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Statement by Ambassador Günter Sautter in the Security Council VTC Meeting on Somalia, November 23, 2020

23.11.2020 - Speech

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Allow me to make a couple of remarks. The first one is on the electoral progress process. It is positive that the political dialogue between the federal government and all member states has been restored. Both sides need to continue this dialogue in order to achieve tangible progress. We regret that the electoral model adopted has fallen short of our expectations and the government's promises. This is a point we have discussed at length in the last meeting of the Security Council. Still, credible, transparent and fair elections remain possible, and they remain key to the state building process in Somalia. In this context, we hope and expect that the electoral process is conducted in a peaceful manner and that the agreed women's quota of 30 percent is implemented.

My second remark is on the security situation. As the overall security situation remains volatile, the security of the elections and the coming weeks needs to be a top priority. We encourage all stakeholders to increase their efforts and to finalize their work on the update and implementation of the Security Transition Plan. Cooperation between the federal government and federal member states continues to be key in this regard. We take note that preparations such as the unveiled draft of the national election security plan are underway. Also, the progress on institutional capacity building activities through a training and strategic advice is very much welcome. We would also like to underscore the importance of increased Somali ownership and the effective coordination with the international and regional partners of the security sector.

AMISOM continues to play a pivotal role for Somalia's security. We see this in many instances. Nevertheless, reflecting on how to reshape its mission remains crucial. The nature of existing threats may change, but we must not neglect our common goal, which is for Somalia to take over the full responsibility for its own security. In this context, we consider the ongoing independent assessment an important opportunity for all partners, including Somali authorities, TCCs and the African Union. We believe that all partners should actively and constructively contribute. Also, we are looking forward to an open and frank discussion of a security event organized jointly by the European Union, the African Union and Somalia on the 30th of November. 

On human rights: we are deeply concerned about bills recently passed in Somaliland that weaken the protection of survivors of sexual violence and that do not comply with international human rights. This has been mentioned by other delegations and we are deeply worried by this. It is the responsibility of the state authorities to protect the rights of survivors of sexual violence. This is why we also call for the reinstatement of Somaliland's original rape and sexual offences law. We further call for the 2018 federal sexual offences bill to be enacted, both of which comply with international human rights standard.

Likewise, we are concerned about the reported cases of conflict related sexual violence. With members of government institutions being reported as perpetrators. Such behavior is unacceptable. However, we are pleased to see training programs focusing on responding to such heinous crimes were provided to the Somali police force and to five state police services and that a follow-up action plan was already developed.

We are also concerned about an increasing number of attacks against journalists, many of whom continue to be arbitrarily arrested and detained. Freedom of expression and press are always essential and must be protected, but are of particular importance in the run up to the elections. We welcome the federal government's appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the killings of journalists and urge the perpetrators be held accountable.

Lastly, I would like to make a remark on climate and security in Somalia. The impact of climate change from environmental shocks is becoming more and more evident. Floods and droughts are just examples SRSG Swan briefed the informal the experts on climate and security on these dynamics. We would like to once again thank you for shedding some light on this important issue. We also appreciate the Secretary General's report takes note of these factors. We commend you, SRSG Swan, for the excellent work that you and your team are already conducting on the ground in this regard. We encourage your mission and the UN system at large to systematically include climate related risk factors in your analysis and your efforts to address these. Germany stands ready to support the UN in these efforts. Thank you.

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