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UN deputy chief to participate in Somalia Conference in London
Saturday, May 04, 2013

UN Deputy Secretary- General Jan Eliasson will depart for the capital city of the United Kingdom (UK) on Sunday to participate in the Somalia Conference to be held next week, a UN spokesperson told reporters here on Friday.

"On 5 May, the deputy secretary-general will travel to London to participate in the Somalia Conference, which will take place on 7 May," said Martin Nesirky, UN secretary-general's spokesperson, at the daily briefing.

According to Nesirky, the governments of the UK and Somalia will be hosting the conference.

At the conference, the deputy secretary-general will deliver a keynote speech on behalf of the UN chief, said the spokesperson.

"On the margins of the conference, he will hold bilateral meetings with high-level government officials from Somalia, the United Kingdom and other relevant stakeholders," Nesirky said.

When asked about the invitees for the conference, Nesirky noted that the co-hosts of the conference, the UK and Somali governments, handled those arrangements.

According to the UK government's website on the event, "the UK and Somalia are inviting over 50 partner countries and organizations, including the UN, African Union, IMF and Somalia's friends and neighbors around the world."

"This conference aims to provide international support for the government of Somalia as they rebuild their country after two decades of conflict," said the website.

Somalia has been torn asunder by factional fighting since 1991, but has recently made progress toward stability. In 2011 Islamist insurgents retreated from Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia, and last year new government institutions emerged as the country ended the transitional phase.

The Security Council on Thursday voted unanimously to establish the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia, to be known as UNSOM, beginning on June 3 for an initial period of 12 months.


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