UN / SOMALIA

21-Aug-2019 00:02:58
In his first address to the Security Council since taking office, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, noted the progress Somalia has made towards constitutional and security sector reform, among other priorities, but warned that the “window to achieve further necessary” progress is “narrowing.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / SOMALIA
TRT: 2:58
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 21 AUGUST 2019, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

21 AUGUST 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) James Swan, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, United Nations:
“We must acknowledge the gains made to date towards achieving these priorities. Yet, the window to achieve further necessary progress on these issues is narrowing. Key benchmarks risk falling behind agreed timelines. Further progress may be delayed without renewed dialogue and cooperation among all stakeholders.”
4. Med shot, Swan addressing Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) James Swan, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, United Nations:
“Whatever the outcome in Jubaland tomorrow, I implore all stakeholders to show restraint, refrain from violence, and resolve grievances through dialogue.”
6. Med shot, delegates
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira, Head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM):
“Despite the lateness of the hour, it is our hope that the parties will come to an understanding that will produce an inclusive, credible, and peaceful election that strengthens the unity of the people of Jubaland.”
8. Med shot, Somali ambassador
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira, Head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM):
“To sustain this and allow for the consolidation of accumulated gains, and allow the transition of security responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somalis, there is need, Madam President, to continue the effort of supporting the troop generation of Somalia, training and equipping of these Somali armed forces and protecting and enabling them to undertake and continue to hold these cities and towns.”
10. Med shot, delegates
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual
Violence in Conflict, United Nations:
“Though peace remains elusive, and violence and insecurity has become normalized through decades of conflict, survivors and frontline service-providers remain resilient. What they want, above all, is a response from their government and the international community that shows that they are not forgotten.”
12. Med shot, delegates
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Amina Arale, Executive Director, Somali Women Development Center (SWDC):
“In the fragile context of Somalia, Madam President, women’s access to justice is especially challenging, due to discriminatory laws and the lack of gender-responsive programs. Women are therefore left with rights in name but without any actual remedies, and men remain the providers of justice.”
14. Med shot, delegates
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Abukar Osman, Permanent Representative of the Federal Government of Somalia to the United Nations:
“Despite major challenges and continuing security threats, there is a clear trend of improved stability and development in Somalia. However, the gains made remain fragile, serious protection concerns persist and humanitarian needs in Somalia remain high.”
16. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
In his first address to the Security Council since taking office, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan, noted the progress Somalia has made towards constitutional and security sector reform, among other priorities, but warned that the “window to achieve further necessary” progress is “narrowing.”

Briefing the Council today (21 Aug) on the situation in the country, Swan said, in his travel around the country, he observed many examples of recovery, development, improving security, and functional state institutions. He said this progress is a testimony to the ambitious but achievable peacebuilding and state-building agenda, to which Somalia’s leaders are committed.

However, Swan noted that key benchmarks “risk falling behind agreed timelines” and further progress “may be delayed without renewed dialogue and cooperation among all stakeholders.” He stressed the need for political consensus and compromise.

Turning to Jubaland, Swan said the UN continued to urge a single, agreed, consensual electoral process, without which there is an increased risk of instability if there is a contested outcome. He said, “Whatever the outcome in Jubaland tomorrow, I implore all stakeholders to show restraint, refrain from violence, and resolve grievances through dialogue.”

Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira, Head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), said the mission held meetings with the Federal Government, State officials, and candidates in Jubaland in an effort to address the concerns raised by the parties. He said, “Despite the lateness of the hour, it is our hope that the parties will come to an understanding that will produce an inclusive, credible, and peaceful election that strengthens the unity of the people of Jubaland.”

Madeira said Al-Shaba remained a serious threat to security and stability across Somalia. He said AMISOM, in collaboration with the Somali security forces, continues to protect population centres, secure main supply routes, and provide convoy escorts to ensure the safe movement of people, goods, and humanitarian assistance. He said AMISOM has had to establish a continued presence in areas liberated from Al-Shabab to secure them, but as the number of towns increased, so did the number of forces required to hold them.

SOUNDBITE (English) Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira, Head of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM):
“To sustain this and allow for the consolidation of accumulated gains, and allow the transition of security responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somalis, there is need, Madam President, to continue the effort of supporting the troop generation of Somalia, training and equipping of these Somali armed forces and protecting and enabling them to undertake and continue to hold these cities and towns.”

UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten said sexual violence in Somalia remains a matter of grave concern. She said countless women and girls are subjected to or living in fear of sexual violence, adding that victims are often invisible and inaccessible, with nowhere to report these crimes, and nowhere to turn.

SOUNDBITE (English) Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual
Violence in Conflict, United Nations:
“Though peace remains elusive, and violence and insecurity has become normalized through decades of conflict, survivors and frontline service-providers remain resilient. What they want, above all, is a response from their government and the international community that shows that they are not forgotten.”

Patten noted that, as a direct outcome of her visit to the country, the Government committed to working with the UN system to develop a new implementation plan for the Joint Communiqué, in the form of an Action Plan on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Amina Arale, Executive Director of the Somali Women Development Center (SWDC), said Somalia is today deeply unequal, adding gender discrimination affects the majority of women, across social and economic status. She called on the Security Council to urge the Federal government of Somalia to ratify and implement all regional and international legislations to protect the rights of women and girls, and to ensure that all national legislations to meet international standards and are rigorously enacted and implemented.

SOUNDBITE (English) Amina Arale, Executive Director, Somali Women Development Center (SWDC):
“In the fragile context of Somalia, Madam President, women’s access to justice is especially challenging, due to discriminatory laws and the lack of gender-responsive programs. Women are therefore left with rights in name but without any actual remedies, and men remain the providers of justice.”

Arale called for the securing of a 30 per cent quota for women in the upcoming 2020 elections, which she said would offer a historic opportunity for women to participate in the first universal suffrage elections that Somalia has had in 50 years. She added that Somali women and girls deserve equal rights, opportunities and protection in all spheres of life as Somali men and boys.

Somali ambassador Abukar Osman said the election in Jubaland set for tomorrow has not been credible, inclusive or legal. He said the Somali Government, from the outset, feared that the methods and approach taken by the incumbent state president would result in a deeply divided state, with whole communities excluded from the process, in a dangerous precedent for future elections in Somalia, including federal elections in 2020, and in the worst case scenario could lead to violence and loss of life.

Osman said despite major challenges and continuing security threats, “there is a clear trend of improved stability and development in Somalia.” However, he said the gains made “remain fragile, serious protection concerns persist and humanitarian needs in Somalia remain high.”
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