UN Human Rights Council 51 Statement for Interactive Dialogue with Independent Expert on Somalia

Thank you Mr Vice President,

The United Kingdom thanks the Independent Expert and strongly supports the extension of her mandate. We welcome the peaceful conclusion of Somalia’s elections and the historic appointment of the first female Deputy Speaker. Regrettably, the 30 per cent quota for female representation was not met and delayed elections left little room for progress on human rights.

More broadly, we remain deeply concerned by persistent insecurity in Somalia and the cost in civilian lives; the marginalisation of displaced people, minorities and women; continuing sexual and gender-based violence; and restrictions on freedom of expression. A lack of accountability for perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses persists. The impending famine in the Baidoa and Burhakaba districts and the resulting increase in internally displaced persons compounds our concern.

We urge the Somali Government to strengthen the rule of law, tackle impunity, and enhance basic freedoms in Somalia by establishing a National Human Rights Commission and accelerating progress on pending legislation, particularly the Sexual Offences Bill, the Female Genital Mutilation Bill, and the Child Rights Bill. These are crucial to deliver the commitments made in the National Development Plan for 2020-2024. The UK stands ready to work with Somalia on this, and calls for the international community to do the same.

Ms Dyfan,

We welcome the continued engagement and cooperation of Somalia with this mandate.

Thank you

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