On 16 September a landmark Conference on A New Deal for Somalia was held in Brussels, co-hosted by the Somali Federal Government and the European Union (EU), with participation from Somali regions, Members of Parliament and civil society, as well as international friends and partners.
The meeting took place at a crucial time for the Somali people as they embark on the path of reconciliation and reconstruction after years of conflict. The conference welcomed the political and security progress that has already been made, and commended the leadership demonstrated by the Federal Government working with other stakeholders in seeking to consolidate it, including at previous international conferences in London and Yokohama. It emphasised the importance of maintaining the momentum towards positive change and reconciliation in the country, reaffirming support for Somalia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
To support this progress, the conference endorsed a New Deal Compact and committed to support its implementation. This Compact is a testament to the new partnership, based on mutual accountability and risk management that is being initiated between the Federal Government, Parliament, regions and people of Somalia, and the international community. It includes Special Arrangements for Somaliland. The aim is to create a better future for all Somali people, by means of a dialogue and process that promotes political reconciliation and establishes peace, security, justice and sustainable development throughout the country. The best platform to achieve this goal is the New Deal framework developed by the g7+ group and endorsed in Busan in 2011, specifically aimed at supporting fragile countries in transitioning towards stability. It ensures a clear focus on Somalia's most vital political, social and economic priorities: building inclusive politics, security, justice, the country's economic foundations, revenue collection and the provision of services.
Speaking during the closing press conference, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said: "today's meeting has taken our support to another level […] together, today, we have set in motion a process that can continue long into the future. I am pleased to report that the international community put its weight behind these efforts offering 1.8 billion euros. It is our responsibility to put our pledges into practice."
A new era has begun for the Somali people, underpinned by the collective determination to bring better lives to all the people of Somalia.
What is the New Deal?
- A guiding set of principles for fragile states development.
- A country-led process that strengthens capacities, ownership and mutual accountability, supported by the international community.
- Sectoral focus across 5 Peacebuilding and Statebuilding Goals (PSGs):
- Inclusive Politics;
- Security and Rule of Law;
- Economic Foundations;
- Revenue and Services.
- A key element is a 'Compact' between the recipient country and the donor community, to guide a partnership between all the parties to transition the country out of fragility.
Background to the New Deal process?
- The New Deal process was endorsed in November 2011 by a wide range of International partners (including the g7+ association of conflict affected states) at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea.
- Please see the following links for further information:
How is the New Deal being taken forward in Somalia?
- Somalia is a member of the g7+ group of countries and was an original signatory to the Busan New Deal principles in 2011.
- Somalia has committed to implementing the New Deal principles to move beyond fragility. The International Community is supporting Somalia in this endeavour.
- With international support Somalia is:
- Undertaking an assessment on the causes and features of its underlying fragility;
- Hosting a number of Working Groups across the 5 Peace and State Building goals (PSGs) to develop the Compact that will be the focus of the Brussels Conference;
- Engaging with all Somali communities and regions.
- Somalia has made substantial progress recently and has real potential to move further out of fragility. It is important that the recent positive momentum is maintained.
- The Somali government should gradually be able to develop its own capacity to take over key responsibilities from international community. The key task is to agree on main national priorities and coordinate international support under the New Deal process.
What will the Conference hope to achieve?
- The Conference will provide the focal point of international and Somali commitment to implementing the New Deal principles. The key outcome will be agreement to the Compact. The Conference will be structured in three key thematic sessions:
- 1. Inclusive Politics;
- 2. Rule of Law and Security;
- 3. Socio-Economic Development.
Why is the European Union (EU) co-hosting the Conference / What role do the EU play in Somalia?
- The European Union (EU) is committed to ensuring peaceful social and economic development in the Horn of Africa and Somalia in particular. Our commitment is substantial, with €521 million of development support since 2008, 3 missions under the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy, and substantial political support.
- The EU is working closely with other international donors to support the Somali government in the preparation of the Compact.
- As a signatory to the New Deal principles and a strong supporter of Somalia's development, the EU is proud to co-host the Conference.
What will the Compact look like?
- The Compact will be a concise and living document, setting out Somalia's key peace and state-building priorities alongside a commitment from all partners (Somalia and international community) to delivering those main priorities in the coming three years. It will set out the framework for subsequent planning, political and security support and development aid programmes.
What will follow the Conference?
- The Conference is one step in a longer process, albeit an important one in the New Deal process for Somalia.
- The Compact will be regularly reviewed as Somalia moves forward.
- The dialogue under the fragility assessment will continue beyond the Conference in Brussels.
- All partners need to maintain their commitment to supporting Somalia's development, in view of keeping Somalia on the path to stability, peace and bringing prosperity to its people.