At the Somalia Conference in London on 7 May, the international community came together to agree practical measures to support the Federal Government’s plans in three key areas – security, justice and public financial management. In addition, the Federal Government presented its vision for the implementation of federalism, the adoption of a permanent constitution, and holding of elections. The conference also agreed to work together to tackle sexual violence in Somalia.
During the conference, Somali Government ministers shared detailed plans for developing the country’s armed forces, police, justice sector and public financial management systems. The international community endorsed those plans and committed expertise and funding of over $300m to deliver them. They also agreed to work together through joint funding mechanisms, with the Federal Government taking the lead on coordination.
The conference welcomed the Government’s plans for national security architecture and for developing its armed forces, including the integration of militias. The Government is committed to ensuring that these security structures are accountable, inclusive, proportionate and sustainable; and respect a civilian chain of command, the rule of law, and human rights. The international community agreed to support implementation of the Federal Government’s security plans, and to provide assistance which should be coordinated by the Federal Government.
The conference also commended the Somalis and international partners for progress made in combating piracy over the last year including the efforts of Puntland and other regional or local governments and welcomed the Federal Government’s Maritime Resource and Security Strategy. The international community expressed its determination to work with Somalia to eradicate piracy and other maritime crimes, and expressed support for the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts to establish internationally recognised Somali waters, as well as partners’ efforts to support the development of Somali maritime security capacities and to bring to justice those behind piracy.
Justice and Policing
The conference welcomed the Federal Government’s vision for equal access for all to a robust, impartial and effective justice system, and commended its justice action plan setting out immediate priorities for assistance.
It also welcomed the Government’s four-year action plan to create an accountable, effective and responsive police service for Somalis and agreed to align assistance for both justice and police behind Federal Government plans. The conference looked forward to the establishment of one Rule of Law Fund, under the leadership of the Federal Government and donors, to channel funding for the justice and policing plans to dramatically improve coordination of their support.
The conference also committed to support the Government’s efforts to combat terrorism. An effective and secure criminal justice system, including the establishment and maintenance of prisons administered with respect for human dignity, will be central to Somalia’s ability to tackle terrorism in a human rights-compliant manner and to reduce the threat from Al Shabaab in the long-term.
Public Financial Management
The Federal Government set out its determination to tackle corruption, and fund public services. The conference welcomed the Government’s four-year plan to establish transparent and effective public financial management systems and committed to coordinate assistance using the structure set out by the Government.
Partnership between Somalia and the international community will form the basis of future cooperation: the international community is committed to provide coordinated and sustained support for implementation of the Federal Government’s plans. As part of this, a number of partners also announced new funding and initiatives such as equipment and plans to send experts and provide training.
You can read more in the Conference Communique