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National statement at ambassadorial-level virtuel meeting on Somalia in the Peacebuilding Commission

02.12.2020  15:17

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Your excellency Prime Minister Roble, Honorable Minister for Women and Human Rights Development Hanifa, SRSG Swan, Bob Rae, Ambassadors.

We thank the Peacebuilding Commission for inviting us to this important meeting and our Somali partners for presenting their priorities, progress and challenges in peacebuilding and providing us with the opportunity to discuss these.

As noted in the UNSCR 2520, only genuine political progress can bring a sustainable solution to Somalia’s instability and Somalia must carry the main responsibility of its own security.

Against that background, we welcome and support the development of the NDP9, the National Reconciliation Framework, the Somali Women’s Charter and similar policy documents. They signal a strong dedication to the keys aspects of inclusivity, representation and reconciliation that are essential for political progress and peacebuilding.

It is indeed good news that Somalia has requested to re-engage with the PBC. It is yet another important step forward in Somalia’s successful re-engagement with the international community and organisations, which we have also witnessed in relation to IFIs and debt relief, and now peacebuilding.

We look forward to following Somalia’s engagement with the PBC, which along with the PBF can play an important role with their expertise and guidance.

Allow me to turn to the important topic of women’s rights.

Denmark has been a partner to the Somali Ministry for Women and Human Rights Development for several years, and we have seen impressive results. To mention but a few: Somalia starting to reengage with international treaty bodies; drafting key legislation improving the rights of women and children and last but not least drafting the Somali Women’s Charter and the Somali National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security.

Meanwhile, we are seeing some worrying trends that challenge such progress.

First, the introduction of the sexual intercourse bill seeking to replace the cabinet approved sexual offences bill. This new bill would legalise child and forced marriage and represents a major set-back for Somali women and girls – and for Somalia’s reengagement with the international community.

Second, it is in no way certain that the ambitious target of 30 pct. women will be achieved at the upcoming elections. The nomination of electoral committees was a disappointing preview with very few women nominated. If women are to be guaranteed meaningful and equal participation in all spheres of political, economic and social life, their rights must be equal to the rights of men. Their participation must be ensured.

Denmark is looking forward to continuing these discussions and to follow peacebuilding progress in Somalia and the work of the PBC in this regard.

Thank you.