Countries & Regions

Special Conference on Somalia on the Margins of TICAD V
Co-chairs' Summary

Yokohama, Japan, May 31, 2013

June 1, 2013

The Special Conference on Somalia was held in Yokohama, Japan on May 31, 2013, on the margins of the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V). The Conference was co-organized by the Government of Japan, the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia and the African Union Commission, and was attended by Heads of State and Government, Ministers and high-level representatives from 35 countries and organizations.
 
The Conference was opened by H.E. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan and H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia and it was moderated by H.E. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union Commission. 
 
The participants acknowledged recent developments in Somalia, both political and security, which were made possible by Somalia, AMISOM and its allies and the international community since establishment of the new Federal Government of Somalia (FGS). The participants also welcomed adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 2093 (2013) and 2102 (2013), to extend the AMISOM mandate for another year and establish the U.N. Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) as a new U.N. presence to assist with the stabilization and peacebuilding activities of the FGS.
 
The participants emphasized the continued needs of the maintenance and improvement of security both on land and at sea and reaffirmed that the international community should remain committed to the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia.
 
The participants discussed the socio-economic aspects of Somalia’s nation-building and peacebuilding efforts. In particular, discussions focused on measures to support Somali-led efforts to achieve economic recovery and service delivery under President Mohamud’s Six Pillar Policy and to contribute to identifying priorities of the Peace and Statebuilding Goals (PSGs) on economic foundations (Goal 4) and revenues and social services (Goal 5) of the New Deal Compact. 
 
The participants agreed to the need for a human security approach in Somalia’s development agenda to tackle the root causes of instability of the country and identified that the key to full recovery is in empowering the Somali people. Bearing this in mind, the participants stressed the importance of shifting the international community’s mode of engagement from a short term humanitarian assistance to a longer term reconstruction and development and of building the resilience of the Somali people and the community.
 
The participants noted that such efforts by the FGS and the international community in the socio-economic areas should proceed in parallel with the improvement of security and political stability.
 
Service delivery for providing basic human needs
The participants reiterated that providing basic human needs for people is the basis for a stable society. To this end, education, health, water and sanitation were identified as the most important means to addressing the basic human needs of the Somali people, which have been and still are lacking after decades of conflict. There was a shared understanding that the provision of these social services by the FGS is essential in fostering trust in the government, which is still limited both at the local and federal level.
 
President Mohamud announced that he and his government have developed position papers on service delivery in health, water and education and the participants welcomed and showed their willingness to support their implementation.
 
 
The participants identified that there is a clear need for building a better communication mechanism between the federal and the local government as well as on a community level, to ensure the policies made at the upstream will actually be shared by people on the ground. Thus, an approach from both the government and the community level is essential to connecting people with government. In order to do this under a clear cut policy, aligning and exhaustively utilizing all important networks from local communities, the private sector and local NGOs, must be done so as to ensure that equitable social services are delivered to the people.
 
The participants highlighted that any support extended to Somalia, either directly to the government or through international organizations, should contribute to capacity building and ensure ownership of the government. Local governments should be strengthened as a means of enhancing the delivery of services to citizens. Somali-led, long-term sustainability should be promoted through capacity building in the provision of basic public services by the Somali government, both at the federal and local level.
 
 
Economic recovery, employment creation and improvement of livelihoods
With more than 70% of the population below the age of 35 and with a high youth unemployment rate, the importance of creating employment opportunities was at the center of discussion, as youth unemployment is often the cause of instability.
 
The participants stressed the need for a structural transformation of the Somali economy, which will require reforms at central, regional and local levels. With a view to creating employment opportunities and nurturing new industries, the participants pointed out the need for a strategy to identify key economic sectors and necessary measures.
 
The participants noted the importance of sustainable economic recovery. Humanitarian organizations, Diaspora and local NGOs have on-the-ground networks, thus, international assistance provided through these channels should contribute to the empowerment of youths and the creation of local employment opportunities where possible.
 
The participants welcomed the introduction of the FGS’s position papers on agriculture, livestock and water that provide long-term goals of attaining vibrant, progressive and sustainable agriculture and water resources. The participants agreed that the international community should lend its support to the FGS to achieve these goals. The participants also stressed the need for the promotion of fisheries as one of the principal industries of the future for Somalia, which has the longest coastline on the African continent.
 
In addition to the already existing cooperation extended by the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on providing protection and social services to the Somali people in the newly liberated areas, the participants also recognized the significant role that can be played by African countries in the socio-economic development of Somalia.
 
On the way forward
The participants acknowledged that this Conference complements the Somalia Conference in London on 7th May, which agreed on measures to support the Federal Government’s plans in the areas of security, justice and public financial management. The participants also emphasized that the outcomes of these two Conferences should be reflected in the discourse of the New Deal Compact and looked forward to its endorsement at the conference in Brussels in September.
 
The participants reconfirmed that human resource development is urgent within the FGS and local authorities, and stressed the need for capacity building at all levels of government, both local and federal, to enable delivery of basic social services and to promote economic recovery and applauded the FGS’s on-going efforts to develop the ‘Somalia Human and Institutional Capacity Building Roadmap - Phase 1’, including the drafting of its inception report. The participants reiterated their intention to help develop such human capital in this regard.
 
Finally, the participants reaffirmed their commitment to assist the FGS in their intention to coordinate assistance by themselves, through the U.N. Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and looked forward to the full integration of the United Nations Country Team into UNSOM by 1st January 2014, which will make possible better coordinated support in line with the needs of the Somali people.