What's In Blue

Posted Fri 14 Sep 2012

Somalia Resolution

On Monday (17 September) the Council is likely to adopt a resolution on Somalia. The resolution is intended to mark the end of the transition in the country and lay out the Council’s expectations for the next phase with regard to the responsibilities of the new government as well as the role of the UN, the international community and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). It asks the Secretary-General to present options and recommendations to the Council by 31 December on the future UN presence based on the inter-agency review over the next few months led by the Department of Political Affairs, as announced in his latest report on Somalia (S/2012/643 of 23 August). The draft was expected to be put into blue later this afternoon. It seems negotiations went smoothly with no major differences among Council members.

While the Council’s response to political transitions is often a presidential statement, it seems that the UK (the lead country in the Council on Somalia) was keen in this case to have a resolution. The election by the Somali parliament on 10 September of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as the country’s new president marks the end of an eight-year transition process involving significant setbacks and delays. The draft resolution notes that the election represents “the completion of the Transition in Somalia and an important milestone in Somalia’s path to more stable and accountable governance.”

In its operative paragraphs, the draft spells out a number of expectations directed at Somali authorities. It urges the swift appointment of a representative government, implementation of the postponed elements of the transition road map, development of a programme to define post-transition priorities, restructuring of Somali security forces and expansion of the rule of law and public services. It also emphasises the importance of reconciliation, transitional justice, transparency and accountability. It expresses concern in particular about reports of financial misappropriations and reiterates the Council’s request for the rapid establishment of a joint financial management board tasked with overseeing Somali public finances.

With regard to AMISOM, the draft emphasises that the mission’s efforts against al-Shabaab and other armed groups must continue. It also emphasises the importance of international support for AMISOM, as well as for all other priority areas for the post-transition period.

On piracy, the draft reiterates the Council’s previous request for the Somali authorities to adopt counter-piracy laws “without further delay” and to declare an Exclusive Economic Zone to ensure effective governance of the waters off the coast of Somalia.

The draft also contains clear messages on the need to comply with obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law and ensure accountability for any violations, including with regard to women and children. It calls for increased participation of women in the political process and for the implementation of the 3 July action plan on child soldiers as well as the 6 August action plan on the prevention of killing and maiming of children signed by the Somali authorities.

The mini summit on Somalia scheduled to take place on 26 September on the margins of the general debate of the General Assembly is expected to keep the focus on many of the same issues addressed in the draft resolution. The objective of the mini summit is “to launch a high-level dialogue between representatives of the international community and the new Somali leadership on the new Government’s long-term priorities.” A communiqué defining priorities and confirming the international community’s commitment to rebuilding Somalia is expected to be adopted at that meeting.

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