The Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Somalia, Fatiha Serour, welcomed the start of a reconciliation conference in Kismayo as a positive step towards consolidating peace in the region and furthering Somalia’s state-building process.
The conference, officially opened on 16 September by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, aims to build on the gains made at the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement in August 2013 and at the Jubba Reconciliation Conference in Mogadishu in November 2013.
“The people and leaders of the Interim Jubba Administration clearly desire peace, and this reconciliation process is a manifestation of those wishes,” DSRSG Serour said at the opening ceremony. “I urge participants to create an environment that allows the conference to develop resolutions that are inclusive of all stakeholders – particularly women, youth and elders, regardless of social or economic status – and contribute to Somalia’s wider peace- and state-building processes.
“This reconciliation process is also important as an avenue to develop a roadmap for the Interim Jubba Administration to continue to build its capacity – there are milestones that must be achieved in order to move forward with the state formation process,” she added.
DSRSG Serour thanked the Federal Government of Somalia, the Leader of the Interim Jubba Administration, Sheikh Ahmed Islam Madobe and his administration, as well as international partners, including the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Japan, the European Union, Turkey and Italy, for making the reconciliation conference possible and for supporting Somalia’s peace-building goals.