Statement by Ambassador Günter Sautter in the UN Security Council meeting on Somalia, August 20, 2020

20.08.2020 - Speech

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I would like to make five remarks. The first one is on the electoral process. We would like to underscore that credible, free and fair and direct elections in late 2020 are key to the democratic state-building in Somalia. The elections will be the yardstick by which the current Somali administration will be measured.

We do acknowledge that the Covid-19 pandemic makes this much more difficult, yet the existing proposals on the table are in our view not sufficient. It has been made clear by other delegations, and we subscribe to the fact that a return to previous forms of governance where a few groups decided for the whole country must be avoided. We need to see concrete progress towards implementing the principle of one-person, one-vote, wherever possible.

My second remark is on the political cooperation between the federal government and the federal member states. This cooperation is key. We take note of the recent positive developments, including the July leaders’ summit. At the same time, we feel that more progress will be necessary. The speedy nomination of the new PM will be an important step to ensure an inclusive process. It is the basis for reaching sustainable progress, including the question of elections and the transition plan.

My third remark is on human rights. Like others, we are deeply concerned about the “Sexual Intercourse Related Crimes Bill” proposed by the parliamentary committee. This is especially concerning because Somalia does not have a good track record on sexual violence. The UNSG, in his most recent report on Children and Armed Conflict in Somalia, reported that Somali security forces and regional forces were responsible for one in three crimes involving sexual violence between 2016 and 2019. We strongly urge Somalia to respect its international human rights obligations and return to an inclusive and non-discriminatory text. Moreover, we would like to welcome the recent agreement in the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict on the Somalia conclusions. These conclusions must now be implemented.

My fourth remark is on security. The complex attack on the Elite Hotel this past weekend underlines that the security situation remains a major challenge. We condemn attacks by Al-Shabaab on Somali civilians, security forces, AMISOM and the UN and international community. We extend our condolences to the victims and their families. We encourage all stakeholders to increase their efforts and speed up the work on the update and implementation of the Security Transition Plan.  In this respect, we are looking forward to the AMISOM independent assessment, which will contribute to the assessment of the abilities and gaps of the Somali Security Forces. It is no replacement for a Stakeholder agreement though. But it is still important.

My last remark is on climate and security. We appreciate and support the work of the UNSOM mission on climate and security.


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