Wish to thank the Security Council for the opportunity to speak to you today. Norway is a founding member of the International Contact Group and we chair the Group of Friends here in New York. Thank the Secretary General for an excellent report on the status quo in Somalia and the needs ahead.
The Djibouti process is a Somali process. It is owned by, and driven by Somalis. This is fundamental. The Transtional Federal Institutions should be driving the process – and they should do so with a unified approach.
Norway applauded the agreement between the TFG and Ahlu Sunna in March. We also commended the new agreement between the TFG and “Puntland”. We are watching a political transition in Somalia, and it is important that the door remains open to others. However – the implementation of agreements are even more important than signing agreements, and TFG should be urged to adress this with seriousness.
Taking into account that we are approaching the end of the transition period in August 2011, efforts have to be redoubled, both with regard to improving the security situation, giving impetus to the political process, and improving lives of children, women and men in Somalia.
We recognize that the TFG is facing very serious constraints and challenges, and we also realize that the international community may not have been as forthcoming with support and assistance as was expected by the TFG.
Norway has recently - and for the first time - transferred a small amount of our support to the TFG directly through the Somali Central Bank. This is basically a test case to see if this works in a way that is satisfactory to the rules and regulations that we have to observe when disbursing public funding.
In other words – we wish to see this money creating improved services in the city of Mogadishu. If we do, we will give more.
Although the main aim is to bring an end to the perennial humanitarian crises in Somalia, Norway shall continue to be a major partner with regard to humanitarian assistance to Somalia. We want to commend UN for taking steps to adress the allegations in the latest report from the Sanctions Committee’s Monitoring Group.
We shall also continue our active support to the SRSG and the implementation of the Djibouti-process and to the peace and reconciliation efforts in general, in close cooperation with the UN, as well as with the AU and IGAD.
Realizing the paramount importance of the security issue in Somalia, we commend the efforts and the sacrifices by the AU and others, particularly the troop contributing countries to AMISOM - Uganda and Burundi – in assisting the TFG in trying to stabilize the situation in the country, and we urge other countries that are in a position to do so, to follow their lead. Peace and stability in Somalia is not only of importance to the Somalis themselves, but also for the whole Horn of Africa region and far beyond.
Norway has also been very active in countering Piracy off the coast of Somalia, we have been deploying a frigate to the region, we chaired the last meeting of the Contact Group, and we are a substantial contributor to the trust fund established here in the UN.
Thank you for your attention