Human Rights Council 12th session
Item 10. Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Somalia
Statement by Norway
30 September 2009
Being a new member of the Council, Norway would like to underline the importance of enhanced multilateral cooperation on Somalia. The plight of the Somali people has continued for way too long. The time is long overdue for the international community to join all constructive efforts for the benefit of the Somali people. The Human Rights Council must play its full role in the broader picture of restoring the rule of law and all human rights in Somalia.
Norway welcomes the report by Mr Shamsul Bari, the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia. Norway shares the assessment of the situation in Somalia as one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.
We note with deep concern that the situation is reported to be even worse now than at the time of the previous report (6 months ago). We note with equally deep concern the reportedly accelerated engagement by foreign elements seeking to undermine the process towards peace and stability in Somalia. We agree that such destructive external engagement through funding of hostilities and fighters must be checked with a greater sense of urgency.
Norway further shares the recommendation that the Transitional Federal Government must itself take the bull by the horns. Violation of human rights and humanitarian law, corruption and inefficiency must be checked from within the Government itself. The Government, with international support, must strive to promote accountability and seek to put an end to impunity in Somalia. The establishment of the national human rights focal point within the Government is a useful step, and we welcome the participation of H.E. Minister Fawsiya Mohamed Shekh here today.
Other useful steps would be the revival of security forces with a command and control structure that promotes professional behaviour at all levels, in particular in the south-central region; a focus on educating Somali children and youths in order to cater for the future needs of the country; and last but not least increased participation by women in decision making at all levels throughout the country.
Step by step the regional and international partners must support the state-building process in Somalia, in practical terms. There will never be an easy quick fix in Somalia, and the international community must come together with the political will to pay the price of achieving progress, which will continue to be an arduous process, otherwise we will continue to pay the price of failure.
In order for this Council to give the serious and long lasting crisis in Somalia the proper consideration, Norway has noted with interest the proposal for a special session on Somalia. As called for in the report, such a session could focus on the need for concerted international action for the benefit of the Somali people.
Finally, Norway supports the extension and strenghtening of the important mandate given to the independent expert, as the only public reporting mechanism on the human rights situation in Somalia. It is our hope that the independent expert will be able to undertake field trips to the south and central regions of Somalia, including Mogadishu, in his important work ahead.