15 February 2022
Thank you Mme. President,
I thank SRSG Swan, Amb. Madeira and Amb. Olof Skoog, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, for their insightful remarks and recommendations.
Albania follows, with the utmost attention the ongoing situation in Somalia, a pivotal country for the Horn of Africa, a region that is facing several persistent challenges.
I would like to highlight the following points:
First, Albania looks forward to the completion of the electoral process without further delays and welcomes the January 9th political agreement. We call all parties to fulfil their responsibilities and not forsake the success of the elections. We believe that a transparent and credible electoral process in Somalia will spur the development of the country, its security, its stability and greater well-being for its people.
Democracy is far more than simple elections. It is a day by day arduous construction. All groups and components of the Somali society must be adequately represented, in particular, those whose voices are still far from being heard. We take note of the improvement in the women’s quota of representation in the Upper House, and we encourage Somali authorities to confirm their commitment by raising numbers to a 30 per cent minimum, as agreed, in the House of People. We should not settle for less but ask for more, until women will fully enjoy their lawful rights free from threats and violence, and provide their unquestionable contribution to democracy consolidation and a more prosperous society.
Second, we take note of the encouraging outcome of the meeting among the African Union Commission, AMISOM and the Federal Government of Somalia on the nature and procedures of the almost born African Union Transitional Mission-ATMIS.
Having in mind that AMISOM’s mandate ends by 31 March, we call on all stakeholders to spare no effort in working out the technical details, particularly, with reference to operational and financial aspects of the new Mission. ATMIS must be able to effectively meet the challenges ahead and ultimately pass the security torch to Somali Security Forces.
Third, Albania strongly condemns Al-Shabaab’s attacks and the ongoing clashes of traditional and non-traditional actors. Last month, the increase in number and intensity of terrorist activities implied the exponential rise of innocent victims. The violent extremism threat needs to be tackled firmly through the cooperation of all national and international stakeholders to prevent security vacuum from being quickly filled by old and new terrorist groups.
While acknowledging the progress made by Mogadishu, we must not let our guard off with reference to maritime security. As our Somali partners often highlight, it is not only a matter of combating the phenomenon of piracy but also, and more important, of fighting all kind of criminal activities in the entire Region.
Forth, and last, Albania follows with deep concern the dire humanitarian situation in the country. Somalis have endured decades of conflict, recurrent climate shocks, including severe droughts, and disease outbreaks. No efforts should be spared in ensuring humanitarian assistance and protection to the almost 8 million people in need. Against this background, a special focus should be put on women, especially youth, who face a heightened risk of sexual violence, harassment and abuse.
We concur with the Secretary-General’s concerns over the grave violations of children’s rights. Recruitment of children, attacks on schools and hospitals cut the younger generation off at the knees and sign their condemnation. Such acts must be stopped and not be tolerated.
Albania stands by the Somali people and calls on all stakeholders and parties involved to step up efforts for a more stable, secure and prosperous Somalia.