STATEMENT BY SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL JAMES SWAN TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON THE SITUATION IN SOMALIA

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Madam President, Distinguished Members of the Council,

Thank you for the opportunity to brief on the situation in Somalia. I am pleased to do so once again along with the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Madeira.

Madam President,

The conclusion of Somalia’s electoral process last week is a major milestone for the country. The Presidential contest followed an unduly protracted and contentious process to choose members of the legislature. Once the Senators and Members of Parliament were sworn in on 14 April 2022, however, they moved quickly to elect the Speaker and two Deputy Speakers in each chamber of parliament and then prepare for the Presidential vote. On 15 May 2022, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, was elected Somalia’s tenth president by a decisive margin in a joint session of parliament that was peaceful, orderly, and respectful of the rules of procedure. Outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Farmaajo’ graciously conceded, and congratulated and extended support to his successor. The new President was immediately sworn in and the outcome has been fully accepted.

As this Council has noted repeatedly, Madame President, it is past time for Somali leaders to move beyond the prolonged political contest to focus on urgent national priorities. I had the honour on 18 May, to hear directly from President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud about his immediate goals. He emphasized national reconciliation, improving relations between the central government and federal member states, addressing the security threat from Al-Shabaab, finishing the constitutional review and judicial reforms, completing election-related laws, ensuring compliance with International Financial Institutions’ requirements for debt relief, and giving urgent attention to the dire drought conditions. We believe this is an appropriate list of initial priorities and look forward to learning more details as the new leadership takes charge and as a new Prime Minister and cabinet are named in the coming weeks. The entire UN system in Somalia is ready to work with the new Government in support of these shared goals.

Madam President,