UK: Conclusion of Somali electoral process provides opportunity to re-focus on issues of urgent national importance


Thank you, Madam President. Let me thank SRSG Swan for his briefing, and we look forward to hearing from Special Representative Madeira.

I will focus my remarks today on three topics: the Presidential elections in Somalia, security and the humanitarian situation.

The UK welcomes the completion of the Presidential election on 15 May and warmly congratulates Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on his election. Although the representation of women in parliament was once again below the 30% target, we welcome the historic election of Sadia Yasin Haji as Somalia’s first female Deputy Speaker.

The conclusion of the electoral process provides an opportunity to end political uncertainty and re-focus on issues of urgent national importance: addressing the threat posed by Al-Shabaab, maintaining fiscal stability, delivering constitutional reform, and responding to the devastating drought. The United Kingdom stands ready to support President Hassan Sheikh’s government in its efforts, and encourages all Somalia’s leaders to work together in the spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

Turning to security, we thank ATMIS for providing security support throughout the elections, and condemn Al-Shabaab’s persistent attempts to disrupt the process. We send our condolences to those affected by the Al-Shabaab terrorist attack on the Burundi ATMIS contingent on 3 May.

The ongoing threat posed by Al-Shabaab highlights the need for the new government to secure broad-based political agreement on a national security architecture that is effective, affordable, and which facilitates sustainable transition to Somali-led security, while maintaining pressure on Al-Shabaab. The United Kingdom will continue to work with Somalia’s Federal Government and Federal Member States, and alongside other international partners, to achieve this.

Madam President, as we’ve heard, the impact of the drought is alarming. It’s increasingly likely that Somalia will face famine, despite our collective commitment that this would never happen again. More funds and collective action are needed if we are to prevent famine in Somalia. The UK Minister for Africa announced an additional $31 million in response to the humanitarian crisis in Somalia, on top of the $25 million already committed this year.

While we celebrate recent achievements in Somalia, we must not lose sight of the work still needed to ensure that the situation continues to move forward in a peaceful and stable manner. We look forward to working with President Hassan Sheikh and his government to advance peace, stability and prosperity in Somalia for the benefit of all Somalis.

Thank you.