I would like to thank the co-hosts for organising this event on, and for, Somalia.
During the last few days in New York, I have had the honour of participating in high-level events on governance, education, the rights of women and persons with disabilities, sustainable development, illicit capital flows, innovative financing, and partnerships.
I have been conscious of how everything we are discussing comes together in Somalia. Partnership is the very bedrock on which everything else is being built: partnership within Somalia, between the different regions, partnership in the IGAD region, and with the wider world.
Only partnership will help defeat extremism and violence of the kind we saw in Mogadishu earlier this summer and in Nairobi earlier this week. I extend Norway’s deepest condolences to the bereaved families and the people of Kenya.
Partnership for security is important, such as the one underpinning AMISOM, but fighting extremism also requires a partnership for education - education for all parts of society - including girls, including those born with disabilities or those who become disabled as a result of war. Only a comprehensive approach will produce a truly New Deal for Somalia, and new opportunities for its people.
Only investing in the future of Somalia will improve conditions for its youth and reduce Al-Shabaab's ability to recruit young soldiers. But these investments must come now.
Over the years IGAD has played a key role in the search for lasting peace in Somalia, and continues to do so today. The new agreement between the Federal Government and the Jubba authorities on the establishment of an interim administration for Jubba testifies to this. This successful approach could also be taken in other parts of Somalia.
At the Brussels Conference last week, we endorsed the Somali Compact involving mutual commitments by the Federal Government of Somalia and the international community. Norway is already busy following up its part of this partnership through the Special Financial Facility (SFF), which was launched in Brussels.
I invite all donors and friends of Somalia to contribute to this facility, the only effective mechanism for channelling financial support from international donors to the Somali Government. The Special Financial Facility is designed to support the Government’s efforts, build financial management capacity and thus ensure speedy reconstruction and development for the Somali people.
Partnership will entail changes to the way we work in Somalia. Our efforts must not sidestep the Government. Rather, we must make sure that we are working together to build the Somali state.
At the heart of this partnership, and the Somali Compact, lie the New Deal principles of Somali ownership. We expect both the Federal Government and its international partners to stand by the pledges given in Brussels, and we expect transparency, accountability and good governance to continue to be an important part of the New Deal dialogue.