Remarks by the UN Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, to the media in Garowe

9 Jun 2021

Remarks by the UN Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, to the media in Garowe

Good Afternoon, Mr. President, representatives of the media.

Thank you, President Said Abdullahi Deni and your team, for the warm welcome that you have extended to us today.

I am here with the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and head of AMISOM Ambassador Francisco Madeira, EU Deputy Head of Delegation to Somalia Nicole Miller, and IGAD Head of Mission in Somalia Jemal Ahmed.

We are very pleased to be in Garowe today.

We have come now that the National Consultative Council Conference has concluded, and Somali leaders reached an agreement on 27 May, outlining implementation modalities for the 17 September 2020 Agreement.

The 27 May agreement was an outcome of the constructive engagement between the FMS leaders and the Federal Government, that also included consultations with other important political actors. It is vital that the same spirit of cooperation between Somali leaders continues going forward. We encourage ongoing dialogue and cooperation between the two levels of the government, and encourage Somali leaders to continue regular meetings in the National Consultative Council format.

We discussed with President Said Deni the next steps in implementing the 27 May communique. This included discussions on the constitution of the electoral management bodies at the federal and state levels, the establishment of the committee working on the Gedo reconciliation process, preparations for the holding of elections, including electoral security, and steps being taken to implement the women’s 30 per cent quota. We urged that momentum be maintained on all of the key issues.

We reiterate the importance of including women and youth in the political processes at the federal and regional levels. In particular, it is a priority that the minimum 30 per cent quota for women’s representation is implemented in the elections of both Houses. We are confident that with political will from all stakeholders an inclusive and credible electoral process can be held in Somalia.

We have been encouraged by President Deni on the significant progress made in Puntland towards holding pilot one-person one-vote local elections. We remain committed to working in partnership with the Government and people of Puntland to advance participatory democracy in the state.

Mr. President, as we conclude our visit, once again our sincere appreciation for the warm welcome. We look forward to continuing to work together with you and your team going forward as Somalia moves toward the holding of elections.

Thank you.