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UN pledges to work closely with Somalia on election security

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The United Nations has pledged to work closely with Somalia, a country which has struggled with inter-clan conflicts and the Al-Shabaab menace, just at the time the global agency is celebrating the 75th anniversary, and when Somalia is keen to hold credible elections that unites all stakeholders.

For the last 60 years, Somalia has been a member of the UN and remains one of the major beneficiaries in terms of disaster management and many calamities, which have bedeviled the nation. Somalia's plunged into civil war in the 90s after the ouster of the military regime of Siad Barre.

James Swan, the UN envoy to Somalia, said that the global agency will continue to assist through bodies such as World Food Programme, World Health Organization, and many more as they try to reach out to vulnerable people. Besides conflicts, Somalia is prone to catastrophes such as floods.

But it's the conflict which keeps bothering the UN, which is now calling for the creation of international laws which will help curb ending wars. The agency is also keen to ensure efficiency and financial prudence as the country enters a crucial stage, which would define future relations with members of the international community.

"In Somalia and elsewhere, millions of people are helped every day by United Nations agencies such as the World Health Organisation, World Food Programme, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Development Programme. The UN works with governments to provide people access to food and shelter, health care, and education," Swan said in a statement.

"The UN supports the creation of international laws and norms, helps to prevent and resolve conflicts, builds peace and fosters reconciliation, and offers practical support to governments on a host of issues – from tackling corruption to empowering persons with disabilities. Its work is both visible and intangible," he added.

For many years, the global agency has been working in Somalia through the formation of critical bodies that help in assisting the population. For instance, the United Nations Mission Assistance in Somalia has been coordinating most of the agency's activities in the war-torn nation for decades.

Currently, there are 27 UN agencies, funds, and programs supporting Somalis’ efforts on their path to peace and stability. President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo's regime has been a major beneficiary of UN support, which ranges from humanitarian to negotiations of debt relief among other development issues.

"Somalia and the United Nations have a long partnership that goes back decades when the United Nations walked shoulder to shoulder with Somalis on their country’s formation and the path to independence in 1960. In the years since, the UN family has worked with Somalis in a range of areas, from humanitarian and development work to political support and peacebuilding," he said.

"Currently, in addition to the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia [UNSOM] and the UN Support Office for Somalia [UNSOS], there are 27 UN agencies, funds and programs supporting Somalis’ efforts on their path to peace and stability."

He urged the youth to work with the UN by engaging in the conversation as the body celebrates anniversary in the coming months. Somalia is also involved in talks with Somaliland, a region which seceded in 1991 following years of atrocities engineered by Siad Barre's administration.

"For UN75 discussions to be meaningful, young people, in particular, must be at the forefront. Somali youth have a key role to play as Somalia has one of the world’s youngest populations – approximately 60 percent of the country’s estimated population of 15.9 million people is under the age of 30."