UN Special Representative visits Galmudug, pledges support for state-building and security

15 Jul 2023

UN Special Representative visits Galmudug, pledges support for state-building and security

Dhusamareb – The top United Nations official for Somalia today visited Galmudug, where she met with its leadership to discuss topics including state-building, security, local democracy and the establishment of a UN office.

"We've had a really fruitful initial meeting and covered a lot of ground. We started discussing national issues and the various consultations that are going on regarding the National Consultative Council process," said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Catriona Laing.

"I commended the President for his commitment to a wide and inclusive consultation, including with civil society, with elders, with women, and with youth, because it is so important, as Somalia continues this state-building process, that the people of Somalia, opposition leaders, and others are brought into this genuine, inclusive dialogue," she added.

The UN Special Representative made her remarks at a joint media encounter in Dhusamareb, the state capital, alongside Galmudug’s President Ahmed Abdi Karie ‘Qoorqoor,’ with whom she had met earlier.

The top UN official said the discussions were an opportunity to learn more about the security situation in Galmudug as well as stabilisation efforts in newly recovered areas.

"We discussed the importance of following up military operations with stabilisation efforts to ensure the area remains secure, including, of course, the provision of police. And I committed the United Nations to fully come in and support those stabilisation efforts," Ms. Laing said.

“An enduring police presence in the reclaimed areas and then the provision of basic services provides the opportunity for people to rebuild their livelihoods because it's so important for people to see that the government is there to support them,” she added. 

Discussions also touched on Galmudug’s progress on local democracy and the preparations for one-person-one-vote district elections.

"The United Nations is fully committed to supporting Galmudug and is already working with you to prepare for those local elections," Ms. Laing said.

The UN Special Representative also discussed the establishment of a United Nations office in Galmudug.

"We now have land in Hero Drogo, here in the capital, and we agreed we should fast-track that work as soon as we possibly can. While we already have a very strong partnership with you, it will obviously be much easier to strengthen and deepen that partnership and for the various UN Agencies, funds, and programmes to establish a presence here and strengthen the partnership going forward," Ms. Laing said.

In June this year, the long-awaited construction of what will become the United Nations Office at Hero Drogo in Dhusamareb was launched. Galmudug has remained the only federal member state without a UN presence, but this will now change, paving the way for increased collaboration, better coordination, and enhanced programme delivery for the government and the people of Galmudug.

Currently, the United Nations family in Somalia has been supporting Galmudug remotely and through regular visits and will continue its regular engagement and support in this manner until the office is opened. Various UN agencies, funds and programmes have already expressed interest in locating staff and resources in Galmudug once the office is built.

The UN Special Representative’s visit to Galmudug was part of her initial familiarisation visits to Federal Member States. Since her arrival in early June, she has visited and had discussions with the presidents of Hirshabelle, Puntland, South West State and Jubaland.