Remarks by Ambassador Jürgen Schulz during the Security Council Meeting on Somalia - February 24, 2020

24.02.2020 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

Thank you, Mr. President. And let me, first of all, thank our three briefers for their insightful remarks and comments. Mr. President, Germany wholeheartedly supports the efforts by the Somali government to ensure peace, stability and development in Somalia. In that context, we underscore that credible, free and fair elections in 2020/21 are key to democratic state building in Somalia. After the last elections in 2016 and 2017, a wide range of Somali leaders pledged to hold direct one-person, one-vote elections in 2020/21. Most recently, this was also reflected in the commitments of the Somali government and stakeholders in the 2020 Mutual Accountability Framework. We take note of the federal electoral bill that has been signed into law by the Federal President last week. However, we also see that some paragraphs of the law are arguably not implementable, despite repeated and concrete advice on these issues provided to Parliament by the NIEC and U.N. electoral experts. Additionally, the electoral code leaves many important questions unresolved.

These need to be answered on the basis of broad political consensus and in full cooperation between the Federal Government of Somalia and the federal member states, according to the MAF commitments made.

Like others, we are highly concerned with regards to the current political situation in Galmudug and Jubaland and we call upon a political settlement of tensions which requires dialogue and compromise. A constructive political cooperation between the Federal Government and all federal member states must be given the highest priority. Unfortunately, we have not seen much progress over the last months, but coordination meetings should be resumed swiftly and take place regularly in order to resolve outstanding issues.

In view of the elections 2020, the political process obviously must noticeably catch up. On the issue of Somaliland, we also encourage both sides, Mogadishu and Hargeisa to consider the currently resumed dialogue.

Mr. President, on security, let me first of all commend the progress reached in the security sector. And we pay tribute to the work and the sacrifices of AMISOM and Somali national army. It is crucial to continue on this path in a coherent and coordinated manner. We need the security sector reform and the implementation of national security, architecture and security transition. The security of elections is equally important, but it's also important to pursue constructive discussions with all stakeholders on the future of international support to the Somali security sector in the next months. Also with the perspective of the upcoming independent assessment requested by this council until the beginning of 2021, we need a credible, sustainable post-2021 security model for Somalia.

On the humanitarian developments and situations, Germany remains extremely concerned about the current humanitarian situation and also about the additional challenges caused by the plague of locusts. We have swiftly reacted by making available 3 billion euros to the FAO to safeguard livelihoods. We'll continue to watch this carefully.

One word on the human rights situation: We have noted that Amnesty International stated in its last report a surge in violent attacks, threats, harassment and intimidation of media workers in Somalia. We are obviously concerned about this assessment and urge all stakeholders to respect the freedom of the press and to protect media workers.

Mr President, we were very impressed by the report by Mr. Dan Smith. And we see this nexus that he was talking about also in a very, very clear way. The aggravating consequences of climate change for the humanitarian situation and the fragile statehood in Somalia clearly demonstrate the challenges posed by climate change for regional stability and security. Now, climate related risks are not the only drivers of conflict. I think we would all agree with this, but at the same time, it's a reality that they represent often a very significant driver of conflict, which we cannot ignore. And we feel also this council should not ignore. Floods and droughts exacerbate conflicts. The analysis of the situation in Somalia would be incomplete without taking into account climate related risks, food insecurity and other insecurities. Give al-Shabaab the opportunity to present themselves as alternative providers of security. So there's obviously a clear nexus between climate related risks and insecurity.

And all this shows to us that there is a substantial reason for concern about the effects of climate change on the security situation in Somalia. At the same time as we have heard today in the briefings, climate change causes challenges for the implementation of the mandate of the UN mission in Somalia. Therefore, we feel and are convinced it is high time for this council to duly take into account climate change as a factor relevant for peace and security. Germany is investing into strengthening capacity on climate and security in the field, inter alia, by financing the post of an environment and security advisor who will support the UN's in-country presence and provide information on climate security risks in Somalia. Thank you very much.


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