The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission met yesterday for the first time since 2015, to discuss Somalia peace building.
The meeting held in Mogadishu, Somalia explored on how the international community can support her peacebuilding priorities and jointly find solutions to some of the challenges to peace it faces.
“This meeting is part of Somalia coming back to the international arena and fostering relationships with the international community – Somalia has achieved a lot in the past 10 years and made a lot of recovery and reform,” the virtual meeting’s opening speaker, Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed H. Roble, told the Commission.
According to Mohamed, Somalia have learned the hard way of being engulfed in conflict and trying quick-fix solutions to restoring peace and they are ready to strive to safeguard inclusive solutions that are Somali-owned and grounded on local context and environment.
“Nevertheless, we need to benefit and learn from successful processes of other countries that have effectively restored law and order and trust between their communities as well as rebuilt their citizens’ confidence in state institutions,” he added.
In his remarks, he said Somalia’s peacebuilding priorities could be placed in three categories: state-building, reconciliation, and economic reconstruction and recovery; and he reiterated Somali’s commitment to collaborating with multilateral bodies such as the UN Peacebuilding Commission.
The top UN official for Somalia Swan emphasized the importance of sustained flexible engagement between Somalia and the Peacebuilding Commission encouraging the Commission to reconvene regularly to take stock of the situation progress following the electoral process.
“The Peacebuilding Commission can help keep us all focused on key cross-cutting themes in Somalia, it can help us mobilize resources for peacebuilding and it can support partnerships between Somalia and other countries that have experiences to share – building and sustaining peace is a collective effort,” the UN envoy added.
Swan flagged the important role the UN Peacebuilding Fund had played in various areas of Somalia’s development, as well in relation to it committing at least 50 per cent of its resources in Somalia over the next five years to the implementation of the WPS agenda.
“Without women’s political participation there can be no sustained peace and development,” he said, quoting the Somali Women’s Charter.
The issue of the WPS agenda in Somalia was featured in the remarks of Minister Ibrahim, who told the Commission meeting that, ahead of Somalia’s elections, she had been visiting several of the country’s Federal Member States to advocate and campaign for the 30 per cent quote for women as had been agreed upon in an electoral agreement by the country’s leaders.
“Women in Somalia have the right to be part of the political process. With women taking part in the Somali leadership, we can rebuild peace and security in Somalia,” she said.
The Somali official also noted that the newly-developed NRF provided an opportunity to address the drivers of inequality and promote peace through strengthening the role of women.
“Through this NRF, the advancement of human rights and the Women, Peace and Security agenda, I am confident that positive change for lasting peace is possible,” she said.
Addressing the meeting, Ms. Olad pointed out that structural violence that Somali women regularly deal with, including both discursive and physical, with the former including patterns as behavior accepted as normal but nonetheless harmful in terms of the way women are talked about and referred to in Somali society and their political participation.
The UN Peacebuilding Commission is an intergovernmental advisory body that supports peace efforts in conflict-affected countries.
It is composed of 31 members, elected from the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council and the UN Economic and Social Council, as well as the UN system’s top financial-contributing countries and the top troop-contributing countries.
By Joy Kyalo