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

Ertuğrul Apakan 16.10.2012
Mr. President,

I would like to thank you for organizing this debate on Somalia, which comes at the very start of the new era in Somalia. I also would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to His Excellency Secretary-General for convening a Mini Summit on September 26. This timely Summit once again demonstrated the unified support and commitment of the international community to assist Somalia in its peacebuilding efforts.

On this occasion, let me congratulate H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for his election to the Presidency and H.E. Abdi Farah Shirdon for his designation as Prime Minister of Somalia by the President. I also would like to thank the former President Sheikh Shariff Ahmed, Speaker Shariff Hassan and Prime Minister Mohamed Ali for their strong statesmanship they displayed throughout the most difficult times of Somalia.

Mr. President,

Somalia has entered into a completely new era. This is an era of peacebuilding, institution building, national reconciliation and economic recovery. This era is going to be an era of normalization.

The new, more legitimate and representative Somali Government has now many tasks that need to be completed to ensure that the normalization process will progress successfully. We believe that all of these tasks should be well systematized in a new program. This new program and new era must be Somali-led, and it must also address the unfinished tasks of the former Road Map. In this sense, the six-pillar plan outlined by President Mohamud is a positive first step and a sound evidence of Somali leadership.

Mr. President,

We commend the efforts of the African Union through AMISOM and acknowledge the remarkable sacrifice made by the troop contributing countries. Without AMISOM’s efforts and sacrifice, we would not have been this optimistic about the future of Somalia.

The international community has developed a common understanding on the necessity to support the professional and capable Somali security forces that will eventually replace AMISOM and assume full responsibility in securing and stabilizing the whole country. The rebuilding and restructuring of the Somali security sector is the indispensable precondition for the state-building. An efficient and robust Somali security sector that represents Somalia’s diversity is also essential in realizing the goal of a united, secure, and prosperous Somalia. There will be no sustainable peace and prosperity without security.

At this point, I would like to bring to your attention that Turkey’s efforts to establish “Fund for the Restructuring and Rebuilding of the Somali Security Forces” is well underway. The political support of Somali authorities, neighboring countries and some international partners has been obtained. We will soon start rebuilding the infrastructure and training of the Somali security forces. I would like to underscore that all our efforts in this area will be coordinated with the international community.

Mr. President,

Turkey believes that at this critical period in Somalia, the UN is the most important actor that will coordinate all international assistance, promote the political reconciliation process and provide necessary support in rebuilding state structures in Somalia. We welcome the Secretary-General’s ongoing strategic review process to determine how the UN can be most helpful to Somalia in this new era. We strongly believe that a comprehensive UN presence that will integrate all elements of state- and peace-building support should be the new UN structure in this country. Turkey stands ready to cooperate with the UN in this process.

In the efforts of Somali people to rebuild their countries, we, as the international community, are responsible more than ever to support them. While providing our political, technical, humanitarian and financial support, we must be aware that the Somalis want to see our physical presence on the ground as a sign of solidarity. We believe that opening of new embassies in Mogadishu at this historical moment in Somalia will give the Somalis a proper signal that we, the international community, will stand by them in their struggle for their future.

I thank you Mr. President.