The London Conference on Somalia took place at Lancaster House on 23rd February 2012, attended by fifty-five delegations from Somalia and the international community.
We met at a key moment in Somalia’s history. Somalia is emerging from the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. African and Somali troops have pushed Al Shabaab out of Mogadishu and other areas. The transitional institutions come to an end in August 2012, and the people of Somalia want clarity on what will follow. The situation remains precarious, and in urgent need of support from the international community.
Decisions on Somalia’s future rest with the Somali people. The Somali political leadership must be accountable to the people. The international community’s role is to facilitate Somalia’s progress and development: our strength is in unity and coordinated support to Somalia. We noted the importance of listening to and working with Somalis inside and outside Somalia, and welcomed their engagement in the run-up to this Conference.
The Conference focussed on the underlying causes of instability, as well as the symptoms (famine, refugees, piracy, and terrorism). We, the international community, agreed: to inject new momentum into the political process; to strengthen AMISOM and help Somalia develop its own security forces; to help build stability at local level; and to step up action to tackle pirates and terrorists.
We agreed that the Transitional Federal Institutions’ mandate ends in August 2012. There must be no further extensions. We welcomed the agreements that chart the way towards more representative government: the Transitional Federal Charter, the Djibouti Agreement, the Kampala Accord, and the Roadmap. We welcomed the progress represented by the Garowe Principles, endorsed the priority of convening a Constituent Assembly, and emphasised that the Assembly must be representative of the views of the Somali people of all regions and constituencies, and that women must be part of the political process. In line with Garowe II, we agreed to incentivise progress and act against spoilers to the peace process, and that we would consider proposals in this regard before the Istanbul Conference in June.
The Conference recognised the need for the international community to support any dialogue that Somaliland and the TFG or its replacement may agree to establish in order to clarify their future relations.
We condemned terrorism and violent extremism, whether perpetrated by Somalis or foreigners. We called on all those willing to reject violence to join the Djibouti peace process. We agreed to develop a defectors’ programme to support those who leave armed groups.
We emphasised the urgency of Somalia funding its own public services, and using its assets for the benefit of the people, as well as tackling corruption. We welcomed the progress that has been made in establishing a Joint Financial Management Board to increase transparency and accountability in the collection and efficient use of public revenues, as well as international development aid, and which will help strengthen Somali public financial management institutions. A declaration by the initial members of the JFMB is at Annex A.
Respect for human rights must be at the heart of the peace process. We called for action to address in particular the grave human rights violations and abuses that women and children face. We emphasised that journalists must be able to operate freely and without fear. Civilians must be protected. We called on the Somali authorities to take measures to uphold human rights and end the culture of impunity. We agreed to step up international efforts including through the UN human rights architecture.
Security and Justice
We agreed that security and justice were essential both to a successful political process and to development. Better security could only be achieved sustainably in parallel with better justice and the rule of law.
We expressed gratitude to those countries whose troops had served as peacekeepers and paid tribute to the achievements and sacrifices of AMISOM and other forces. We welcomed joint planning by the UN and African Union and reiterated the importance of effective command and control. We welcomed the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2036, which expands AMISOM’s mandate and raises the troop ceiling. We encouraged AMISOM to ensure the protection of civilians. We encouraged partners, especially new donors, to contribute to funding for AMISOM, including through the EU.
We agreed that, over time, Somalis should take over responsibility for providing their own security and develop their own justice systems to deal with the threats to their security and improve access to justice. We noted that Somalis themselves must decide what security and justice arrangements they need.
We acknowledged the good work underway in supporting the Somali security and justice sectors. We agreed that we would build an international framework of partners in order to bring much needed coordination and focus to those efforts, underpinned by a set of principles at annex B, and working closely with the UN’s Joint Security Committee.
We reiterated our determination to eradicate piracy, noting that the problem requires a comprehensive approach on land as well as at sea. We expressed our concern that hostages in Somalia are being held longer and with more use of violence. We welcomed the work of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. We also welcomed the success of international military efforts, and remain committed to such efforts with robust rules of engagement and sufficient force generation. We agreed that piracy cannot be solved by military means alone, and reiterated the importance of supporting communities to tackle the underlying causes of piracy, and improving the effective use of Somali coastal waters through regional maritime capacity-building measures. We welcomed those initiatives underway and agreed to coordinate and support such initiatives better. We called for full implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct and the adoption of an Exclusive Economic Zone. We look forward to reviewing progress including at the Piracy Conference in the UAE in June.
