The stabilisation of Somalia is a commitment that Italy “has undertaken to support and that was one even when they weren’t getting so much attention”, underscored Minister for Foreign Affairs Emma Bonino as she spoke in London with journalists in the margins of the international conference on the future of that Horn of Africa country. Italy’s involvement has also been aimed at “convincing others in Europe to follow suit”, she added, stressing that Italy considers the Somali government a “partner” who is “assuming its responsibilities” in the process under way.
Support for Somali government efforts, says Bonino
Upon her arrival yesterday in the British capital, where she had a bilateral meeting with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, the Italian foreign minister emphasised the need to continue to “support the stabilisation” of Somalia, despite the persisting vulnerabilities that the terrorist attacks of recent days have highlighted. Confirming Italy’s commitment to a cause that she defined as “scalding”, Emma Bonino explained that “turning back now would have dramatic consequences for Somalia and the entire region”. For that reason, she specified, the international community must continue to lend convinced support to the Somali government’s efforts.
Over 50 delegations
The London conference began with the arrival of the representatives of over 50 countries and international organizations, and its sessions were co-chaired by British Prime Minister David Cameron and President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. The new format, in keeping with the British desire to properly underscore Somalia’s ownership of the event, reflected the changes that have taken place over the past year in Somalia, where the end of a long transition and the establishment of new, more legitimate institutions last autumn, opened a fresh phase, paving the way for the definitive stabilization of a country lacerated by more than 20 years of civil war.
Security, justice, accountability, resource management and political process
The conference has a four-fold focus: security; justice and policy; accountability and the Somali government’s management of financial resources; and political process. The goal is to show political support and coordinate the international community’s technical and financial support for the reforms drafted by the Somali government and presented to partners in recent weeks.