Heads of State on Tuesday expressed alarm at the fragile humanitarian situation in Somalia, recognising that almost three million Somalis are dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their most basic daily needs.
The meeting was attended by Hassan Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Dr Nkosazana Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Iyad Ameen Madani, Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Others are Nabil Elaraby, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, and Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The discussions focused on the political process in Somalia, ways to comprehensively address the threat of al-Shabaab, the precarious humanitarian situation and the path to economic recovery.
They said that malnutrition rates are rising and that spill over effects of the conflict in Yemen and the potential impact of El Niño are creating new pressures.
They welcomed recent political advances including the development of interim regional administrations and the creation of the Boundaries and Federation Commission and the National Independent Electoral Commission.
The leaders say they look forward to the establishment of the remaining constitutionally mandated bodies, especially the Human Rights Commission and Constitutional Court.
They urged the timely realisation of support from international partners to enable all commissions to fulfil their mandates.
They emphasised the importance of establishing the last remaining interim regional administration by the end of 2015 and of advancing the review of the Provisional Federal Constitution.
Leaders reiterated their commitment to support new and emerging administrations to build their governance institutions within the framework of the Somalia Development and Reconstruction Facility.
They emphasised the importance of engaging Somali society in all these efforts, in particular women, youth and marginalised communities.
The leaders recognised the challenges in Somalia that prevent the conduct of ``one-person-one-vote” national elections in 2016.
They re-affirmed the importance of respecting the constitutionally mandated terms of the legislature and executive, which expire in August and September 2016, respectively.
Participants welcomed the launch, on Sept. 19, of the National Consultative Forum, whose goal is to oversee the development of an electoral process for 2016 that will result in enhanced representativeness and legitimacy.They reiterated their commitment to support these efforts.
They further urged all Somali stakeholders to engage constructively in the consultations, as outlined in the Federal Government’s ‘Action Plan for Reaching Agreement on the 2016 Electoral Process’ and guiding principles.
They stressed the importance of adhering strictly to its timetable to conclude a final decision in December.The leaders said that Somalia’s peace process requires sustained focus and commitment.