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Somali Prime Minister and UN top official open new High Level Committee

Somali Prime Minister and UN top official open new High Level Committee

Nairobi, 23 October 2009 – Somalia’s Prime Minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe, and the UN Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, have called for an urgent increase in international support for Somalia.

Opening the first meeting of the newly constituted High Level Committee, the Somali Prime Minister said the Government was working to provide basic services and reach out to moderate political groups and individuals, but required the continued backing of the international community.

This was echoed by Mr Pascoe, who was in Nairobi to discuss both Kenya and Somalia. He has also visited Angola, Burundi, South Africa and Uganda on his tour of Africa.

“Now is the time to move to action, not the time to talk,” said Mr Pascoe. “This is an excellent opportunity to turn around the terrible situation of the last 18 years in Somalia.”

At the end of the meeting a communique was issued which welcomed the opening of a “new approach in the relationship between Somalia and the International Community.”

The High Level Committee was established under Article 9 of the Djibouti Agreement to encourage dialogue between the then Government and opposition. In its new format, it remains open to dialogue while bringing together the Somali Government and the international community to ensure a coherent approach to implementing the Djibouti Agreement in areas including security, governance, justice and reconciliation, humanitarian, rehabilitation, reconstruction and development.

Susannah Price
Public Information Officer
United Nations Political Office For Somalia (UNPOS)

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