Thank you Mr. President,
Through you, I wish to express my delegation’s appreciation to His Excellency Mr. Omar Abdi-Rashid Ali Sharmarke, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia for his presence and for his briefing which we have heard with much interest.
2. I wish to also thank Ms. Susanna Malcorra, Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary-General, SRSG Nicholas Kay and Ambassador Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer for the African Union for their respective briefings, which were informative and helpful.
3. I take this opportunity to also pay tribute to the tireless dedication and efforts of the men and women serving in Somalia under the UN banner and in AMISOM. We honour their bravery, sacrifice and selfless service alongside that of the Somali national security forces.
4. The unflagging commitment and sacrifices rendered in providing support and assistance to the Government and people of Somalia is a shining example of cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, fully in line with the highest ideals of the United Nations as enshrined in the Charter.
5. Your presence here today demonstrates the United Kingdom’s commitment to Somalia particularly in its development and transition towards political and economic stability; to lasting peace and security in the country and of the region as a whole.
6. Taking into account Somalia’s troubled history, its achievement to date of many significant milestones in building a democratic and politically inclusive state bodes well for the future.
7. We are pleased to note and commend the strong commitment and ongoing support provided by a multitude of international partners and stakeholders towards entrenching democratic norms, good governance including on management of public finances, justice and rule of law, respect for human rights as well as in addressing the acute humanitarian and development needs of the country.
8. As a current member of this Council, Malaysia has participated actively in ongoing deliberations on how best we could collectively provide the necessary assistance and support needed by Somalia, while fully mindful of the need to ensure that such efforts remain fully Somali owned and led.
9. Alongside resolution 2245 just adopted, Council had this year alone adopted resolutions 2244, 2232 and 2221 attesting to the comprehensive and high level of Council’s attention on Somalia.
10. Such attention is not only appropriate, but is absolutely critical towards ensuring Somalia’s continued positive trajectory and towards maintaining international peace and security, particularly in the Horn of Africa region.
11. In this connection, we are heartened that Somalia’s state formation processes, including the establishment and operationalisation of state or regional administrations could be concluded in 2015, paving the way for realisation of Vision 2016.
12. As such, we would urge all parties to conclude the necessary arrangements for an inclusive, transparent and credible electoral process.
13. We are also pleased to note that notable progress has also been made on women’s political participation and leadership at national and local levels. We hope that efforts to redress gender imbalance in political representation could be sustained.
14. We are confident that with the full commitment and determination of all leaders and relevant actors at the national level, coupled with support from international and regional partners, further key political and developmental milestones could be achieved.
15. Looking ahead, Malaysia believes that future UN engagement with Somalia should more closely involve the UN’s peacebuilding architecture. With the support of the UK, we were pleased to have convened an Informal Interactive Dialogue of the Council with Somali government representatives, the PBC and UN system actors during Malaysia’s presidency last June.
16. We are convinced that there is much scope for enhancing complementarity between the Council and the PBC, including on Somalia.
17. While noting the many significant and positive gains made thus far, one key challenge which threatens to derail progress achieved to date is the prevailing security threat. At the forefront of such threat is Al-Shabaab.
18. While significant headway has been made in degrading Al-Shabaab’s capabilities, they retain significant ability to inflict death and destruction, as seen from the latest attack on the Sahafi Hotel early this month.
19. We wish to stress that the fight against terrorism cannot be won through force of arms alone. As such we continue to advocate a comprehensive strategy of “winning hearts and minds”, not only of perpetrators but perhaps more critically, of their support bases from the civilian population. At this delicate stage of transition, it is important that public trust and confidence in national security institutions and actors be maintained.
20. Malaysia believes that national and local level political leaders, working in close coordination and collaboration with UNSOM, AMISOM and the Somali national security forces are best placed to take the lead in this regard.
21. A related area of concern is the protection of civilians. We remain concerned by reports of allegations of continuing human rights violations and abuses particularly against women and children. We urge the relevant authorities to investigate such allegations and ensure accountability of perpetrators.
22. At the same time, we greatly appreciate the on-going efforts by UN actors on the ground, particularly UNICEF and UNSOM in promoting awareness and mainstreaming the issue of child protection in the policies and activities of the Somali National Army. We commend the Federal Government’s commitment and determination to end and prevent recruitment and use of children by national security forces.
23. The humanitarian situation in Somalia remains fragile, due partly to the volatile security situation and domestic economic challenges exacerbating the difficulty of delivering humanitarian assistance across large parts of the country. The conflict in Yemen has also placed additional stresses on the humanitarian infrastructure in Somalia.
24. Despite modest resources and capabilities, Malaysia has and continues to support and assist Somalia since the early 90s when we first contributed troops under UNOSOM II.
25. To date, Malaysia has undertaken a number of development initiatives in Somalia including projects to refurbish and upgrade existing wells as well as installing water pumps in remote areas supplying clean water to approximately 20,000 people.
26. We have also disbursed financial and in-kind contributions to schools for disabled children, IDPs and orphanages and to the Somalian National Eye Centre. Recently, Perdana Global Peace Fund Malaysian NGO initiated a micro-credit project aimed at empowering women and single mothers to start their own small businesses.
27. In line with our commitment to South-South Cooperation, Malaysia continues to offer technical assistance, including higher education scholarship to Somali nationals under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme. We stand ready to consider providing tailored courses if so requested.
28. In concluding, I reaffirm Malaysia’s commitment to work closely with all Council members, the Federal Government of Somalia, the United Nations, the African Union and the international community towards lasting peace, security and development for Somalia.
I thank you, Mr. President.