By Goth Mohamed Goth
Somaliland was among the countries participating in the 29th Annual Session of the Crans Montana Forum, held in Brussels (Belgium) in June 2018.
Hon Liban Yusuf Osman, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation was among the dignitaries attending this year’s Crans Montana Forum, a gathering which brings together key decision makers coming from more than 100 countries to address all major social, economic and security issues in a private and informal atmosphere.
Somaliland Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in his speech while addressing the 29th Annual Session of the Crans Montana Forum, in Brussels, Belgium said.I am very much honoured to address this very important Crans Montana forum, and in particular its themes of this 29th Annual Session considering the effects of climate change, international response to conflicts and Security. We attach a great significance of this timely dialogue on the prospects for a global governance of improving the cohesiveness of this global village.
On behalf of the Republic of Somaliland, May I take this opportunity to thank the CRANS MONTANA FORUM of planning, facilitating and bringing all of us together to exchange ideas, solutions and the way forward from a global perspective.
He added, “Somaliland is an independent country in the Horn of Africa, and it comprises the territory, boundaries and people of the former British Somaliland Protectorate. It gained its independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain on June 26, 1960 and after 5 days voluntarily merged the Italian Colony of SOMALIA forming the Republic of Somalia. Sadly the union of between British Somaliland and Italian Somalia proved to be disastrous and eventually came to an end in 1991 after the collapse of the regime of the military dictator of Siad Barre. On May 18, 1991, Somaliland declared unilaterally the dissolution of the 1960 union and the restoration of the Republic of Somaliland as a sovereign State. Thus Somaliland is not a new state. It is an old state. The State of Somaliland is not an aspiration; it is a reality and has been a fully functioning state for the past 27 years. Somaliland fulfils all the requirements of Statehood according to the 1933 Montevideo convention and the OUA (now AU) resolution of 1964 on colonial borders.
Let me return to the issues at hand today and share with the forum our experience and knowledge with regard to their impact.
The Climate Change and its consequences
The climate change and its impact on environment, economy and threatened populations is real and happening with catastrophic consequences. Cyclic droughts and famines are becoming a frequent and devastating phenomenon in Somaliland and the entire of Horn of Africa.
Environmental degradation and its impact on centuries old means of production and the predominantly nomadic lifestyles resulted in massive urbanisation and unprecedented migration of populations within and outside the country prompted by the scarcity of national resources such as water, extreme temperatures and resultant desertification of the arable land.
Truly, the exposure of the impacted population represents a significant menace, both in term of regional security and development. In this regard we need to, re-enforce and redouble our efforts of saving our planet that we call it home and to collectively implement the requirements of the Paris Accord.
Real and meaningful Solidarity between nations in tackling the effects of the climate change is an obligation and a responsibility of every one of us in this planet.
The transfer of technology and knowledge from the developed communities into the heavily impacted regions and the introduction of sustainable energies are utterly necessary.
Somaliland, as a new nation, is obliged to do its best by introducing new technologies of conservation, the elimination of all hazardous materials (recycling plastics or by banning it) and perfecting the modes of production.
Somaliland, being a very poor country, appeals for an effective working partnership with the international community (public and private) and the provision of a helping hand for remedial actions that will undoubtedly alleviate the deleterious consequences of the climate change. Together, saving our planet by all means entails saving the mankind.
Internal and External conflicts
Somaliland has been at peace for 27 years with itself and with all its neighbours, and has in fact been a bulwark against violence and terrorism in the region. It has been called as an oasis of peace, stability and tranquillity (the beacon of peace). It has also rebuilt its economy from the destruction brought about by the last military regime in the (1988 -1990 by establishing strong democratic governance structures including multiple elections, which were declared fair and free by international observers. Unfortunately, the government of Somalia seems to nowadays be determined (by proxy) to derail that progress and destabilise the region. We hope the international community and the United Nations to exercise its obligations under international law to evenly address the issue, as an international issue, between Somaliland and Somalia. We count on your support and justice must and should prevail.
We are very much committed to preserve tour long-cherished stability and peace, and to play our part in the resolutions of on-going conflicts and the prevention of future conflicts. We standby with the United Nations and the African Union in their efforts of resolving the unnecessary conflicts and sufferings that has engulfed the region for decades. However, peace and stability cannot be imported into any region but it should not be driven by home-grown initiatives and to be led by the affected populations. The unequivocal upholding the pillars of human rights and the rule of law is a prerequisite for lasting solutions and the prevention of future conflicts. We are committed to that, and will unreservedly play our defensible role of being a peace-loving people and as dictated by pressing exigencies. It has been stated that prevention is better than cure. ‘No more conflicts and wars’ should remain our motto and united we succeed.
Let me conclude my short statement that the Republic of Somaliland is in a total solidarity with the community of nations, and so by advancing the agendas of the Forum for a better world, We believe a recognized Somaliland will be as solution for the Horn of Africa region and beyond Rather than a problem.
Among the prominent dignitaries in attendance were the Minister of presidency of Sudan, minister of presidency of Gabon, Minister defence Macedonia, Ambassadors from Russia, US, Belgium and the former Head of States and prime ministers.
- After my 10min presentation all dignitaries and the high profile officials who attended the conference promised to support Somaliland case for recognition by all means and will pay visit to Somaliland.
- The Crans Montana Forum also promised to put the Somaliland Case in their future agendas of the forum.
- Somaliland has gained from the Crans Montana forum a significant publicity and therefore gained more heavy weight friends.
The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation also met with the Minister of foreign affairs of the republic of Abkhazia And mayor of Khusumi Capital city of Abkhazia (Somaliland Abkhazia share common Historical and political circumstances) during the meeting the two discussed wide range of issues such as ways to developing a strong bilateral cooperation between the republic of Somaliland and the republic of Abkhazia in areas of education, health, Sports and diplomacy.
The Abkhazia official pledged that the government of the republic of Abkhazia will officially invite a delegation from the government of the Republic Somaliland for the first official visit to Abkhazia probably in the coming month (August) and that Abkhazia will send a delegation to Somaliland to strengthen the cooperation of the two countries.
In a similar meeting, Hon Liban Yusuf Osman, Somaliland’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation met with Taiwanese (the Democratic Republic of China) Ambassador in Belgium
During the meeting discussed ways of developing a strong bilateral cooperation between the republic of Somaliland and the Government of Taiwan in areas of Agriculture, light industries education, and health diplomacy, immigration and visa exchange.
The minister also had a series of meetings with Members of European Union Parliament most notably from UK MEPs in which he had the opportunity to thank them for their support in which he stated, ”First and foremost I thanked the MEPs and their respective countries for their continuous restless support for the Somaliland case for recognition and being a long-time friend in the European parliament and I Urged them to continue their support to the government and people of Somaliland. He briefed the MEPs about Somaliland current situation in terms security, natural disasters (Tropical cyclone sugar), and more importantly on aggressions from Somalia regarding airspace administration, Somaliland Special Arrangement program and their destabilisation strategy.
On their part the MEPs MPs promised to continue their effort to support Somaliland case for recognition and suggested Somaliland to continue the democratization process and maintain stability.