|Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at the UN Security Council Briefing on Somalia|
I thank Special Representative James Swan, Acting Special Representative Fiona Lortan, and Special Representative Annette Weber for their briefings. I welcome the participation of the Permanent Representative of Somalia at today’s meeting.
In May this year, Somalia successfully concluded its election and saw a stable transition of power. This has created a conducive political environment for Somalia to focus on urgent challenges and pursue peace and development. President Mohamud, since his inauguration, has strengthened dialogue and reconciliation and promoted international cooperation, creating a good start for his new administration. China appreciates such efforts. We welcome the convening by parties in Somalia of a national consultative council meeting in June to agree on seven priorities for national development. We believe the parties will continue to promote peace and reconstruction in the spirit of cooperation.
Security is a daunting challenge faced by the new government of Somalia. In the recent period, Al-Shabaab and other terrorist forces continued to launch terrorist attacks, posing serious threats to Somalia and the Horn of Africa. The attack on Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu on August 18 and other terrorist activities demonstrate once again the urgency of counter-terrorism operations. China supports President Mohamud in listing counter-terrorism and accelerating the reconfiguration of forces as major tasks during his term. We welcome his government to enhance coordination and cooperation with the EU and other key international partners to promote the implementation of the Somali transition plan and gradually take over the responsibility to maintain its national security. We would like to pay tribute to the commitment and sacrifice of peacekeepers in the AU Transition Mission in Somalia, and call on major donors to provide ATMIS with sustainable and predictable funding to ensure that AU peacekeepers get steady salaries in full.
At present, the humanitarian situation in Somalia is very dire. The persistent drought affects the livelihood of nearly half of its population. Food security is rapidly deteriorating, with significant risks of famine and malnutrition. The international community should accelerate its humanitarian response, increase its assistance, and make the utmost efforts to prevent a humanitarian disaster. China welcomes the appointment by President Mohamud of a drought envoy to focus on humanitarian aid. We support the UN in its emergency fund relief to the Horn of Africa to deal with the consequences of the drought. We also welcome the implementation of the highly indebted poor country’s initiative for Somalia by the IMF and World Bank, which helps the country tide over its difficulties through resistance and debt relief. China feels deeply for the current difficulties of the people in Somalia. China signed the exchange of letters this June with Somalia on emergency food assistance. We will accelerate the assistance process, and do everything we can to help Somalia respond to the drought and jointly discuss lasting solutions to prevent and mitigate disasters.
As required by the Council resolution, the Secretary-General will soon submit to the Council three reports on the strategic review of UNSOM, on the assessment of the progress of ATMIS, and on adjusting the benchmarks for the implementation of sanctions respectively. China hopes that in the drafting process of these reports, the Somali-led and Somali-owned principle will be upheld, the opinions of Somalia, the AU and countries in the region will be fully heeded, and the alignment with the priorities of the new government in Somalia will be achieved, so as to serve the goal of peace and development in the country.
Thank you, Madam President.