Istanbul, Turkey, June 2,
2012 – In the international arena, there are some problems that you can
solve on your own or with a minimal number of partners. There are some
others that you cannot easily find a solution for, because they have
already become so stiffened by being there for a long time. More
importantly they have become the problems of our consciences. The plight
of Somalia, which is among the least developed countries, represents a
disgrace for the international community in the 21st century.
The long-standing tragedy in
Somalia is a big question the whole
world has been ignoring for decades. Unfortunately as the international
community we have been silently watching the people of this war-torn
country suffering, being driven away from their homes and even becoming
victims of terror. We should openly admit that we all have a
responsibility in this. Today is the time to give back to the Somali
people what has been taken from them. Today is the day international
actors and friends of Somalia will
come together with a unified resolve and in a determined way, with
cooperation as well as coordination, to help these people.
With this aim, Turkey has
taken a concrete step to help her Somali brothers and sisters get rid of
the life-threatening challenges they have been facing for a long time.
The visit of the Turkish prime minister together with his family and
members of the Council of Ministers to Mogadishu in late August 2011
became a remarkable starting point on this path. Following this historic
visit, Turkey launched
a comprehensive campaign to meet the needs of the people and the
government of that beautiful country. It coincided with a severe drought
that hit the Horn of Africa, and our efforts also concentrated on
combating this natural disaster.
Shortly after this visit, our embassy
was reopened after nearly two decades, with a resident ambassador, as
Turkish NGOs, representatives of different aid organizations and public
departments arrived in the country to carry out their work. Our
intention was also to draw the attention of world public opinion to this
tragedy. Turkey took
the initiative to inform her international partners in every possible
forum about the needs of
Somalia and the urgency of meeting
Today, we gladly observe that the
reaction of the international arena on this issue is visible. With the
UN to be the first, some international actors are now considering
establishing ties with Somalia. However, these are not enough to
revitalize this long-suffering country and put it on its feet again.
More aid, more work, more support are needed from all of us.
The aim of the Second Istanbul Conference
on Somalia, to be held in Istanbul on
May 31 and June 1, 2012, is to discuss what can be done at this crucial
time for Somalia. The transition period is going to end on August 20,
2012, and new administrative and security mechanisms to get the country
functioning efficiently should be constructed. My country is pleased to
be the venue for the very important discussions about the shaping of the
post-transition period, especially in terms of state building.
There are five issues at stake when
planning the future of Somalia. The first is the construction of
national unity, as this is the precondition for reaching stability and
state building. The second element is the establishment of a new
political system wherein the new state, government and institutions
should be composed of all the parties in Somalia. The third point is
that a new comprehensive economic reconstruction strategy should be
assembled in order to successfully plan, manage and coordinate the work
and to facilitate the exploitation of the rich natural resources of the
Somalis by the Somalis and for the Somalis. Another point is rebuilding
the Somali national security forces, without which economic activity
would not be possible. And last but not least is lifting the isolation
of Somalia. Concrete steps should be taken in Istanbul to
Istanbul will provide a chance to
further the resolutions and decisions adopted up to now, the
implementation of which should not be delayed any longer.
We also organized a five-day meeting in Istanbul in
advance of the Conference, bringing together about 300 representatives
of Somali civil society, that will constitute a strong testimony of
Somali ownership of the ongoing and future political processes. During
the meeting the participants will exchange different views about the
realities of their own country and a statement indicating their common
views will be issued.
We sincerely hope that all these efforts
will thoroughly work to help Somali people change their unfortunate
destiny. We are very confident that as long as we are determined to
stand by them, this will be achieved.
It is time for the international
community to help Somali mothers and children, who have been suffering
for so long, wipe away their tears by providing a stable and secure
living environment. This will be a remarkable step towards establishing
lasting peace, stability and welfare in the Horn of Africa.
The Somalia question
will remain a test for the conscience of all humanity.
Hurriyet Daily News