UN Security Council makes historic visit to Somalia
Mogadishu – Members of the United Nations Security Council arrived in Mogadishu this morning on a landmark visit to Somalia to review progress made by the Federal Government with assistance from the international community, and to demonstrate their continued support for the country’s efforts to ensure a sustainable peace.
The visit by the fifteen-member body is led by the UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Mark Lyall-Grant, and Ambassador Usman Sarki of Nigeria. During the visit the Council members met with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, senior members of the Government and the Federal Parliament, and the leaders of the Interim Jubba Administration and Galmudug, Ahmed Islaan Madobe and Abdi Hassan Awale Qeybdid. They also held discussions with the senior leadership of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and members of Somalia’s civil society.
The visit comes at an important time for Somalia as the country prepares to launch the next phase of military operations against Al-Shabaab, addresses a worsening humanitarian situation and pushes forward with political reforms to agree a federal system of governance.
Speaking at Mogadishu International Airport, the UK’s Permanent Representative, Ambassador Mark Lyall-Grant said, “We are pleased to have this opportunity to visit Somalia. Our visit underlines the commitment of the international community to Somalia’s progress toward peace and stability. The Council welcomes recent political agreements to form interim regional administrations, including the establishment of the Interim Jubba Administration and agreements on the Interim South West State Administration and on the Central Regions.
“Members of the Council also expressed their expectation that the Federal Government of Somalia will urgently establish a national independent electoral commission, lead a process to revise the constitution and hold a referendum on it by the end of 2015, and hold elections in 2016. The members of the Security Council stand ready to support the people and government of Somalia to deliver this vision. The members of the Security Council also underlined the importance of women being represented at all levels of the political process in Somalia.” Ambassador Lyall-Grant added.
The UN Security Council delegation includes representatives from Argentina, Australia, Chad, Chile, China, France, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, UK and USA.