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SA ready to support Somalia on road to democracy
Sunday, June 03, 2012
Pretoria - South Africa is ready to support Somalia towards a prosperous and stable democracy, says International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Marius Fransman.
"South Africa stands ready to play its part in supporting Somalia as it moves closer to realising its vision of a prosperous and stable democracy.
"We are committed to assisting the Somali people through capacity and institution-building that will empower that country to respond to the challenges faced in the areas of social reconciliation, constitutional development, agriculture and food security, water catchment and drought resistance, as well as marine resource management," he said on Friday.
Speaking in Turkey at the second Istanbul Conference on Somalia, Fransman urged the international community to remain engaged with the people of Somalia in rebuilding their country.
He said he was aware of challenges on the path to democracy.
"Somalia, with the assistance of the international community, needs to evolve a developmental strategy that will be a result of engagement amongst all Somalis. We are certain, however, that the resolve to succeed demonstrated by the Somali people at this conference will ensure that when we meet in 2015, the story we will tell of Somalia will be different from that of today. We will be celebrating the successes."
The deputy minister called on all Somalis to commit themselves to the implementation of the agreements and decisions reached thus far in order to realise the stated objectives in the Roadmap.
He said the Somali Roadmap, a process that is Somali-owned, serves as a necessary and firm foundation that currently stands as the only viable option to steer Somalia towards attaining meaningful and lasting peace.
To achieve this, a well-coordinated approach amongst all key players was essential, said Fransman.
Additionally, economic development was a key component that could help create a stable environment steering Somalis to participate in the growth of their country with job creation, youth employment and homecoming incentives for the diaspora.
Instability due to war and the absence of a functioning government have contributed to the worsening situation in Somalia. The lack of sustainable programmes for institution and capacity-building also renders Somalia more vulnerable to natural disasters
Representatives from over 54 countries gathered in Istanbul to find a path towards a better future for that country.
The two-day meeting followed on a meeting held in February. - BuaNews
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