VNK:n valtiosihteeri Samuli Virtasen puhe Lontoon Somalia-konferenssissa

Somalia London Conference May 2017: Speech by Representative of Finland

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me start by thanking the co-hosts, the Federal Government of Somalia, the United Kingdom and the United Nations for organizing this important conference.

Finland is committed to supporting the state building of Somalia. We want to see a prosperous, peaceful and democratic Somalia, where the rule of law and human rights are respected. We encourage the newly elected Government of Somalia to work towards one-person one-vote elections for 2020-2021.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Finland would like to underline that the state building is, and should be, a process owned by the Somali Government and the Somali People. The New Deal changed the way the international community delivers support in Somalia: The Somalis are now drivers of their own development. The international community should align its support with the priorities outlined in the National Development Plan of Somalia, in the spirit of a New Partnership for Somalia.

Finland encourages the Somali Government to adopt an inclusive and accountable state building approach: All women and men who want to build Somalia should be welcomed to contribute in this process, which should benefit the Somali people. It is important to distribute the resources and power in a fair and just manner with the regional administrations. We also encourage the Government to complete the revision of the Constitution in a fair and inclusive manner, and to genuinely create a constitution owned by all the people of Somalia.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Finland wants to specifically stress the important role of women in state building process of Somalia. In this respect, Finland would like to congratulate Somalia for advancing gender equality in the recently completed electoral process. This is a big step forward. At the same time, it is important to remember that women and girls often are in a more vulnerable position than men. We strongly encourage the Government of Somalia to continue advancing gender equality and to continue empowering women in all spheres of development. Finland is committed to supporting the Federal Government of Somalia in enhancing the wellbeing of women and girls in Somalia. Finland recently made a decision to support Somalia’s efforts in improving maternal, child and reproductive health with 10 million euros through UNFPA.

Finally, Finland wants to remind that the Somali diaspora and the civil society can contribute greatly to Somalia's development. The diaspora has an important role in providing skills and knowledge that contribute in Somalia's state building processes. The Finnish Government has given our Somali diaspora an opportunity to do so through our IOM MIDA development projects in Somalia since 2008. Finnish Somali diaspora experts have strongly enhanced capacity development particularly in the health sector throughout Somalia. Similarly, we continue financing a number of Finnish Somali civil society organizations that implement development projects together with their local partners in Somalia.

With these words, Finland remains fully committed in supporting the state building process of a stable, inclusive and accountable Somalia, where all people, women and men can live in peace and dignity.

Thank you.