Mogadishu(SONNA) Somalia and its international partners met in Mogadishu on 7th December 2020 for the Somalia Partnership Forum (SPF). The participants reviewed developments since the last SPF, the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and agreed specific priorities taking into account the upcoming Federal indirect election.
International partners recognised Somalia’s achievements and on-going progress in implementing security sector reforms, recovering territory from Al-Shabaab, on-going review of the Somali Transition Plan and welcome the recommencement of the Security and Justice Committee meeting and commitment to hold it quarterly, after more than two years of absence, as well as mitigating the impact of COVID-19, convening meetings between the FGS and Somaliland representatives, and making progress towards debt relief.
However, significant challenges remain. Urgent progress is required to strengthen democratic practices and safeguard progress on the Constitutional Review made under this administration. There is also a need to continue to confront and deepen the approach against Al-Shabaab and Da’esh using a fuller range of tools, to ensure economic recovery and growth (and create jobs) against the backdrop of the COVID pandemic, to complete revisions to and implement the Somalia Transition Plan (STP), to establish effective platforms to address humanitarian crises and strengthen resilience, including to climate-related shocks, and to protect the rights of women and girls through enactment of legislation on sexual offences that adheres to international human rights law.
Somalia is disappointed it did not meet the goal of one-person-one-vote elections in this cycle. However, the National Consultative Council reached a political agreement to hold timely indirect elections in 2020/2021 and committed to holding one-person-one-vote elections in 2024/2025. To that end, Somalia committed to the early development, through inclusive dialogue, of a pathway to one-person one vote (OPOV) federal elections in 2024/25, with benchmarks and accountability mechanisms that reflect meaningful progress, for example direct elections at the local and state levels along the way, as well as the early establishment of a Constitutional Court and strengthening of the National Independent Elections Committee.
Continued inclusive dialogue to build on the consensus-based agreement is necessary to ensure the timely implementation of credible and acceptable elections in order to preserve the Somali tradition of peaceful transfer of power.
Somalia committed to approve non-contentious changes to the Provisional Constitution before the end of the current political cycle and present before the elections options for contentious amendments that could be adopted early in the next political cycle. Somalia also committed to continue the national reconciliation process, ensuring all sections of society are represented, particularly women. International partners agreed to continue supporting Somalia on these commitments, and to assist in implementation of an indirect electoral process in 2020/2021 that was reached through consensus, to be held peacefully, on time, and upholds the 30% quota for women in parliament and election management structures.
The international community welcomed the resumption of dialogue between the federal and state leaderships that resulted in September’s political agreement on indirect elections. This cooperation must become a regular, ongoing process in order to enable progress in further consolidating the federal state and on national priorities.
Somalia committed to continue a widely consultative process in order to broaden support for the revised STP which will help inform the UNSC as it considers renewal of AMISOM’s mandate. International partners emphasized that the transition from AMISOM a Somali security lead should be based on a political strategy involving regular engagement between the FGS and the FMS.
Somalia agreed to holding a Force Generation Conference in January 2021 to address the full range of requirements of transition operations, including that of hold forces, and to identify the resource implications of the STP for the Government and international partners. Somalia and international partners agreed to continue supporting security transition, including the reconfiguration of AMISOM in order to better counter Al-Shabaab and accelerate security transition.
Somalia has made significant progress on economic development, notably the historic achievement of reaching Decision Point under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative in March, which drew on FGS-FMS cooperation. A sign of the increasing confidence in public financial management and revenue generation of the FGS, this milestone restored Somalia’s access to regular concessional financing and brought the country one step closer to debt relief. With international support, Somalia remains committed to implementing key financial and economic reforms, increasing transparency and accountability, including in the transfer of funds from the Federal Government to the Member States, seeking membership of the World Trade Organisation, promoting equitable inclusive economic growth, and seeking enhanced economic regional economic integration as a means to greater prosperity.
Unfortunately, COVID-19, desert locusts and concurrent environmental shocks hampered Somalia’s economic growth and adversely impacted livelihoods, especially of women and vulnerable groups, notably Somalia’s 2.6 million internally displaced persons. Somalia is committed to developing a national approach on the impact of climate change on human security, public policy, prioritising youth empowerment and employment generation, building resilience through social protection, and achieving durable solutions. This includes strengthening the government’s ability to deliver services to the population, addressing the harmful effects of COVID-19 and enhancing government legitimacy.
International partners agreed to support Somalia in this regard, in line with National Development Plan (NDP 9) priorities. Somalia and its partners will continue to prioritise joint action on water management, private sector development, trade and regional integration, and infrastructure improvements.
Noting the forthcoming elections, Somalia and its partners agreed a Mutual Accountability Framework for 2021, including priority outcomes to be completed by the end of the current administration. The Forum further reaffirmed the importance of the principle and practice of mutual accountability for Somalia’s long-term political and economic development and to the alignment of aid efforts with the priorities of the FGS and FMS in this context.
The Federal Government and International partners commend the sacrifice and critical role played by Somali Security Forces, as well as troop and police contributing countries of AMISOM and other International partners in helping to maintain peace and stability in Somalia. This would not have been possible without the steadfast commitment and support of AMISOM and international partners to Somalia’s state building effort to peace and prosperity for the people of Somalia