Statement by H.E. Ambassador Regina Maria Cordeiro Dunlop
Deputy Permanent Representantive of Brazil

 to the United Nations

Debate of the Security Council on the situation in Somalia
New York, September 6, 2010

       Mr. President, 

I thank Ambassador Mahiga for his comprehensive briefing. And I today reiterate my delegation’s firm support to his difficult work. I also welcome the presence of the Minister of Kenya and, as rightly observed by Ambassador Susan Rice, thank him for his report which had a strong impact on all of us. I also thank the presence of the PR of Somalia among us this morning.

Less than one year before the conclusion of the transitional period in Somalia, we must make an objective assessment of where we stand and where we are headed.

It is undeniable that some progress was made, the most important of which are the preservation of the Transitional Federal Government and the resumption of parliamentary activity. At the same time, it is clear that the challenges remain daunting. The heinous attacks in Kampala and the recent violence perpetrated by al-Shabaab in Mogadishu – in defiance of even the Ramadan – provide compelling evidence thereof. It is also disturbing that AMISOM could not yet move from the initial phase of its original plan to stabilize the country.

In order to overcome the current deadly stagnation, there is a need to more firmly combine enhanced political efforts and increased military power. 

Regarding the first aspect, it is very positive that the TFG has been able to reach agreements on cooperation with Ahlu-Sunna wal Jamaa and regional administrations. Yet, for the last several months, the Transitional Federal Institutions have been mired in disputes within and among themselves. This has deviated attention from the priorities of peace and stability in Somalia, such as expanding the political outreach to further broaden the TFG’s support base and completing outstanding transitional tasks. The unity, resolve and public spirit of the Transitional Federal Institutions are indispensable elements of any successful strategy for the stabilization of Somalia. An inclusive and genuine process of consultations, as envisaged for the drafting of constitution, can also serve as an excellent opportunity to reenergize the political process. 

With regard to security, AMISOM is to be truly commended. It has been able to secure the survival of the Transitional Federal Institutions in Mogadishu under relentless attack, as well as secure strategic infrastructure and facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance. This would not have been possible without the sacrifices made by Uganda and Burundi. We also welcome IGAD’s decision to deploy 2000 troops and enable AMISOM to reach its authorized strength as well as the AU current planning on new phases for the strengthening of AMISOM. 

It is clear, however, that the Mission needs more help from us. The Security Council, the UN and the international community as a whole should complement the sub-regional and regional efforts. 

We appreciate the progress towards a light footprint of the UN in Mogadishu and elsewhere in Somalia and on the provision of the support package by UNSOA. Brazil looks forward to the Secretary-General’s proposals on an integrated UN presence in the country as a means to enhance the effectiveness and coherence of UN activities on the ground. 

One major concern is the lack of comprehensive, coherent, predictable and sustainable financial support to AMISOM and the TFG security forces. It is worrying that, one and half year later, the pledges made during the Brussels Conference are still not fully disbursed. In addition, the usual multiple earmarks and caveats in the funds disbursed undermine the effectiveness of AMISOM and the TFG security forces in a very challenging environment. We urge donors to consider lifting them without delay.

Financial predictability is of particular importance with regard to the remuneration of soldiers. If a steady flow of funding for salaries is not ensured, there is a real risk that efforts and expenses made by donors in training troops may be lost through their desertion to others who pay better and more regularly. This must be avoided.

Raising the standards of support for AMISOM to those of UN peacekeeping missions is also important to secure additional troops, especially if we consider the current IGAD/AU planning of increasing the Mission’s authorized strength.

Mr. President,

We should certainly also do more on the human dimension of the conflict in Somalia. We welcome the discussions among the UN, the AU and AMISOM on strengthening the protection of civilians. The proposal to document the most serious violations of human rights and humanitarian laws is worthy of support, especially in a situation where al-Shabaab is recruiting children as young as 9 years old and imposing cruel and degrading punishments such as beheadings, stoning and amputations. 

Here as well, financing is a serious problem, as we know. Significant gaps remain in humanitarian funding for Somalia, which further worsens the situation of a people already deeply affected by years of violence and lack of effective government. The fact that key activities such as nutrition, healthcare and water are less than 40% funded is rather troubling. Brazil is trying to do its part. We recently made a voluntary contribution to WFP to be used in Somalia. We hope that the WFP can soon be in a position to safely resume its activities in South-Central Somalia beyond Mogadishu.

Mr. President,

Next year will not only mark the end of the transitional period in Somalia. It will also be 20th anniversary of a conflict that has already created a generation of Somalis who does not really know what peace is. It is time for decisive action to put an end to this situation. 

Thank you.