Explanation of Vote at the Adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2461 on the UN Mission in Somalia

Ambassador Jonathan Cohen
Acting Permanent Representative
United States
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
March 27, 2019


Thank you, Madam President. Today’s vote on a UN Security Council Resolution supporting the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia underscores the strong and continued commitment of the international community to support peace, stability, and development in Somalia. UNSOM remains a critical partner to the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States in bringing about political security and economic stability to the Horn of Africa region. We appreciate the efforts of the penholder in renewing this mandate.

The United States believes that an UNSOM mandate that precisely delineates the UN’s roles and responsibilities, and that avoids language unrelated to the UN Mission, is needed in order to foster a clear understanding among all partners of the Security Council’s expectations in Somalia.

However, given the context of this resolution and the UN’s activities in Somalia, we believe that preambular paragraph 15 and operative paragraph 21 should focus specifically on assessing risks and developing risk management strategies, related to the impacts of drought, desertification, and food and water scarcity, rather than on any particular, potential cause of those impacts, such as climate change.

The United States supports the inclusion of language in the UNSOM resolution that highlights the adverse effects of specific natural disasters on the stability of Somalia. Droughts, desertification, land degradation, food insecurity, and ecological changes can all negatively impact the stability of any nation, and we can and should ask the UN and governments to consider these implications as part of their planning. We support the UN’s work to undertake risk assessments and risk management strategies and the UN Security Council’s role in addressing specific challenges such as droughts, desertification, land degradation, food insecurity, and ecological changes.

Thank you, Madam President.