Statement of SRSG Kay on the occasion of the Puntland Presidential Elections

8 Jan 2014

Statement of SRSG Kay on the occasion of the Puntland Presidential Elections

Your Excellency, Mr. President-elect of the Puntland State of Somalia; The Honourable, Mr. Speaker of the Parliament and Deputies, Your Excellency, Former President (s) of Puntland; Excellencies, members of the diplomatic corps, Respected traditional and religious leaders; Members of the Civil Society and the media; Dignitaries, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Salam Alaykum, Subax Wanaagsan!

It gives me great pleasure to be with you here on this exceptional day, on which you have elected the fourth president of Puntland in 15 years. This morning I woke up in Garowe and saw the sun rising over a Puntland that was at peace and full of hope. It does me good to breathe the fresh air of Puntland, peaceful and politically advanced.

Today I speak on behalf of the United Nations and the international community, represented here by the Special Envoy for IGAD [the Intergovernmental Authority on development], the Special Envoy for the European Union, the Ambassador of Ethiopia, and representatives from Norway, the UK and Spain.

On behalf of the international community, I would like to congratulate the President-elect, President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas, and I would like to congratulate former President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole on the very dignified and proper manner in which he has conducted the election and the conclusion.

I applaud the Speaker, the deputies and the electoral committee; I think you have all done a fantastic job and are a great example to the rest of Somalia. Thank you.

I also thank very much the traditional leaders and elders for the important role they have played. Thank you. And also the Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation Committee for their work.

I would like especially to congratulate and recognize the work of General Saeed Dheere and the security he has provided throughout this time.

I would also like to congratulate all the people of Puntland for this extraordinary day and for this great example of political development you have shown.

And finally, today is the beginning of five years of hard work for the government of Puntland.

I would like just to share three wishes and aspirations that the United Nations has for these five years. Firstly, we really hope that the government will deliver what the people of Puntland need and aspire to: economic growth, stability, jobs, public services, health, education, etc... The United Nations and the international community will stand with you to help you deliver what the people need.

Second, I hope you will deliver what Somalia needs, and what Somalia needs is a strong Puntland playing a strong role in a Federal Somalia. Puntland is leading the way.

Third, I hope you will deliver what the world wishes, which is to see you develop democratization, and "one person, one vote" so that your elders and your traditional leaders can rest and the people, next election can decide. I hope in the next election we shall also see far more women elected and a far greater role for women in the political process.

Those are my three wishes and aspirations as the United Nations, but this is a Puntland process, you are in charge of your future, this is your state, your government; my views are just the wishes of a well-wisher for Puntland.

Today I shall stay in Garowe and I shall watch the sun set. I think all of you tonight should sleep - eventually - and you can sleep proud of the example you have set; proud and confident that Puntland and all of Somalia are marching towards peace, towards reconciliation, democracy and prosperity in the years to come, and the United Nations will be with you every step of the way.

I thank you.