Explanation of Vote on the Resolution to Renew UNSOM

U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
August 28, 2020


Today’s vote on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) underscores the strong and continued commitment of the United States and international community to supporting peace, stability, and development in Somalia. UNSOM remains a critical partner to the Federal Government of Somalia and the federal member states in bringing political, security, and economic stability to the Horn of Africa region.

An UNSOM mandate that precisely delineates the United Nations roles and responsibilities and that avoids language unrelated to the UNSOM 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 the resolution and the UN’s activities in Somalia, we believe that PP18 and OP13 should focus specifically on assessing risks and developing risk-management strategies related to the impacts of drought, desertification, and food insecurity, 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. We can and should ask the UN and Governments to consider those implications as part of their planning. We support the work of the UN to undertake risk assessment and risk management strategies, and the Security Council’s role in addressing specific challenges such as droughts, desertification, land degradation, food insecurity, and ecological changes.

With respect to climate change language in this document, the United States has submitted its notification to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The climate change language in this resolution is without prejudice to U.S. positions on the Paris Agreement. We affirm our support for promoting economic growth and improving energy security, while also protecting the environment.