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Interactive Dialogue on Somalia- Statement by Ireland

Human Rights Council – 33rd session (13 – 30 September 2016)

Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Somalia

Statement by Ireland

28th September 2016

Mr. President,

Ireland aligns itself with the remarks delivered on behalf of the European Union and adds the following.

Ireland would like to thank the Independent Expert for his report on Somalia, and the comprehensive overview he gives of the human rights context in the country.

Somalia is entering a very critical phase, with the formation of state-level institutions and the holding of parliamentary and Presidential elections next month. Ireland commends the important progress that has been made toward a peaceful and stable society in Somalia following decades of war.

While commending this progress, we note that there are a number of ongoing human rights violations that are of concern. Ireland particularly deplores the ongoing attacks on civilian targets by Al-Shabaab and others. The high prevalence of violence against women, including sexual violence and sexual exploitation by peacekeepers, is also entirely unacceptable.

Ireland welcomes the important steps taken by the Federal Government of Somalia to ensure the electoral process is proceeding. We note that a number of outstanding issues with state formation and the electoral process remain to be resolved, and we urge the Government and all stakeholders to address these without delay, so that agreed timelines can be respected.

Ireland also stresses the importance of universal suffrage, and while accepting this ideal was not possible for the 2016 election, we would urge the Government of Somalia to take all necessary steps to ensure the 2020 elections are held on a ‘one-person one-vote’ basis.

Thank you Mr. President.