On 23-24 February 2016, Turkey hosted, in Istanbul, the third Somalia High Level Partnership Forum (HLPF) co‐chaired by Somali Federal President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and UN DSG Jan Eliasson. President Erdogan also chaired part of the proceedings.
Somalia, after two decades of civil war and absence of state control has emerged from the labelling as a 'failed state'. It has embarked on a political reconstruction process and a key milestone was the adoption of the New Deal Compact in 2013, providing the political, security and development architecture framing, for 2014-2016, the relations between Somalia, its people and the international community.
The HLPF gathered representatives from more than 50 countries and 11 international organisations. Two official side events, one on Women, Peace, and Security and the other on Youth were also organised.
The EU had good visibility with Commissioner Neven Mimica taking the floor and interventions from EUSR Alexander Rondos on security and the need for overall burden-sharing of AMISOM.
Somali Federal President laid out five critical areas for focus the coming next months, i.e. the electoral process, improved and agreed national security, use of country systems, creation of jobs for young people and the post-Compact relationship of Somalia with the international community. He concluded on the need to finalise the National Development Plan which will include political and security elements and provide the framework for international assistance.
Overall, the overriding priority in Somalia's immediate future is the electoral process and its implementation in Autumn 2016. The Federalisation and Constitutional Review processes were also highlighted. Stabilisation, transparency, inclusivity and accountability were the buzzwords as much for political as for security processes. The EU and other main interlocutors also reiterated the need for strengthening the national security architecture as well as additional support to AMISOM from the international community at large.
The EU has long been engaged to support a peaceful and durable solution to the Somali crisis together with key international partners, in particular the UN. The focus of EU's comprehensive approach to Somalia is to support governance and institution building, help resolve on-going conflicts and avoid potential future conflict; minimise effects of insecurity e.g. piracy; support economic growth; and support regional cooperation. It bundles our political, development and CSDP efforts in a single frame for maximum impact with the aim of a more effective use of all EU instruments. EUSR for the Horn of Africa, Alexander Rondos, was appointed in 2012 to coordinate efforts.