Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Somalia

Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Acting Deputy Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
June 22, 2023


Thank you, Madam President. Thank you, Special Representative Souef and Executive Director McCain for your excellent briefings. We extend a warm welcome to Ms. Catriona Laing as she assumes her position as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia. You have arrived at a critical time, and your leadership will be vitally important in the coming months. We also extend a warm welcome to His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and thank him for his contribution to today’s meeting.

We commend Somalia for its demonstrated commitment to fighting al-Shabaab and restoring security and stability in the country. This is a visible demonstration of the Somali people’s desire for peace, stability, prosperity, and good governance.

Overcoming Somalia’s remaining challenges requires sustaining positive momentum on security, political reconciliation, and economic development. Liberating the remaining al-Shabaab-held territory in central Somalia and ensuring local communities receive the support they need to recover is vital to create the necessary conditions for successful operations further south. An inclusive discussion of the National Consultative Council proposals on the constitution and elections is critical to ensuring such changes have broad popular support.

Much is needed to achieve a ceasefire to halt the violence in Lascanood, allow and facilitate unhindered humanitarian access, and initiate constructive dialogue to resolve the dispute. We welcome the federal government of Somalia’s recent efforts in this regard.

Strengthening public sector financial management, conducting thorough, credible investigations of corruption allegations, and holding perpetrators accountable are imperative to building public trust and confidence in government.

We also must continue our collective efforts to respond to the ongoing humanitarian emergency – as we all heard this morning – that threatens nearly half of Somalia’s population.

We are particularly encouraged by Somalia’s commitment to lead efforts to restore security and stability in the country, and the United States remains committed to partnering with Somalia to achieve these shared goals. We continue working to finalize our contribution to the Somali Security Force Trust Fund, and we encourage other donors to support the Somali National Army’s efforts through this mechanism.

Despite the significant assistance efforts underway, there are still gaps. We must work together and think creatively about how to address these gaps to enable long-term stability, economic growth, and good governance in Somalia.

And finally, we welcome Somalia’s continued progress on the benchmarks outlined in the Secretary-General’s September 2022 report in assessing its request for fully lifting the arms embargo on the federal government. We look forward to further progress and to working closely with our partners on the Security Council on this issue when the 751 Sanctions Regime is renewed in November.

I thank you.