The United Nations has promised to support progress in Somalia in addressing the country’s challenges including severe drought and security, China\’s Xinhua news agency reported.
The UN Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, who visited Somalia on Thursday and held a series of meetings with senior government officials, also said the world body will support Somalia in realising free and fair elections in 2020 as well as in ensuring the successful completion of the Constitutional Review Process.
“I am here to reinforce and to demonstrate the support that the UN has for the people and the government of Somalia as the country addresses a number of challenges ranging from the drought to security, to the political agenda going forward,” Feltman said.
In a statement from UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) issued on Friday after the visit, Feltman noted that despite the challenges facing the country and the recent drought that affected more than 6.2 million of its population, things were looking up for the Horn of Africa nation.
“I sense a real forward momentum in terms of political developments, in terms of reforms and transparency and of things moving forward to one-person one-vote electoral system for the 2021 parliamentary elections,” he said.
The UN official said Somalia had registered significant progress in the recovery process and that the UN would continue its support especially towards the 2020 elections.
He lauded the work undertaken by the National Independent Electoral Commission (NIEC) in putting structures in place for the next parliamentary and presidential elections in 2021 and urged the leadership to move forward on the country’s constitutional review process.
Feltman said the world body is working with Somalia on the issue of ensuring free and fair elections in the year 2020.
“We are also supporting in the review of the constitution, federalisation and facilitating full support from the international community,” said Feltman. He said the aim of his visit was to shore up support for the political progress the country is making as well as to explore how best to assist Somalia in overcoming some of its challenges.