London Somalia Conference 11 May 2017: Communique

The London Conference on Somalia took place at Lancaster House on 11 May 2017, co-chaired by the UK, the Federal Republic of Somalia, the United Nations and the African Union, and attended by 42 friends and partners of Somalia. The Federal Republic of Somalia’s delegation was led by His Excellency President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and included representatives of the Federal Member States.

The Conference comes at a critical moment for Somalia, after a more inclusive electoral process. A new Federal Parliament with increased women and youth representation and a new administration are now in place. There is therefore an opportunity to set out an ambitious agenda for Somali-led reforms supported by the international community over the next four years and in the longer term. We emphasise the importance of maintaining the momentum towards positive change and reconciliation in the country, reaffirm our support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, and pledge our support for a democratic, stable and prosperous Somalia. We recognise that the credibility of the Somali government hinges largely on its ability to deliver for the Somali people.

Somalia has made significant progress in the last few years. In particular state formation has progressed significantly and the country has made substantial progress towards reengagement with the International Financial Institutions.

Somalia has drafted its first National Development Plan in 30 years, articulating its priorities for the coming period, and Somali leaders have recently reached a historic agreement on a National Security Architecture.

However many challenges remain. Terrorism is still a threat to peace and security; work to address constitutional issues needs to be expanded and accelerated and a stable federal settlement reached; security sector reform has not progressed as quickly as envisaged; the threat of piracy remains real; further progress on democratisation, human rights and rule of law is needed; corruption must be tackled; poverty reduced and economic recovery advanced. There is a risk of famine which requires a continued scale up in coordinated efforts to address immediate needs, and to build resilience going forward.

The Federal Government of Somalia set out its plans to address these challenges, and the international community its commitments to support these, under three main headings: Strengthening National Security and International Security Guarantee; More Inclusive, Stable Politics; and Economic Recovery. We agreed a Security Pact and a strong New Partnership for Somalia, in support of Somalia’s National Development Plan, founded on mutual accountability and with commitments to follow up on progress and results achieved including at a Security Conference in October 2017 and High Level Partnership Forum (HLPF) within six months and on a regular basis thereafter.

Throughout the Conference, we recognised the close inter-linkage between security, politics and development; the need for strong political will from both the Federal Government of Somalia and the leaders of the Federal Member States to implement reforms together with continued support from the international community; and the importance of demonstrating tangible results for all the people of Somalia. We particularly recognised the contribution regional partners including the African Union have made to Somalia, including through AMISOM, and the importance of the African Union’s continued engagement in the transition to a secure and stable Somalia.

Humanitarian

1. We are deeply concerned by the serious and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Somalia caused by the ongoing drought and resulting disease outbreaks and the risk of famine. This has been exacerbated by years of conflict and insecurity. We are saddened by the loss of life and livelihoods including the particular effects on women and children in hard to reach areas.

2. We recognise and welcome the Federal Government of Somalia’s formal declaration of drought as a national disaster and the establishment of a Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management. We welcome the work of the National Drought Committee and other civic initiatives in raising awareness and funding for the drought response. Following the humanitarian appeal, the international community has committed over $600 million to the drought response. This admirable mobilisation of funds enabled humanitarian NGOs and UN agencies to reach millions of Somalis with life-saving assistance and protection.

3. Together, we remain fully mobilised to avert famine in Somalia, and to ensure an effective and coordinated response throughout the duration of the crisis. In this regard we welcome the revised Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia presented by the UN and are committed to strengthening coordination of the drought response under the leadership of the government. We call on the international community to ensure sufficient resources to allow for its implementation. We call on all parties to commit to working with humanitarian partners, fully respecting humanitarian principles, and call on all parties to facilitate full, timely and unhindered access to those in need, in particular those in hard to reach areas and to ensure a safer operating environment for humanitarian actors.
We emphasise the importance of complying with obligations to protect civilian populations. We welcome the commitment made by Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member State leaders on 17 April 2017 to improve road access.

4. We also commit to working together to support Somalia’s longer-term recovery and resiliencebuilding from this drought, to prevent similar crises in future including through addressing root causes of vulnerability and food insecurity, and strengthening the links between early warning and early action, as outlined in the National Development Plan. We also encourage all parties to implement the Declaration on durable solutions for Somali Refugees adopted in Nairobi on 25 March 2017.