GA: A new era for Somalia

9/26/2012 // Statement held by Minister of International Development Mr. Heikki Holmås Norway at the Somalia mini-summit today.

Chair/ President,

In the past weeks we have witnessed what we can define as the beginning of a new era for Somalia.

The long, and at times difficult, transitional period ended with the election of a new Federal Parliament and president. We also welcome the adoption of a new interim Constitution as an important vehicle for continuing to move the political process forward.

With the successful end of the transitional period and the new political leadership we are starting to see the results of what all of us have supported for the past years. In this respect I would like to give special thanks to the UN and SRSG Mahiga for the progress made over the last year.

I would also like to extend my appreciation to AMISOM and Somali armed forces and the Troop Contributing Countries for their courage and sacrifices, which was essential for creating the enabling environment for the advancement of the political process.

The successful election of a new political leadership gives hope: first and foremost to the Somali people – but also to The International Community. There is a will and a desire for Change in Somalia. 

Let us from the International side respond to the challenge, and demonstrate that we are ready to contribute to advance this positive Change. The coming months and years are critical for Somalia’s future. We look forward to the new government’s plans, and would like to emphasize the need for better and more transparent financial management.

Decades of civil war and humanitarian crisis has destroyed national institutions and infrastructure in Somalia. We will need to assist the Somali people and the new political leadership to rebuild and develop for peace and stability. We will be expected to enhance the assistance to Somalia to enable the country to meet the even more demanding and complex tasks ahead, in line with the priorities set by the new Somali Government.

Norway is working on developing a new Strategy for our engagement with Somalia, in which we will increase our support to the Country. It is important that we from the International side can coordinate our efforts even better, and in full transparency and dialogue with the Somali Government. Because the task to build a stable Somalia can only be filled by the Somalis themselves – we can only support them in their efforts. In line with this it is of vital importance to turn the “brain drain” into a “brain gain”, and create a favorable environment for the return of Somalis to their homeland.

The new era that we all are entering will require hard work. We all have a common responsibility to stay the course, in order to consolidate the tremendous progress that has been achieved, building on the continued positive progress of the situation on the ground.

Our response should be supportive, orderly and predictable. I look forward to hear other views here in New York on how to consolidate our efforts for the benefit of the new era for Somalia.

Thank you.


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