Remarks by UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, Anita Kiki Gbeho, to the Media in Dhusamareb
Good afternoon, Mr. President and representatives of the press.
I thank President Ahmed Abdi Kariye and his team for the warm reception extended to us today.
Somalia’s electoral process has begun with elections for several Upper House seats being held in Jubaland and the South West State. I hope this will add momentum to elections in all Federal Member States, including Galmudug, thereby fulfilling the expectations of the Somali people, to conclude the electoral process in a timely and peaceful manner.
President Kariye and I also discussed the importance of ensuring a level playing field for candidates, including women candidates, in order to ensure a credible process and outcomes. We also discussed concrete ways to deliver on the commitment made by Somalia’s political leaders to ensure the 30 per cent women’s representation in electoral processes and outcomes.
The recent appointment of the Advocacy Group that promotes the women’s quota is encouraging. I encouraged President Kariye to take advantage of their presence to fulfill his commitment to the 30 per cent quota.
I have also advocated for an equitable representation of minorities, marginalized communities and young women and men in both houses of parliament, which is vital to deliver an inclusive election.
Despite progress, there is still work to be done in order to reach the finish line. High-level political engagement by the Federal Government and Federal Member States leaders will continue to be critical in resolving issues that may arise. The spirit of dialogue and consensus-building that has been demonstrated at the National Consultative Council meetings should be sustained throughout the process.
President Kariye and I also discussed the security situation in Galmudug. The bravery, sacrifices and efforts of all security forces involved in recent military operations in south Mudug is commendable. Galmudug leadership’s resolve to degrade anti-peace elements, encourage displaced people’s return home and provide a safe and secure environment for elections is highly appreciated. This joint effort, involving the Federal Government and neighboring states, showcases a Somali-led, and Somali-owned endeavor and needs to be sustained to maintain the gains made thus far. Building on this experience, I trust that Galmudug’s electoral security plan will be well defined, prepared and executed in a coordinated manner.
Mr. President, at the conclusion of this visit, I once again thank you and the people of Galmudug for your warm hospitality. The United Nations looks forward to continuing the good cooperation with you and your team in Galmudug.
Thank you, Mr. President.