Despite the efforts of the African Union, the United Nations and the international community, international policy towards Somalia is not succeeding. After 20 years of sliding backwards, Somalia needs a step-change in effort – both from the international community, but also Somalia’s political leaders.
On 23 February senior representatives from over 40 governments and multi-lateral organisations will come together in London with the aim of delivering a new international approach to Somalia. They will discuss how the international community can step-up its efforts to tackle both the root causes and effects of the problems in the country.
The international community hopes to agree a series of practical measures under seven headings:
- Security: sustainable funding for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and support for Somali security and justice sectors
- Political Process: agreement to what should succeed the transitional institutions in Mogadishu in August 2012 and the establishment of a Joint Financial Management Board
- Local Stability: a coordinated international package of support to Somalia’s regions
- Counter-terrorism: renewed commitment to tackle collectively the terrorist threat emanating from Somalia
- Piracy: breaking the piracy business model
- Humanitarian: renewed commitment to tackling Somalia’s humanitarian crisis
- International coordination: agreement on improved international handling of Somalia issues
We are now holding intensive discussions with our international and Somali partners and key stakeholders (including civil society).
These are complex issues that will not be solved overnight. We will need to build on and support the work of the UN, AU, NGOs and the vital role of civil society in Somali and we will require sustained political commitment and concrete action, including from Somalia’s political leaders. Even with sustained commitment progress will be slow, but we hope that this conference will serve at a catalyst and that in time it will be seen as a turning point.
We have invited partners who have a key interest in Somalia. We expect around 40 governments to attend, along with the UN, AU, EU, World Bank, the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development, the Organisation of Islamic Conference, and the League of Arab States. We are also inviting representatives of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Institutions, as well as the Presidents of Somaliand, Puntland, Galmudug, Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah (ASWJ).
Information on the UK’s work with Somalia is on our British Office website. The British Office is also on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Twitter hashtag #LDNSomalia for news and discussion around the conference.
Read and comment on Matt Baugh’s blog – Senior Representative for Somalia