Happy EU Day!
The EU is one of Somalia's largest donors; it has long supported the establishment of a peaceful and secure environment in Somalia and encourages reconciliation, democracy and the development of Somali-owned and Somali-led governance structures at all levels.
The EU is engaged in Somalia through a wide range of measures that include political engagement, development cooperation, EU staffed missions and operations in support of security and rule of law, as well as humanitarian assistance. Importantly, these endeavours are channelled through a comprehensive approach to maintain positive momentum, unity of purpose and build on the positive gains made to date. The nature of Somali politics and constant developments imply that the EU needs to adapt its engagement and modalities to the shifting context. The EU works very closely together with the UN Country Team, UNSOM (the UN Mission to Somalia), and other international partners present on the ground.
Why is the EU important for the UN in Somalia?
The EU is the largest contributor to the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund with current commitments accounting to USD 35.3mn, or 28.35% of the fund’s total capitalisation. Its focus areas, namely core state functions, rule of law, justice and security and socio-economic recovery enable various joint programmes, such as the State Formation Programme, the Rule of Law Programme or the Capacity Development Programme, to deliver vital support to Somalia in order for the country to achieve its milestones in the coming years, such as holding peaceful elections later this year.
How did Somalia celebrate Europe Day?
The event was marked in Mogadishu by the entire EU family in Somalia. The Head of the Delegation and Ambassador to Somalia, Michele Cervone d'Urso, lead the event, together with the Head of the EU Maritime Security Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Nestor), Simonetta Silvestri, the EU Naval Force Operation Atalanta Commander, Rear Admiral Jan-Christian Kaack, and the EU Training Mission to Somalia (EUTM) Commander, Brigadier General Antonio Maggi.
Several European Union member states and friends of the EU attended the event that was joined by H.E. President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud and his delegation, which included the Deputy Prime Minister and other Ministers and senior officials. The UN was represented by the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General to Somalia, Mr. Raisedon Zenenga.
The ceremony also marked an important day for the EU Somalia: The EU Ambassador to Somalia and the President of Somalia hoisted together the EU flag on the new compound, marking the official start of construction works. The new compound is expected to be completed in 2017.