As a founding member of the International Contact Group and Chair of the Group of Friends of Somalia here in New York, Norway is deeply engaged in the peace process of Somalia.
Norway will continue to assist in areas such as peace, reconciliation and training police capacity. We will cooperate both with the TFG and with those regional administrations that are functioning. We have also recently decided to provide approximately USD 30 million in humanitarian assistance to Somalia in 2011.
As the fighting has intensified, a severe drought is exacerbating an already grave humanitarian crisis in large parts of the country. There is an urgent need to improve access for providing humanitarian assistance to all parts of Somalia
It is alarming that the Transitional Federal Institutions are lagging far behind in their efforts to deliver on what is expected of them in terms of political measures before the expiry of their mandate in August. We deplore the untimely decision by the Transitional Federal Parliament to unilaterally extend its mandate for another three years.
Action is urgently needed to lay the ground for a broader political platform and a more inclusive political process, including with the regional administrations, in order to build a basis for a more peaceful post-transition process. The TFIs cannot afford another internal power struggle. The TFIs must rather focus its efforts on addressing the pressing challenges for Somalia and its people.
The international community must act together in assisting and supporting Somalia with the means available to overcome the present hardships and achieve the peace, security and stability that the Somali people so desperately need. We welcome the recent Joint Regional Strategy adopted by AMISOM, IGAD and UNPOS to better coordinate their effort. In this respect let me pay tribute to the brave peacekeepers from Uganda and Burundi.
The absence of an effective international presence in Mogadishu and southern Somalia denies us the opportunity to have a better understanding of the political and humanitarian situation on the ground. Norway calls for an increased international presence in the course of 2011.
Piracy is dramatically threatening both local communities in Somalia and hundreds of hostages on land and on hijacked ships. We all agree that a lasting solution to the problem of piracy can only be found on land and through the restoration of effective Somali state institutions. But in the meantime we need to contain the problem. It is vital that the pirates and their leaders and investors are brought to justice. To do so, we need a more coordinated effort in collecting, analysing and sharing intelligence on the financial flow related to piracy.
It is important to cooperate with the relevant Somali national and regional authorities and with other countries in the region. We have taken due note of the report of the Special Advisor to the Secretary General HE Jack Lang. The report contains certain proposals that we hope will be implemented.
In 2011 Norway will allocate approximately USD 5 million for counter-piracy measures, including measures to strengthen the justice sector. This will also include a contribution to the Trust Fund established by the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. We encourage other countries to do the same.