Somalia and its international partners met in Mogadishu on 1-2 October 2019 for the Somalia Partnership Forum (SPF). The participants took stock of the progress made since the previous SPF in July 2018, and agreed priority actions to address the remaining challenges together.
International partners recognised Somalia’s achievements and commended the leadership of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) for the significant progress in implementing reforms including improved public financial management and revenue generation, consultations on a new National Development Plan, extensive security reforms, successful operations to retake and stabilise territory previously held by Al Shabaab, increased delivery of social services, and progress towards local reconciliation in some areas.
At the same time, a number of challenges remain, including the need to generate jobs and economic growth, continue the fight against Al Shabaab, respond to humanitarian crises and build resilience, lay foundations for inclusive politics and strengthen respect for the rights, participation and representation of women and minorities.
Somalia and its international partners agreed a Mutual Accountability Framework to narrow their joint focus to priority areas for action and resources in order to achieve key priority outcomes before December 2020. International partners noted that despite advances on a number of key priorities, strengthened political cooperation between the FGS and some Federal Member States (FMS) would have accelerated progress. Somalia’s leaders agreed that such cooperation is critical in order to make further progress on political, security and economic reforms, and that this will require the strong personal commitment of all FGS and FMS leaders.
Somalia committed to successfully conclude current security operations, undertake further operations against Al Shabaab, and complete priority reforms of security, justice and human rights institutions. In 2020, the focus of these will be jointly identified and planned, to ensure that all stakeholders can align their efforts and resources to agreed locations. International partners committed to support the generation of human rights compliant security forces, the stabilisation of newly recovered areas including access to justice, and key reform processes including human resources and payroll reform of the Somali security forces. Somali and international partners also agreed to cooperate on additional steps towards a smooth transition from AMISOM to Somali led security. Joint steps will also be taken, led by the FGS, to secure the federal electoral process and strengthen security in Mogadishu.
Somalia committed to meet in full the benchmarks in its fourth IMF Staff Monitored Program (SMP IV), and international partners committed to actively support the FGS to meet the
benchmarks building on the significant progress to date, and to take the necessary steps to prepare for an anticipated Heavily Indepted Poor Countries Decision Point in early 2020. International partners welcomed the recent workshop in Addis Ababa on the debt relief process, and encouraged the FGS and FMS to continue their efforts at a political level to develop and strengthen intergovernmental fiscal frameworks.
In order to ensure that federal one-person-one-vote elections are held in late 2020 / early 2021, the executive and legislative are committed to adopt an Electoral Law by December 2019. Somalia committed to complete the Constitutional Review by June 2020, and adopt an amended Federal Constitution, establish the Constitutional Court and the Judicial Service Commission, continue the National Reconciliation process, and ensure the participation of all sectors of society, including women, in political decision making. International partners agreed to promote dialogue and political engagement and to mobilize resources to supplement government financing following adoption of the priority legislation to support these processes, and to help Somalia to meet the timetable for preparations.
Somalia committed to prioritise youth empowerment and employment generation, to build resilience through social protection, achieve durable solutions for refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons in full respect for humanitarian principles and international human rights law, and increase social services delivery. This includes better aligning development assistance with National Development Plan 9 priorities, strengthening the government’s ability to deliver services to the population and enhancing government legitimacy. International partners agreed to support these priorities, in particular by reducing the remaining financing gap for the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan. Somali and international partners agreed to prioritise joint action on water management, private sector development, trade and regional integration and improvement of infrastructure services. The FGS intends to establish a national approach to address the impact of climate change on public policy, and enact legislation to foster growth and generate employment.
Somalia has made progress in recent years thanks to the strength of the partnership between Somalia and the international community. They agreed to ensure that their efforts are aligned, to progressively increase the use of country systems, and to adopt and implement a national legal framework governing national and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) including protections afforded to NGOs by the Provisional Federal Constitution and Human Rights legislation, and for NGOs to act in full compliance with Somali law. The Forum reaffirmed the commitment of all parties to this partnership and to the principle of mutual accountability in order to maximise their collective efforts to build a bright future for Somalia.
The participants paid tribute to the Somali Security Forces and the troop and police contributing countries of AMISOM for their bravery and sacrifice in restoring peace in Somalia. Somalia expressed its gratitude to international partners for their steadfast commitment to supporting Somalia’s statebuilding, prosperity and stability for the benefit of all Somalis.