Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Turkey to the United Nations, at the UNSC Open Debate on "The Situation in Somalia"

Ertuğrul Apakan 16.09.2010
We also wish to thank SRSG Mr. Augustine Mahiga for introducing the report of the Secretary General. We welcome Mr. Moses Wetang’ula , Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kenya and thank him for his insightful statement. We also welcome the Permanent Representative of Somalia Dr. Elmi Duale.

The challenges we face in Somalia are daunting. The political and security situation is still critical. Terrorism, the instability and the precarious humanitarian situation continue to cause a grave concern. The Transitional Federal Government has a great deal of things to achieve. For that, there is a need for a strong and determined Government as well as functional institutions. Therefore, the existing political disputes should be solved through dialogue so that the transitional agenda can be completed in a timely fashion.

We commend the crucial role played by AMISOM towards achieving stability in Somalia. We thank all troop and police contributing countries, especially Uganda and Burundi. We also welcome IGAD’s efforts, including its decision to deploy additional troops under AMISOM, which was also endorsed by the African Summit Meeting in Kampala. AMISOM should be fully supported so that it can effectively implement its mandate. Turkey shares the Secretary General’s view that the support package for AMISOM should be identical to the support provided to United Nations peacekeeping operations. On the other hand, one should not expect that AMISOM provides security alone. It is also of crucial importance that the Somali security institutions are strengthened.

There is no military solution to the Somali question and the only road to a peaceful future is through dialogue. The TFG which Turkey fully supports should continue to pursue assertively its outreach policy vis-à-vis the opposition groups. Likewise, the TFG has to appeal to the hearts and minds of the Somali public so as to minimize the adverse effects of propaganda machine of radical elements, which have their own agenda. We strongly condemn the terrorist attacks both in Kampala and Mogadishu. We should not let the radical elements to derail the Djibouti peace process.

Stability in Somalia can only be consolidated if the gains in the political and security fields are supported by reconstruction activities. The Istanbul Conference on laid down a broad perspective in that regard. The critical role played by Somalia’s neighbors in promoting peace, security and development in Somalia and the region is undeniable. By re-affirming the principles of good neighborly relations and urging Somalia’s partners to continue to support effort towards this end, the Istanbul Conference also put a strong emphasis in this context.

For the peace process to move forward in Somalia UN’s active involvement and leadership is crucial. In that regard, we welcome the determination nd the tireless efforts of SRSG Mr. Augustine Mahiga to reinvigorate the process. Turkey is ready to work and cooperate with him. UN’s increasing presence in Somalia will no doubt help achieve the set targets.

We are also encouraged by the strong commitment of the Secretary General in this matter. The mini summit meeting which the Secretary General will convene on 23 September is a timely initiative.

And finally, as for the fight against piracy, we follow with satisfaction the work done so far by the Contact Group. The issue is also high on the agenda of the Security Council, which discussed the legal aspects of this issue very recently. We look forward to the report of the Secretary General on piracy which will be submitted in October.