Statement at the UNSC Briefing on Somalia
Statement07 September 2022
Thank you Mr. President.
Thank you SRSG Swan for your briefing. Thank you also DSRCC Lorton for your update on the work of the African Union and we look forward to engaging with the new Special Representative very soon. Thank you also to Special Representative Annette Weber. As you have made clear, the EU remains a steadfast partner of Somalia. Your upcoming visit to the region with High Representative Borrell could not be more timely. I am also pleased to see the Somali representative here with us today. You are very welcome Ambassador Abukar.
First, Ireland congratulates Somalia and its people on the successful completion of elections, and in particular the recent appointment of the Prime Minister, and establishment of the cabinet.
Now is the time to get back to the core business of government. There is an urgent need to address the challenges of state building, humanitarian need, economic development and tackling Al Shabaab.
Addressing these issues will require an inclusive, all-of-society, consensus-based approach. As we have just heard from you Jim, a strong working relationship between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States will be vital. A return to the animosity of the past will help no one.
As well as this, Somalia, like all countries, needs to harness the potential of its whole population. This means Somalia needs to ensure the full, equal and meaningful participation of women throughout society.
In most countries, including my own, much more needs to be done to support the meaningful participation of women in decision-making positions. Nevertheless, the number of women appointed to the new Somali cabinet falls short of Somalia’s own commitments.
I urge the incoming administration to build on their electoral promises and to ensure the meaningful participation of women throughout the new administration, including at senior levels.
Second, the new Government is facing a dire humanitarian emergency that is rapidly unfolding across the country.
We have seen OCHA’s reports of alarming levels of widespread hunger – millions of people are being displaced and even more are facing the horror of famine -like conditions. We, in the international community, have a duty to provide the urgent surge in humanitarian aid that is needed now to avoid a catastrophe. We have no time to lose.
Drought, the impacts of climate change, conflict with Al-Shabaab, and difficulty accessing food are driving the humanitarian crisis. Meanwhile, food costs and inflation are spiralling due to the knock-on effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The international community must do everything we can to support the Somali people at this time. And you can count on our support. But the response must be led by the Somali Government. It must live up to its commitments and deliver for the Somali people.
Finally, Mr. President, I want to express my sincere condolences to the families of those killed and injured in recent Al-Shabaab attacks. This includes the attack at the Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu and on a civilian convoy in Hiran, which was reportedly carrying much-needed aid.
These attacks are a stark reminder of the threat posed by terrorism in Somalia. Ireland condemns these senseless attacks in the strongest possible terms.
Ireland urges the government of Somalia to intensify its multifaceted approach to addressing the threat of Al-Shabaab. African Union Peacekeepers and the Somali Security Forces play a crucial role in combatting these extremists. We commend their bravery and their sacrifices. But military action alone will not be enough.
Ultimately, good governance, justice, the protection of human rights as well as economic development will be the weapons that will defeat Al-Shabaab once and for all.
We have today made a number of asks of the Somali Government today. I would urge the new administration to grasp this opportunity to deliver for its people. There is no time to waste. Ireland together with the EU will continue to support Somalia’s efforts to face these challenges, to become a peaceful and stable country, and to take progressive ownership over its own national security.
Thank you Mr. President.