeholder, must be included and their proportionate representation and participation must be ensured.”

While progress has been made, it was noted that much work remains to be done and the conference was designed to build upon the achievements made so far.

Several targets were put in place following the conference to ensure that Somalia continues on the road to political unity, continuity and stability.

First, an agreement was made to come together within 6 months, to evaluate progress on the political process, implementation of Vision 2016, and security.

There was also reaffirmation of the importance of stabilisation activities, both governance and peace dividends; and the need to link the process of establishing local administrations to the state formation process.

USG Feltman commented “We have renewed our partnership and revalidated the Compact as the path and process whereby we work jointly for a peaceful, united and prosperous Somalia.

“We finish our work today conscious of the urgency of delivering for the citizens of Somalia - on political unity, on stability, on security, on prosperity. Together, we all need to do better to ensure that our investment and commitment in Somalia is matched by results on the ground. ”