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Somalia: Bonino at the international conference – “Advances, but still many problems to resolve”

Finding the resources for the stabilisation of Somalia is the purpose of a high level conference organised by the EU in Brussels, in which Minister Emma Bonino is participating. “It is not a “turning point” but “surely a step forward”, according to the head of Italian diplomacy, as is the Kerry-Lavrov agreement on Syrian chemical weapons. And the minister adds: “the situation is better than a year ago, but we have to take note of progress without pretending not to know that there are still a lot of problems”. Bonino wished to personally attend the conference organised by the European High Representative for Foreign Policy.

Ashton, crucial to sustain economic recovery

“Security for the Somali people”, Catherine Ashton said, “will come with economic security, and it is therefore crucial to sustain the country’s economic recovery is such a way as to ensure the safe growth of democracy. Today we go from a transitional phase to one of long-term intervention”.

Bonino, the conference an important step

In her turn, Bonino defined the conference as “an important step that will lead to the 26 September meeting in New York that I will be co-chairing with my Ethiopian colleague”. “My concern, apart from the investments we have already made, is to understand if advances can also be made from the political standpoint”, she said.

Over 50 delegations

In addition to the delegations of 50 countries, also present in Brussels is Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, along with representatives of the African Union, the World Bank, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Arab League and various NGOs. Meeting participants include the head of European diplomacy Catherine Ashton and Presidents of the European Commission and Council, Josè Manuel Durao Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy. The international community disbursed approximately 1.2 billion euro in aid for cooperation and security in Somalia between 2008 and 2013.