SRSG Kay's speech on the occasion of the Puntland Presidential Handover
Garowe,24 January 2014 - Your Excellency, President of the Puntland State of Somalia, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas, Your Excellency, Minister of Planning for the Federal Government of Somalia, Said Abdullahi Mohamed Dini, Your Excellency, Minister of Religious Affairs of Djibouti, Your Excellency, Vice President of Puntland, Abdihakim Abdulahi Haji Omar, Your Excellencies, Former Presidents of Puntland, Abdirahman Farole and General Adde Musse
Former Prime Minister of Somalia, Ali Gedi, Your Excellency, Former Vice President of Puntland, Abdisamad Ali Shire, Excellencies, members of the diplomatic corps
Your Excellency, Leader of the Interim Jubba Administration, Sheikh Ahmed Madobe
The Honourable Speaker and Members of Puntland Parliament and Honourable MPs of the Federal Parliament of Somalia
Excellencies, Special Envoys, Respected traditional and religious leaders, Members of the civil society and especially women’s groups and the media;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Salam Alaykum, Subax Wanaagsan!
I am delighted to return to Puntland to witness the inauguration of the fourth President since 1998.
I would like to use this opportunity to offer once again my personal congratulations and also congratulations on behalf of the entire international community. And we are well represented today. I acknowledge the presence of the Minister of Djibouti, but there are also the ambassadors of Turkey, Yemen, Ethiopia, Norway, Special Envoys, Sweden representative, United Kingdom’s representatives, Italy and excuse me colleagues if I have forgotten anybody else. But there is a very strong diplomatic representation.
First, I would like to congratulate President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas and Vice President on assuming their positions.
You have been elected by the Puntland Parliament to lead the state towards a democratic election in 2019. That is not an easy task. Unity, integrity and reconciliation are needed as well as delivering basic services such as health, education, jobs and building the economy.
I would also like to congratulate and thank Former President Farole. Thank you for your statesmanship during this transition. Your handover to President Abdiweli Gaas has been a great example in Somalia and the world. Over the last few months I have appreciated your advise, your wisdom and your friendship and I hope that that will continue to be put at the benefit of all Somalis.
You have told me that you will support the new Government and you are honouring that commitment. I hope that Puntland will continue to benefit and enjoy security, peace and stability.
Last but not least, I would like to congratulate all the people of Puntland who made this day possible. Your contribution has been invaluable. I think in particular of the traditional titled elders, civil society, the media and the security services, so ably led by General Said Dhere. You all made it happen.
Mr. President and Vice President
The United Nations and international partners have been closely following the process. We extended support whenever it was needed. I personally visited four times. We will continue to provide such support as we move forward and as you face new challenges. The way ahead will be neither smooth nor easy but with your experience and determination, I am confident you will maintain security, stability and will lead Puntland towards good governance and prosperity.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The United Nations wishes to see Puntland play a full part in a federal Somalia and I am delighted to recognize the very strong delegation from Mogadishu. I mentioned already the Minister of Planning. I believe also we have the Minister of Air and Transport, Minister of Water and Energy, Minister of Ports, Minister of Education, Former Minister of Finance, Deputy Ministers of Interior and Justice, strong delegation of Members of Parliament and I recognize all those who have traveled with us today from Mogadishu.
The UN will continue to support the peace and state building efforts. We will be assisting the Federal Government with the Constitutional review process that will lead to a constitution agreeable to all Somalis through a referendum. The UN will also be contributing in many more aspects such as development, promoting human rights, women’s empowerment, developing the security sector, all in accordance with our mandate from the Security Council and in the context of the Somali Compact.
I am re-assured by the commitment of many to resume the democratization process leading to a one- person one- vote electoral system. I am further re-assured by President Abdiweli’s commitment to increase women’s representation and participation in Puntland and I thank you for that commitment.
The United Nations is committed to supporting Puntland in its march towards peace, reconciliation, democracy and prosperity in the years to come. For me personally, Puntland is a very special part of Somalia and I will be returning time and time again to work with you as you march together to lasting peace and prosperity.