UN official expresses strong support for Somalia's peace effortsListen /
A top UN official has expressed the UN's strong commitment to support Somali efforts to build peace.
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, during a visit to Mogadishu expressed the United Nations' firm commitment to support the Somali government in its efforts to extend state authority and peace dividends to the population at large, and address the security and humanitarian challenges it faces.
He said he was inspired and encouraged by what he heard from the Somali authorities, noting that “This is a Government which has both vision and a practical plan to implement it.
Under Secretary-General Feltman said they have truly taken ownership of the process and the UN's role is to do its utmost to support the Somali authorities, across the board and without hesitation. He said Somalia was beginning to undergo a profound transformation and the United Nations would continue to assist, however possible.
While in the Somali capital, Under Secretary-General Feltman met with Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, the Ministers of Justice, Defense and Interior and the Speaker of the Somali Parliament. He Feltman discussed a range of issues with the Somali authorities, including the positive political and security gains made in the country. He encouraged dialogue and reconciliation, including with Somaliland and Puntland. Under Secretary-General Feltman expressed concerns over human rights, particularly sexual violence against women and encouraged the Government to take the necessary steps to strengthen promotion and protection of human rights.
The discussions also focused on the future of the UN presence in Somalia and the need for a better coordinated and coherent approach by the international community to support this new phase of peacebuilding in Somalia.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.