On 16 September a landmark Conference on A New Deal for Somalia was held in Brussels
The meeting took place at a crucial time for the Somali people as they embark on the path of reconciliation and reconstruction after years of conflict. The conference welcomed the political and security progress that has already been made, and commended the leadership demonstrated by the Federal Government working with other stakeholders in seeking to consolidate it, including at previous international conferences in London and Yokohama. It emphasised the importance of maintaining the momentum towards positive change and reconciliation in the country, reaffirming support for Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
To support this progress, the conference endorsed a New Deal Compact and committed to support its implementation. This Compact is a testament to the new partnership, based on mutual accountability and risk management that is being initiated between the Federal Government, Parliament, regions and people of Somalia, and the international community. It includes Special Arrangements for Somaliland. The aim is to create a better future for all Somali people, by means of a dialogue and process that promotes political reconciliation and establishes peace, security, justice and sustainable development throughout the country. The best platform to achieve this goal is the New Deal framework developed by the g7+ group and endorsed in Busan in 2011, specifically aimed at supporting fragile countries in transitioning towards stability. It ensures a clear focus on Somalia’s most vital political, social and economic priorities: building inclusive politics, security, justice, the country’s economic foundations, revenue collection and the provision of services.
Speaking during the closing press conference, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said: “today’s meeting has taken our support to another level […] together, today, we have set in motion a process that can continue long into the future. I am pleased to report that the international community put its weight behind these efforts offering 1.8 billion euros. It is our responsibility to put our pledges into practice.”
A new era has begun for the Somali people, underpinned by the collective determination to bring better lives to all the people of Somalia.