Statement Delivered by H.E. Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Somalia

Ertuğrul Apakan 05.03.2012
Mr. President,

I would like to thank you for organizing today’s open debate.

Allow me to commend the remarks made by H.E. Secretary General, who has been personally committed to peace efforts in Somalia.

We also would like to commend the Government of the United Kingdom for having organized the International London Conference on Somalia last month. The Conference was important in consolidating the determination of the international community to support the process in Somalia. Turkey welcomes the Conference and fully supports its communiqué.

Mr. President,

The Somalia issue has been on the agenda of the international community far too long.

Today, thanks to our joint efforts and those of the Somali people, we came very close to a point of success for the first time after so many turbulent years. Now is the time to concentrate and enhance those efforts to solidify peace and stability in Somalia.

Mr. President,

As agreed by all, the transition period will end on August 20 without any further extensions. With less than six months remaining, there are a number of key tasks that must be achieved by the transitional authorities in Somalia. These responsibilities are clearly outlined by the Kampala Accord, Roadmap and Garowe Principles. We believe that transitional federal institutions should spare no effort in realizing the set objectives. In this vein, finalizing and adopting the draft constitution on time, selecting a new and representative parliament and choosing the new government of Somalia are the most critical tasks to be completed. Military gains without political progress will be in vain and create a political vacuum, which will only serve the spoilers in Somalia.

Turkey firmly believes that the main priority of the international community must be to support the Somali authorities in fulfilling their responsibilities to successfully complete the transition period. In other words, Somali transitional institutions and the People of Somalia must feel the support of the international community more than ever for the remaining period.

The significant efforts and sacrifice demonstrated by the AMISOM forces and the African Union in Somalia, undoubtedly, constitute the best and the most visible example of the support given by the international community. In that regard, Turkey commends the efforts of the AMISOM and we very much welcome the Security Council Resolution 2036. We also welcome the increasing political, logistical and financial support provided to AMISOM and to Somalia by donor countries and organizations.

Mr President,

Turkey attaches utmost importance to the territorial integrity of Somalia. Keeping that in mind, we believe that the following steps must be taken for a better future in this country:

First, all Somalis should work out their differences for a genuine reconciliation which is the recipe for a long-term peace, stability and prosperity.

Second, development of security sector institutions in Somalia is a stressing necessity for sustaining security in the country. Somalia should be assisted in this field.

Third, it is equally important to establish public institutions such as regulatory and administrative bodies for a functioning state and economy.

Fourth, special attention should be given to the development and reconstruction efforts in Somalia so that the Somali people feel the sense of normalization in their lives. Turkey believes that public services particularly in health, education, water and sanitation, and infrastructure projects on roads, power generation and irrigation should be realized without delay.

Likewise, policies for job-creation and promotion of industrial and agricultural development must be put in effect. Once in place, these policies will also help eradicate extremism, marginalization and piracy.

Fifth, humanitarian assistance should continue to avoid the recurrence of last year’s famine.

Mr. President,

On its part, Turkey has launched a comprehensive programme to support the Somali people and opened an Embassy in Mogadishu in November 2011.

On this occasion, I wish to announce that the Turkish Airlines will start flying regularly between İstanbul and Mogadishu beginning from today.

Furthermore, Turkey is planning to establish Regional Development Offices in Garowe and Garkoye. These offices will focus on development and infrastructure projects.

And finally, I also would like to mention that Turkey will organize the Second İstanbul Conference on Somalia on June 1. The İstanbul Conference will discuss the progress made on the conclusions of the London Conference. It will also address the post-transition strategy. In doing so, Turkey will closely work with the United Nations, especially with UNPOS and SRSG Mahiga, who has the full support of the Turkish Government.

Mr. President,

Now is the time to end the two-decade long suffering of the Somali people. They deserve to see their country rising from the ashes of the past to a bright, peaceful and dignified future. It is our common responsibility to make it possible.

Thank you Mr. President.