A round-up of activities of the UN system in Somalia in December 2023

31 Dec 2023

A round-up of activities of the UN system in Somalia in December 2023


Resilience | FAO's new £35 million project to boost sustainable water management in Somalia

In a historic collaboration, FAO and the British Embassy in Mogadishu have joined forces to launch the Restoring the Riverine Eco-Systems for Climate Adaptations (RESTORE) project, a £35 million initiative tackling climate vulnerability in Somalia. This project, embedded within the larger Jowhar Offstream Storage Programme (JOSP), aims to empower communities in two Hirshabelle State regions with the tools and knowledge to manage precious water resources effectively.

RESTORE focuses on fostering climate-resilient approaches through Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and promoting accountable governance for sustainable resource management. By restoring crucial infrastructure and implementing NBS, the project seeks to reduce flood risks, mitigate the impact of droughts, and ultimately enhance food security for millions vulnerable to climate shocks.

This timely investment, lauded by both FAO Representative Etienne Peterschmitt and British Embassy Development Director Damon Bristow, represents a critical step towards promoting peace, stability, and lasting self-sufficiency in conflict-affected areas.

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Capacity Building | UN-Habitat convenes government leaders across Somalia for an inclusive land governance workshop

For the first time in modern Somali history, 26 government officials from across Somalia – Puntland, South West State, Hirshabelle, Galmudug, Jubaland, Benadir Region and the Federal Ministry of Public Works – attended a workshop on inclusive land governance, convened by UN-Habitat.

One of the notable outcomes of the training was the consensus reached on harmonising state level approaches to land governance through better coordination and consultation between the Federal Government and the Federal Member States on quality standards and the allocation of land (rights) to internally displaced people (IDP) contributing to the broader goal of stability and recovery.

The workshop was delivered by the Hague Academy of Local Governance with training facilitators from UN-Habitat Somalia, Global Lnad Tool Network (GLTN) and Kataster International.

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Rule of Law | UNOPS provides non-lethal military equipment to the Somali National Army

UNOPS Somalia facilitated the European Union's (EU) support for the Somali National Army (SNA) by overseeing the official handover of non-lethal military equipment funded by the European Peace Facility (EPF) in Mogadishu. The collaboration aims to empower the SNA, enhancing operational capabilities in countering improvised explosive devices, medical capacities, command and control functions, and ground transportation. This marks a milestone in a series of three EU support packages since 2020, totaling EUR 65 million, benefiting ten SNA battalions. The support aligns with the EU Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM-Somalia), focusing on training and advising the SNA. The equipment handover, involving two trained infantry battalions, ensures proficient use and boosts overall operational effectiveness for the SNA.

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Women’s empowerment | UNDP supports annual Somali Women Parliamentarians Conference

The two-day conference that took place in Mogadishu aimed to create a platform for collaboration among women parliamentarians. It provided an opportunity for them to share experiences and strengthen their collective efforts to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment in the government's legislative arm. With over 150 participants, including women MPs, CSO champions, and experts, the conference involved reflection on progress, identification of barriers, and the drafting of a declaration outlining future steps for women's political participation, including strategies to achieve a 30 percent quota.

Key topics of discussion included efforts to strengthen gender equality, raise awareness about women's political participation, and enhance leadership skills for women parliamentarians. This conference marks a significant step toward promoting gender equality and women's empowerment in Somali politics, contributing to a more inclusive and representative governance.

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Human rights | UN celebrates Human Rights Day and 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Marking both Human Rights Day and the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December, the United Nations reaffirmed its unwavering support to Somalia in the full realization of the Declaration.

The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Catriona Laing, in a statement issued on the day, said, “The principles and values of the Universal Declaration are as relevant today as they were when the document was first drafted. Human Rights Day is an opportunity to celebrate Somalia’s achievements when it comes to their promotion and protection. Somalia is at a crucial stage of development focused on achieving its vision of an inclusive peaceful and stable Somalia based firmly on human rights.”

Throughout 2023, range of activities were held around the globe to commemorate the UDHR’s 75th anniversary and promote human rights awareness. Somalia was a part of the global campaign with a series of consultations, panel discussions, art and film competitions with a particular focus on the theme of the 75th anniversary of the UDHR: dignity, freedom and justice for all.

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