Thank you Mr. President.
I congratulate the UK on her assumption of the Presidency of the Council and once again thank Togo for a job well done during the last month.
I would like to welcome your presence Minister Bellingham here today and to thank you for chairing this important meeting.
Let me also thank the Secretary-General for his presence and analysis and Special Representative Augustine Mahiga for his very helpful briefing and commend him and his team for their work and efforts.
For a period of several months we have been seeing encouraging signs and important positive developments in Somalia. The overall situation remains, nevertheless, fragile and of concern. But the international community’s will and determination in continuing to support the Somali people is clear.
Politically, this support has been demonstrated by the London Conference, in bringing together key partners at this critical juncture for the country, with the aim of reaching a comprehensive strategy for the establishment of peace and stability. It has also been demonstrated by the African Union’s and IGAD’s continuous engagement, as well as by the intention of Turkey to hold another high level meeting in Istanbul in the forthcoming months, thus building on the momentum.
The adoption of Resolution 2036 and the significant strengthening of AMISOM it authorized, the support being given to the development of the Somali own security forces, namely by the European Union, the hard work and sacrifices of AMISOM, regional partners and of the Somali Security Forces, as well as the commitment of troops by the current and new contributing countries, highlight the support at the security and military levels.
In this regard, allow me Mr. President, to acknowledge the efforts so far made by all partners involved in military action in Somalia to minimize the negative impact of military intervention on Somali civilians, and to encourage them to continue to do so, as well as to promote the safety and welfare of civilians fleeing conflict and meeting the food needs in the country.
In the humanitarian front, and despite the end of the state of famine, partners continue highly engaged in order to improve and address the ongoing and protracted needs in Somalia. However, assistance will only be fruitful if it reaches those in need in a timely way. To this end, we urge all parties to ensure full and unhindered access for humanitarian aid across the country.
Partners are also addressing the underlying causes of instability. In this regard, the relocation of UNPOS to Mogadishu, the support to help build stability at local level, and the consistent stepping up of action to tackle the threats posed by piracy and terrorism are of significant importance.
Portugal is engaged in these multiple fronts, namely through the outstanding contribution of the European Union. In this context, we naturally share the position of the European Union that will be expressed later by Ambassador Mayr-Harting.
The engagement and additional efforts that we all have committed ourselves to, are, nevertheless, dependent upon the will and commitment of the Somali people and particularly of the Somali political leadership.
Portugal welcomes the consensus on the ending of the Transitional period in August 2012, in line with the End of Transition Roadmap, and takes note of the agreement on the Garowe Principles as well as the commitment by the Somali leaders in ensuring the delivery of basic services to the population, promoting good governance and safeguarding peace and security in Somalia.
We take this opportunity to once again urge the Transitional Federal Institutions and all Roadmap and Garowe signatories to redouble their efforts. Like Portugal has stated before, it is also vital to ensure inclusiveness and representativeness throughout that process. We recall the constructive role women can play towards this end, as well as ensuring full respect for human rights. Turning these decisions into reality is another step, yet a significant one that the Somalis themselves need to take towards a stable and viable State. We call upon them also to continue to work closely with Special Representative of the Secretary General, Augustine Mahiga, whose efforts I wish again to underline and commend.
In concluding, allow me to recall the need to ensure the sustainability of the progress achieved so far in Somalia. To this end, and albeit the current environment of global financial constraint, we encourage others, in particular new donors, to contribute to this collective endeavor, namely by ensuring the sustainability of AMISOM financing.
I thank you.