UN Security Council: Somalia/Eritrea 751/1907 Committee Briefing
Delivered by Phillip Taula, Deputy Permanent Representative of New Zealand to the United Nations, 18 February 2016.
Thank you Mr President. We very much welcome this open briefing, which we believe increases transparency and helps implementation.
The Somalia sanctions regime has transformed over its long history since the 1990s and now fulfils an important role in supporting Somalia state-building goals.
As we said in last week’s debate, sanctions are not imposed in isolation. The sanctions regime can assist the political security and humanitarian goals in Somalia – namely completing Vision 2016, accelerating the fight against Al-Shabaab and addressing Somalia’s humanitarian needs. When the Council discusses Somalia in 2016 – in what is a precarious year for the country – we must include discussion of sanctions, and we must take into account the valuable information contained in the Monitoring Group’s reports.
One important example is in the area of natural resources. Generous maritime and mineral wealth present a great opportunity for Somalia, but they all present a possible driver of conflict, in the absence of an effective regulatory framework. This risk is exacerbated during the federalism process.
The Council will need to remain alert to how it can support Somalia in its stewardship of its natural resources, drawing on the expertise of the Monitoring Group, the UN presence on the ground, and partners. This role includes support for governance of natural resources, but also extends to assisting Somalia to channel its natural resource wealth into state building and other key issues, for example ensuring full and regular payment to the soldiers in the Somali National Army.
Resolution 2244, adopted last year, touched on the issue of illegal fishing. This issue remains of concern and we are ready to support the Federal Government’s efforts to establish and enforce an appropriate legal regime as contemplated in that resolution.
Security sector reform efforts and depriving Al-Shabaab of financing are also priorities.
Mr President, the Somalia sanctions regime must be implemented by Somalia and other UN Member States, including its neighbours. But to be truly effective a range of other actors also have important roles to play - including AMISOM and multinational partnerships like the Combined Maritime Forces. Continued outreach by the Committee and Monitoring Group with these partners is needed to see sanctions fully implemented. An example of this is the progress made on avoiding technical breaches of the arms embargo through more consistent advance notifications of imports under the arms embargo.
We also welcome the Committee’s recent initiative to develop an Implementation Assistance Notice on arms. This is a practical initiative that has the potential to be very useful in clarifying obligations particularly for those not on the Council.
Finally Mr President, on Eritrea, we are hopeful that 2016 could be a positive year for engagement with the Committee and Monitoring Group. We believe a visit to the region by the Committee – something which was discussed last year - would be a helpful step and we are ready to support such efforts.