As 2019 draws to a close, senior officials from some of Somalia’s international partners today visited Baidoa, in South West State (SWS), for the start of a series of consultations with a range of stakeholders in the country’s Federal Member States.
“2020 will be a pivotal moment for Somalia, when a number of key national processes should be concluded. These processes will lay the foundations for Somalia’s further progress by agreeing a Constitution, holding ‘one-person, one-vote,’ elections, continuing the fight against Al-Shabaab, and paving the way for debt relief for Somalia,” the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, said on behalf of the delegation.
“Achieving these will require the active collaboration of all Somali stakeholders, and it will particularly need the leadership of the Federal Government and the Federal Member States,” he added. “In order to address these issues, we encourage all stakeholders to engage in dialogue with one another – this includes federal and state authorities, civil society and the people of Somalia.”
The UN envoy was speaking on his behalf and that of his fellow delegation members: the European Union’s (EU) Ambassador to Somalia, Nicolas Berlanga, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Ambassador Francisco C. J. Madeira, and a Senior Advisor of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Jamal Ahmed Ibrahim.
While in Baidoa, the delegation met with SWS’ President Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed ‘Laftagareen,’ local elders and representatives from civil society to help better understand the opportunities and challenges to implementation of the various national process set for 2020.
“We appreciate the warm welcome of its people and we are grateful to the authorities, elders and civil society representatives who took the time to meet with us,” Mr. Swan said, adding that the delegation looks forward to hearing from other Federal Member States as it continues it visits, and to supporting Somalia to fulfil the national priorities it has committed to in 2020.