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UNSC urges global support for Somalia; Pakistan pledges to be ‘steadfast partner’
Associated Press of Pakistan
Sunday, July 07, 2013
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The UN Security Council has called on the international community to support Somalia in the process to establish long-term stability, while recognizing recent progress in the northeastern African country.
In a statement unanimously adopted on Thursday, the 15-member body underlined the importance of global support to the Somali government in building professional, accountable and capable security forces as part of a comprehensive approach to security sector reform, including reform of the justice sector, human rights and establishing the rule of law.
At the same time, the Security Council statement warned that al-Shabab extremists still pose a threat to peace in Somalia. In the course of a debate which preceded the adoption of the presidential statement, Pakistan U.N.
Ambassador Masood Khan had drawn the council’s attention to al-Shahbab’s threat.
“The most serious of all challenges is security and stability of Somalia, which is threatened by a defiant and recalcitrant Al-Shabab and other militant outfits,” he said. “Somalia cannot overcome these problems on its own.
It needs sustainable international support,” the Pakistani envoy told delegates. The council statement also called on the international community to “provide well coordinated, timely and sustained humanitarian assistance to the millions of Somalis who remain in urgent need of life-saving humanitarian support.
“ It called on the Somali government to prosecute perpetrators of human rights violations, including abuses of children and sexual violence by armed groups and the Somali armed forces against people displaced by decades of conflict.
The Council also called for the urgent investigation and prosecution not only of suspected pirates captured at sea “but also anyone who incites or intentionally facilitates piracy operations, including key figures of criminal networks ... who illicitly plan, organize, facilitate, or finance and profit from such attacks.
“ Somalia had not had a functioning central government since 1991, when warlords overthrew the government and turned on each other, plunging the impoverished East African nation into chaos.
But since African Union forces ousted al-Shabab fighters from the war-battered capital, Mogadishu, in August 2011, a relative peace has returned, creating a new sense of hope and opportunity.
In his speech, Ambassador Masood Khan welcomed the continuing Somali transition towards peace and stability.
The four-year strategic plan and the six-pillar policy of the Government demonstrated its leadership to rebuild the country. Efforts to create federal State institutions and reach out to the various subregional organizations would consolidate democracy and hopefully pave the way for a final constitution and the holding of national elections in 2016.
Towards that goal, he said, the United Nations good offices were vital.
Still, there were daunting challenges. The establishment of local and administrative institutions and the return of refugees and internally displaced persons needed adequate resources.
The Pakistani envoy expressed appreciation for efforts by the United Kingdom, which hold this month’s presideny of the council, to hold the London II Conference on Somalia.
He said Somalia should not be allowed to backslide under any circumstances.
Vast areas were now under the Governments control, thanks to AMISOM,the African Union Mission in Somalia, which had made crucial gains in all sectors of its operations.
International support was needed to maintain that high level of success, particularly force enablers and multipliers. Ambassador Masood Khan said the recent reduction in piracy-related incidents off the Somali coast was encouraging, but the global community should not lower its guard.
Pakistan would continue to support Somalia bilaterally and as part of the contact group addressing the piracy. “As always, our Somali brethren will find Pakistan a steadfast partner.”
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