Somalia is emerging from more than two decades of conflict. Last year, Somalis in Somalia chose a new more legitimate parliament and Government. The Government has set out an ambitious plan, the Six Pillar Policy, for rebuilding the country. Security has also improved. Somali armed forces and AMISOM, with the help of their Ethiopian allies, have recovered towns and routes from Al Shabaab control. The diaspora are returning. The economy is starting to revive.
Last year, the international community supported the end of transition through conferences held in London on 23 February and in Istanbul on 1 June. This year, the new Government needs support if it is to bring about real change for the people of Somalia, and end the threats of terrorism and piracy, as well as the scourge of famine.
The UK and Somalia will therefore co-host a Conference in London on 7 May to provide international support for the Federal Government’s plans.
The Somalia Conference will be one of a sequence of events in 2013 that will support Somalia, including the G8 meetings, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development in early June and an EU-hosted conference in September on the New Deal for fragile states.
What will the Conference achieve?
The principal objectives of the Conference are:
- for the Somali Government to share its plans for developing the country’s armed forces, police, justice sector, and public financial management systems;
- for the international community to agree how it will support the implementation of those plans; and
- for the Somali Government to outline how it intends to resolve the outstanding political issues within Somalia.
In addition, we expect the Conference to:
- Welcome dialogue between the Federal Government of Somalia and Somaliland to build trust and cooperation;
- Endorse UN Security Council Resolution 2093 extending AMISOM’s mandate, and reiterate their support for the work of the African Union mission;
- Endorse a UN Security Council Resolution mandating a new UN mission for Somalia, and reiterate their support for the work of the UN in Somalia;
- Agree a package of support for Somalia on Preventing Sexual Violence;
- Hear the latest on the Government’s maritime strategy; and
- Emphasise the importance of the orderly and voluntary return of refugees to Somalia, and look forward to an event on this issue to be hosted by Somali, Kenya and the UN.
Who will be invited?
The UK and Somalia are inviting over 50 partner countries and organisations, including the UN, African Union, IMF and Somalia’s friends and neighbours around the world.
Will there be opportunities for the diaspora and civil society to get involved?
A number of events in the run-up to the Conference will allow some issues to be explored in greater detail, including with the diaspora and civil society. These events include:
- a women’s event in the UK to discuss women’s empowerment, preventing sexual violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation;
- a debate hosted by Chatham House looking at how to achieve political stability;
- a meeting for donors on aid co-ordination hosted by the Department for International Development; and
- a trade and investment event on 8 May to highlight Somali business opportunities and promote inward investment, including by Somali diaspora businesses.
Find out more about the Somalia Conference2013
Watch a selection of videos from the UK and Somalia