Attendance by Senior Vice-Minister Yamane at the "Istanbul Conference on Somalia" (Overview)
June 3, 2012
On Friday, June 1, Mr. Ryuji Yamane, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, attended the Istanbul Conference on Somalia. An overview of the conference is as follows:
- (1) On Friday, June 1, the Istanbul Conference on Somalia was held. Mr. Ryuji Yamane, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, attended on behalf of the Government of Japan. The conference was co-hosted by Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and attended by leader-level and minister-level figures from 57 countries and 11 international and regional organizations including Mr. Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, "President" of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), and Mr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the AU Commission, to discuss promotion of political processes toward the end of the transitional government period in Somalia (August this year) and support for the new Government of Somalia following the end of the transitional government period.
(2) On the occasion of his attendance in the conference, Vice-Minister Yamane held bilateral meetings with Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, "President" of the TFG, Mr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, "Prime Minister" of the TFG, Mr. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti, Mr. Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, Mr. Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Raila Amolo Odinga, Prime Minister of Kenya, and Mr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the AU Commission, and exchanged opinions on situations in Somalia and bilateral relations. Moreover, Vice-Minister Yamane also asked for cooperation toward the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) scheduled to be held in June next year.
- (1) At the beginning of the conference, Prime Minister Erdoğan stated that for the nation building of Somalia, in parallel with the development of political processes including establishment of constitutions, it would be necessary to improve basic human needs of Somalian people such as the security situation, infrastructure development, and measures against drought, and called upon the countries present for cooperation toward such improvements.
(2) Representatives from attending countries and international organizations expressed their expectations toward the first opportunity in 20 years to establish a unified country in Somalia and also expressed their support toward the construction of a new Somalia. In addition, representatives from Somalia’s neighboring countries pointed out the problems of an influx of refugees from Somalia and the insufficient resources of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
(3) Vice-Minister Yamane stated as follows (summary):
- The Government of Japan will cooperate for the construction of a new Somalia in collaboration with all the partners that intend to work together for the future of the people of Somalia, including Somaliland, Puntland, and TFG.
- Piracy off the Coast of Somalia is a huge threat to the maritime transportation industry of the world and is one of main topics of TICAD V to be held in June next year. It is necessary to take comprehensive measures including measures against the underlying problems, such as the stability of the politics, economy, and society in Somalia. The Government of Japan will promote bilateral cooperation with Somalia’s neighboring countries to strengthen their maritime security capability with a view toward TICAD V.
- The Government of Japan strongly expects that all the parties concerned with Somalia will establish its constitution and carry out political reforms in line with the roadmap, and that Somalia will achieve the stability and progress that many African nations have achieved so that the people of Somalia will be able to enjoy peaceful lives.
- (1) Chairman’s summary statement by Mr. Ahmed Davutoğlu, Foreign Minister of Turkey, stressed that it would be necessary to complete political processes by the end of the transitional government period in August this year without fail and expressed gratitude to the countries present which expressed specific support or promises.
(2) In the Communiqué released following the conference, it was confirmed that the international community would strengthen its efforts for improvement of security and humanitarian issues in Somalia and the establishment of a "Rebuilding and Restructuring Fund for the Somali Security Sector" was proposed.
(3) After the Conference was over, Prime Minister Erdoğan, Mr. Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, "President" of the TFG, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon held a joint press conference and confirmed that necessary political processes such as the establishment of a constitution and legislature would be completed by August 20 and called for further cooperation toward the international community for the construction of a new Somalia by its new government.
- (*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)
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