Support for development and dialogue discussed on UN Special Representative’s farewell visit to Garowe

18 May 2024

Support for development and dialogue discussed on UN Special Representative’s farewell visit to Garowe

Garowe – Continuing her farewell visits with Somali leaders, the top United Nations official for Somalia today visited Puntland where she discussed the world body’s support in areas such as local development and national dialogue.

“I'm particularly grateful to President Deni for taking time out of his retreat – he's having his first retreat with his new cabinet today as they talk about development plans and how they're going to take them forward,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Catriona Laing.

“That was one of the topics we talked about,” she continued, “and [also] the role the UN will play in supporting the various pillars of their development plan – I'm glad to say he has got some high ambition there.”

The UN Special Representative was speaking in Puntland’s capital, Garowe, following meetings with Puntland’s President Said Abdullahi Deni and members of his cabinet. It was her fifth visit to the northern Federal Member State. Accompanying her was the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, Raisedon Zenenga.

National engagement

In her remarks, the UN Special Representative said Somalia’s ongoing constitutional review process, and a communique from a recent meeting of the National Consultative Council (NCC) held in Mogadishu, were also discussed.  They acknowledged the need for inclusive dialogue between the Federal Government of Somalia and Puntland around the country’s ongoing constitutional process. 

"I, of course, offered the UN’s ‘good offices’ role to support him on that,” Ms. Laing added.

Other topics covered in their discussion included security across the country and the importance of all Somalis coming together in the fight against terrorist groups Al-Shabaab and Islamic State. 

While in Garowe, Ms. Laing was also presented with farewell gifts by representatives of local civil society groups in recognition of her support for women’s full participation and inclusion in Somali life.

The UN Special Representative completes her assignment later in May and has been having farewell meetings with the leaders of Somalia’s Federal Member States, as well as with the top officials of the Federal Government of Somalia.