SRSG Nicholas Kay's speech on the signing of the agreement on the Interim Jubba Administration
Your Excellency, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Foreign Minister of Ethiopia and Chair of the Council of Ministers of IGAD
and dear colleagues
Let me begin by giving a very very sincere welcome to the agreement and join my voice to the very well deserved praise for the role of IGAD and the Ethiopian chairmanship of H.E. Dr. Tedros and I can bear witness to the unstinting tireless hours that he has put in. Not least you can follow him also on Twitter and you can find that by the time he tweets there is perfect evidence that he is up at odd hours during these negotiations. 3am was his last tweet!
And well deserved congratulations to the IGAD Executive Secretary, H.E. Ambassador Engineer Mahboub Maalim and as well as it has been mentioned General Gebre, IGAD Facilitator.
Everybody deserves praise but particularly I salute President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s statesmanship and leadership and Sheikh Mohamed Ahmed Islaan or Sheikh Madobe’s courage and commitment to the political process.
This agreement is a breakthrough. It helps resolve a political impasse which had been holding up progress and unlocks the door to a better future for Somalia.
But I think it is important to stress that everyone is a winner. Both parties manifested remarkable patience, persistence, wisdom and political commitment. They all acted in the greater interest of the country and moving towards a more stable future.
The agreement is good for at least three reasons in my estimation:
First, for federalism, because it injects momentum in the process of building a federal Somalia. It is a key step in the implementation of the Provisional Federal Constitution. This agreement is not in itself setting a precedent. It is a political agreement for the specific context of the Jubbas. Agreeing on the formation of the federal state and how Federal Somalia will finally share resources and power is still to come. This interim agreement allows that process to move forward now in an inclusive and transparent way.
Secondly, it is good for peace- and state-building which, as we all know, is a complex process. The parties have shown today and over the last week of sleepless nights and endless negotiations that there is the political will to resolve even the most complicated issues.
Thirdly, it is good for development and reconstruction. This agreement allows the people and authorities of Somalia to focus on what really matters: peace and security including removing the threat of Al Shabaab, and above all creating jobs, schools, clinics, building a new Somalia based on mutual respect, rule of law and reconciliation.
Much has been said about implementation. Just a word on that because it is a common place that implementation is key but it is true. This agreement must be implemented and respected. Any action aimed at undermining it will have a negative impact on the people of Somalia and on the international community’s efforts to support peace and stability.
The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) is mandated to support peace-building and state-building as well as the Federal Government’s peace and reconciliation process. The Federal Government and IGAD have called for reconciliation and peace-building conferences to follow this agreement. UNSOM stands ready to assist with these. And UNSOM will establish a presence in Kismaayo to support the new administration with its efforts.
The international community is fully engaged in the process. IGAD and its current chair Ethiopia have worked incredibly well and tirelessly to broker the agreement. Ethiopia as Chair of IGAD is its guarantor. The UN will do everything it can to assist Ethiopia and IGAD as a whole with ensuring successful implementation.
I warmly congratulate H.E. Sheikh Ahmed Madobe on becoming the Leader of the Interim Jubba Administration. Leadership comes with responsibilities. The people of Jubba and of all Somalia will be looking to the new interim administration to deliver peace, security and good public services. This is an interim agreement and it gives the administration an opportunity to govern in the interests of all, including creating the conditions for the safe return of those displaced by the recent fighting in Kismaayo and ending the illegal export of charcoal.
I wish Sheikh Madobe and the new administration every success.
This is the beginning and not the end. As Sheikh Farah Abdulkadir also said this is the start of a long journey. And I can say that UNSOM and the UN will be with you each step of the way on that journey. I am confident that the challenges will be met if everyone continues in the spirit of the last week, which as Dr. Tedros said has been a spirit of “can do”, spirit of trust, spirit of friendship. A spirit whereby there has been genuine compromise and a genuine placing of the national interest as the greater interest.
As President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said to me just before I left Mogadishu, he hoped really that this was going to be the time when I think a Somali expression is fulfilled - when spears are turned to ploughs. And I think that is the spirit and the positive hope that we all share with you today.