Ambassador Richard Mills
Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
August 12, 2021
Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you to SRSG Swan and to our two virtual briefers for their useful, informative presentations. The United States welcomes, as others have, the considerable progress on Somalia’s electoral process over the past three months. When the Security Council last convened to discuss Somalia in May, the country was facing its most serious bout of political instability in over 20 years. So, since that time, the United States has been very pleased to see the electoral process moving forward.
I want to commend the spirit of cooperation amongst the Somali Federal Government and the Federal Member States leaders on the implementation of the September 17 Electoral Model that led to the May 27 agreement and the subsequent progress on implementation. In particular, the United States commends Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble for his leadership of the process.
But notwithstanding the progress achieved thus far, there remain aspects of the process that require continued focus and attention, as SRSG Swan has pointed out and our briefers have highlighted. For example, when the Upper House elections conclude, stakeholders should expeditiously conduct Lower House elections with a view to carrying out the country’s long-delayed presidential election on the announced date of October 10. This includes completing election security preparations to ensure voting can take place in a safe and secure environment.
Mr. President, it is also critical to finalize arrangements for meeting the quota pursuant to Somali political agreements of 30 percent female representation in parliament. Others have spoken about this – I won’t go on in length – but let me emphasize, that in Somalia, where women have often been the victims of discrimination and oppression, it is vital that their voices are included in the highest chambers of the Somali government. The United States wants to commend the work of the goodwill ambassadors and their efforts to further that goal.
The United States remains committed to ensuring both UNSOM and AMISOM are mandated to provide tailored, appropriate support to the Somali people during this time of political transition. This is a moment of tremendous opportunity for Somalia, and we would urge the government to do its utmost to adhere to established electoral timelines, to continue promoting cooperation between the Federal Government and Federal Member States, and to closely coordinate with all partners to ensure that these two missions remain fit for purpose.
In conclusion, Mr. President, recent weeks have shown encouraging progress for Somalia’s electoral process. SRSG Swan, the United States commends your work, and the work of the Somali government, Somali stakeholders, and the Somali people that have brought this about. Despite these encouraging signs, much more work needs to be done – as our briefers have emphasized. The United States government will continue to work with Council members and Somali leaders to achieve a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Somalia.
Thank you, Mr. President.