Statement by SRSG Ambassador François Lonseny Fall at the farewell ceremony of the Somali Transitional Federal Institutions

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Your Excellency President Mwai Kibaki
Your Excellency President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed
Honourable Vice-President of Kenya, Moody Awori,
Honourable Speaker of the Kenyan Parliament
Honourable Prime Minister AliMohamed Gedi of the TFG
Honourable Ministers of IGAD
Honourable Ministers of the Republicof Kenya
Honourable Ministers of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia£
Honourable Members of Parliaments of Kenyaand Somalia
Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps
My Lords Spiritual and Temporal

Ladies and Gentlemen

1. It gives me great pleasure to be with you here today. Today's ceremony marks a very important landmark in the Somali reconciliation process. I wish to thank the Kenyan authorities for organizing this event. I commend them and other members of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the efforts they have made and are continuing to make in promoting reconciliation in Somalia.

2. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has played the lead role in supporting the Somali reconciliation process and today's event is an expression of its strong commitment to moving the process forward. We hope that IGAD and its Member countries will continue to use their positive engagement to keep the process on course. And we hope that other members of the international community can also intensify their support for the Somali peace process.

3. The Somali Transitional Federal Government and Parliament members deserve credit for taking this important step. In particular, I commend President Yusuf Prime Minister Gedi and the Speaker of Parliament, Honourable Shariff Hassan, on their respective efforts and leadership which got all of us to the stage of having this farewell ceremony. Your return to Somaliais, indeed, a bold step forward and a step forward in the right direction. We hope that the Transitional Federal Institutions will use this opportunity not only to consolidate the gains they have made thus far but also to further the process of institution building and promoting peace through intensive dialogue on several issues and in particular on where to relocate into inside Somalia.

4. Reconciliation is the cornerstone of the Somali peace process and is enshrined in the Somali Transitional Charter as one of its guiding principles. National reconciliation, however, is not possible without dialogue and inclusivity. We hope that with your return to Somaliawith delicate institutions, you will continue the process of national reconciliation and ensure that inclusivity is always maintained at all times. In this regard, we look forward to the putting in place of the National Reconciliation Commission as stated in your Charter.

5. Let me use this opportunity, on behalf of the United Nations, to commend the efforts being made to pacify the city of Mogadishu. We all want Mogadishuas part of a peaceful Somalia. That being the case, we must support efforts to encamp militia in a pre-disarmament mode. This commendable beginning must now be accommodated within an overall national disarmament plan under the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia

6. I applaud the continued support of IGAD Ministers who are present at this farewell ceremony. I appeal to them to keep this spirit up and call on the international community at large to engage more with Somaliaby providing necessary diplomatic and material support for the immediate survival of the transitional institutions.

7. I would like to take this opportunity to assure the Somali Transitional Federal Institutions that the United Nations is here to assist them. Peace in Somalialies first in the hands of the Somalis themselves and it is they that have to demonstrate their commitment to peace by taking concrete steps inside Somaliato promote reconciliation at all levels. The United Nations will continue to provide whatever support it can to facilitate this process. The United Nations remains committed to working closely with the Somali institutions and the international community to achieve our shared goals. These are goals which we must all work together to realize. It is my hope that we will all collectively make it possible for my office to relocate into Somaliain the near future.

I thank you all.