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Copenhagen HLPF 2014: Somali on track but.........

Friday, November 21, 2014

ByAct For Somalia

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The first annual Ministerial High Level Partnership Forum (HLPF) held in Copenhagen between 19-20 November and co-chaired by HE Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of the Federal Government of Somalia and the United Nations, has ended positively.

 We would like to sincerely thank the government and people of Denmark for hosting this historic event and the international community and various stakeholders in Somalia for actively participating in the discussions on all aspect of Somalia’s development.

The HLPF communiqué is both promising and determined in its ambitions of continuing and furthering the successes the Somali government has achieved in the last two years.  This is a welcome change and it is clear from all the evidence heard yesterday and today from the Somali President, his cabinet members as well as representatives of the international community that Somalia is finally heading in the right direction.

What makes the Copenhagen summit unique in our eyes is that it was more than just simply pledges and a regurgitation of the problems Somalia faces. This summit offered all stakeholders, most importantly the Somali government, an opportunity to stop, reflect and compare notes with the rest of the world.  It brought together all those tasked with bringing in a new age of democracy, security, stability and prosperity to all of Somalia and challenged them to collaborate for a better Somalia for our war weary population. Copenhagen was not about apportioning blame but a forum of all concerned to agree on the way forward.

The presence of so many influential stakeholders is evidence of their commitment to Somalia and its people and while, arguably, not always seeing eye to eye, all participating organisations agreed on the important role of capacity building the Somali government, institutions and people to bring about lasting change.

Despite all the successes of the 2 day Copenhagen HLPF, Somalia still faces many challenges. This was picked up on by all stakeholders but the singular concern that eclipsed them all was the political instability that came to light recently brought about by a breakdown in communication between the Prime Minister and President of Somalia. This is a sensitive matter which has caused much tension both within and outside Somalia and it is no doubt the one issue that will overshadows all the outcomes of the HLPF  if it is not resolved effectively soon. Whether both the President and Prime Minister agree or the matter is settled in Parliament, it is clear that this damaging, almost cyclical and development stalling process has to be addressed in the future. The old excuse that the constitution is not yet clear is no longer valid on its own.

Inclusive politics is among the most important Vision 2016 goals as it is the one most able to create a permanent political settlement within Somalia. Security, peace, stability and institution building and strengthening depend on it.  The relationship between the Centre and the new and emerging Federal states has to be clear before there can be any hope of national unity and a functioning federal model. It is understandable that nearly all existing and emerging federal states have internal clan based tensions to overcome and that they want the best possible deal from the central government. This is only natural but state building requires that all regional leaders exercise patience, be flexible and accommodating themselves of others and the wishes of the central government where it is fair and reasonable. The state formation process is lengthy, especially in a clan based society like Somalia but it must never be forgotten that federalism does not mean the undermining of the centre. Regions, must link to the centre and there must be agreement that Somalia and its people’s interests in security, development and prosperity is more important than any one regions stubbornness. 

The HLPF in Copenhagen highlighted the extent of the international communities support for Somalia. For this the Somali president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, rightfully expressed his gratitude. However, we are only at the half way point towards achieving the 2016 Vision goals and none of us can afford to be complacent now especially since Somalia has already come this far.

It is clear tonight that as the organisers at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Copenhagen where the meeting took place wrap up the HLPF signs and memorabilia and prepare for another totally different event tomorrow, all the delegates most concerned with ensuring Somalia remains on course still have much to do wherever they may go afterwards.

Act For Somalia


Act for Somalia is Somali British advisory & Awareness raising Org based in Bristol/UK with a Global Reach to promote Peace,Human Rights,Democracy and Civic Engagement.

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