We welcomed the efforts of partners in industry against piracy, and called for greater take-up of Best Management Practice on ships. We welcomed current work on international guidance on the use of private armed security companies.
There will be no impunity for piracy. We called for greater development of judicial capacity to prosecute and detain those behind piracy both in Somalia and in the wider region and recognised the need to strengthen capacity in regional states. We welcomed new arrangements, which enable some states and naval operations to transfer suspected pirates captured at sea for trial by partners across the Indian Ocean region, and if convicted, to transfer them to prisons in Puntland and Somaliland which meet international standards. We noted the intention to consider further the possibility of creating courts in Somalia specialised in dealing with piracy.
We reiterated our determination to prosecute the kingpins of piracy. Recognising work already undertaken, we agreed to enhance coordination on illegal financial flows and to coordinate intelligence gathering and investigations. We noted the establishment of a Regional Anti-Piracy Prosecutions Intelligence Coordination Centre in the Seychelles.
Terrorism poses a serious threat to security in Somalia itself, to the region, and internationally. It has inflicted great suffering on the Somali population. We agreed to work together with greater determination, and with full respect for the rule of law, human rights, and international humanitarian law, to build capacity to disrupt terrorism in the region, and to address the root causes of terrorism. We agreed on the importance of disrupting terrorists’ travel to and from Somalia, and on the importance of disrupting terrorist finances, and called on countries in the region to implement the Financial Action Task Force’s recommendations on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism. We noted that effective intelligence gathering and investigation, and support to the Somali criminal justice system, were critical to the fight against terrorism. We agreed to work with the Global Counter Terrorism Forum and other international and regional bodies to deliver this important work.
Stability and Recovery
We welcomed the success in some areas of Somalia in establishing local areas of stability, and agreed to increase support to build legitimate and peaceful authorities, and improve services to people living in these areas. We acknowledged the importance of creating the conditions inside Somalia for durable solutions for the displaced, that respect international laws. We agreed that such efforts should promote local and regional cohesion, and converge with the national political process.
We considered the implementation of the Mogadishu Recovery and Stabilisation Plan important. We agreed to expand programmes to newly-recovered areas. We would focus support on enabling the delivery of immediate and sustainable benefits to ordinary Somali people: safety and security, economic opportunities and basic services. We would promote effective and accountable local administrations, and support the resolution of disputes.
We agreed that all support to local areas of stability should be in accordance with the New Deal for engagement in fragile states recently adopted in Busan, and build on the stabilisation strategies prepared by both IGAD and the Transitional Federal Government. We endorsed a set of principles to guide international support to local areas of stability in Somalia (Annex C). We agreed to continue funding local stability through existing programmes, and noted the establishment of a new Stability Fund to which a number of us will contribute .
We agreed that Somalia’s long-term reconstruction and economic development depended on a vibrant private sector, and that both aid and diaspora finance could develop Somalia’s considerable potential in livestock, fisheries and other sectors. We noted that stability was a prerequisite for most sustainable investments in infrastructure such as electricity, roads and water systems. We looked forward to further discussion on all these issues at the Istanbul Conference.
The Conference was preceded by a separate meeting on humanitarian issues co-chaired by the United Nations and the United Arab Emirates. Notwithstanding the end of the famine, participants expressed concern at the ongoing humanitarian crisis, and committed to providing humanitarian aid based solely on need. They agreed a set of conclusions on humanitarian issues and linking relief with longer-term recovery.
We agreed to carry forward work agreed at London through the International Contact Group on Somalia (ICG), and welcomed the ICG’s decision in Djibouti to look at restructuring to become more effective. We recommended that the ICG establish working groups on the political process, security and justice, and stability and development. We noted that, within the ICG, a core group of engaged countries would drive progress in support of UN, AU and IGAD efforts.
We welcomed the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) in facilitating progress in Somalia. We also welcomed the role of IGAD and the African Union, and the support of the League of Arab States, the European Union, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. We encouraged effective coordination between UN entities working on Somalia. While recognising the still challenging security situation in Somalia, we welcomed UNPOS’ relocation to Mogadishu and agreed that we would aim to spend more time on the ground in Somalia in order to work more closely with Somalis on the challenging tasks ahead.
We expressed the hope that a new era of Somali politics, supported by the international community, will bring peace to Somalia. We are determined to place the interests of the Somali people at the heart of all our actions. We looked forward to the day when the situation in Somalia would have made sufficient progress for an international conference to be held there. In the meantime, we will redouble our efforts to support the people of Somalia in their search for a better future for their country.