Somalia: Summary - High Level Committee (HLC) meeting Djibouti 26 Oct 2008

News and Press Release
Originally published
The third session of the High Level Committee took place on 25 October 2008 in Djibouti.

The chair gave a brief introductory presentation of the discussions in Stockholm on Reconstruction and Development. Stressing the urgency of the situation given the continued suffering of the people, the HLC opted to move straight to the political cooperation item as the overarching and defining issue.

I. On Political cooperation: The HLC agreed to share not only power, but risk and responsibility as 'one team', answerable to the Somali people. The HLC further agreed immediately to constitute an ad hoc-subcommittee to develop detailed proposals for a standing mechanism to implement this resolution, to be submitted to the HLC as soon as possible.

II. On Reconstruction and Development: Further to the chair's initial presentation on the Stockholm discussions, the HLC endorsed the main conclusions as outlined by the chair, including the two phased-approach. The parties further agreed to continue the work to consolidate a joint subcommittee without delay. The meeting took note of the pre-recovery orientation of the first donor conference.

III. On the Constitutional process: The HLC emphasised the critical and central importance of the constitutional process. It was noted that the working groups had been in session, and would shortly convene jointly under the aegis of the UN. The office of the SRSG will maintain its lead coordination role in this regard. The two parties will hold substantive discussions on relevant issues as part of a Conference on Federalism and Decentralization from 10-12 November 2008 in Djibouti.

IV. On Justice and Reconciliation: The HLC pointed out the importance of the matter, and the chair briefed that a conference is planned in this regard for early 2009. A preparatory conference will be held before the end of the year. The meeting resolved to put in place a sub-committee, which will develop an action plan in this regard. The centrality of human rights was highlighted.

All above mentioned subcommittees will be operational as soon as possible.

The HLC strongly condemned the killings and kidnappings of humanitarian workers, and demanded measures to punish the perpetrators. The HLC further demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages.

The meeting agreed for sub committees will continue their work between meetings; and that the HLC should meet more frequently than once a month.

The HLC concluded its session by unanimously congratulating Asha Hagi Elmi on her recent award.