Somalia praised at the Summit on Sexual Violence in Conflict in London

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

Mustafa Duhulow, Minister of Information, today welcomed the UK’s leadership on Somalia as Somalia was praised at the Global Summit To End Sexual Violence in Conflict. During the Global Summit, the Rt Hon William Hague commended Somalia on progress made and political will shown in fighting for human rights.

The Minister of Women and Human Rights Development, Hon. Khadija Mohamed Diriye, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Investment Promotion, Hon. Abdirahman Dualeh Beileh both participated in the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, which took place in London on June 10-13, 2014. The Somali delegation, led by the ministers, at the Summit comprised of government officials, civil society, representatives from regions and NGO’s.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development recognized the need for Somalia to reform its justice system to ensure the protection of the fundamental rights of its citizens. “A solid and refined justice system in Somalia will allow proper documentation and investigation of incidents of sexual violence, and it will give the victims a platform to share information that will be handled correctly” said the Minister. In this perspective, the Minister welcomed the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict. The Minister pledged full support to implement the protocol.

The Minister of Women and Human Rights Development explained that there is a fundamental need for raising awareness regarding human rights in Somalia. “As long as people, and in particular women and children, are unaware of their rights, they will not speak out against any violation or harm done to them. This is a culture which must change, and the National Action Plan includes a clear structure and action to achieve this,” said Minister Khadija.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia, Mr. Nicholas Kay, pledged active support to ensure the reduction of conflict and ensure the reduction of Sexual Violence in Somalia.

On the final day during the closing plenary, the Rt Honorable William Hague expressed his delight that countries have announced their support of the national action plan, including Somalia.

The Summit, which is aimed at bringing together governments, civil society, militaries and judiciaries from around the world, was co-chaired by Foreign Secretary and Co-Found of PSVI Rt Hon William Hague, and UNHCR Special Envoy of the UN and Co-Founder of PSVI Ms. Angelina Jolie.

The Summit is the largest gathering ever brought together on the subject, with a view to creating irreversible momentum against sexual violence in conflict and practical action that impacts those on the ground.

Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo were the main focus counties of the Summit.

Minister Khadija Mohamed Diriye presented the National Action Plan to tackle Sexual Violence in Conflict. The plan highlights the efforts made by the Somali government to improve the situation of women and girls in the country. It is a consultative plan, which puts emphasis on enabling accountability, improving survivor-centered support systems and protection, allowing effective security and institutional reform and overall improvement in the international strategic cooperation to deliver a more substantive multilateral response to these issues.

The Ministers, along side 5 other countries, and in the presence of UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict, agreed to a joint statement aimed at ending exploitation of children through armed conflict. The Ministers agreed to work closely with their colleagues from the respective countries to review progress against the aims that were set.

The Global Summit ended with a message from UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon. He urged all governments at the Summit to work together to realize their vision of a world free of sexual violence.