Switzerland increases support for the Federal Government of Somalia at ministerial Somalia conference in Brussels

Bern, Press releases, 16.09.2013

On 16 September, Switzerland is taking part in the international conference on Somalia in Brussels, with a delegation headed by Martin Dahinden, director-general of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The outcome of the conference is to be a "compact" with Somalia to rebuild the country. Within the framework of its 2013-2016 Horn of Africa strategy, Switzerland is active in the region in a number of areas: diplomacy, humanitarian aid, development cooperation, the promotion of peace and security, and migration.

The Somali government, which has been in office since 2012, and the European Union have invited the international community, including Switzerland, to the second ministerial-level conference this year on Somalia. On this occasion, the Federal Government of Somalia is concluding a "compact" with the international community for the rebuilding of the country. The compact is based on the criteria as determined by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2012 for effective development cooperation for the rebuilding of fragile states. Its five priority areas are: establishing peace and stability throughout Somalia, through inclusive political dialogue – i.e. including all stakeholders – between the federal government and the regions; the building of legitimate security forces; the building of a justice system based on the constitution and international human rights standards; promotion of the economy; and provision of public services within the framework of a transparent national budget. 

At the ministerial conference in London on 7 May, Mr Dahinden offered Switzerland's expertise and experience to support Somalia in building a federal state. Within the framework of its 2013-2016 Horn of Africa strategy, adopted by the Federal Council last year, Switzerland is in a position to provide support in the areas of inclusive political dialogue and improving the living conditions of the Somali people. To that effect, Switzerland intends to work together with the federal government and the autonomous regional states of Somalia, and coordinate an agreed strategy with the international community. With a view to building bilateral relations between Switzerland and Somalia, in April the Federal Council appointed Ambassador Dominik Langenbacher as Special Representativeto Somalia. Mr Langenbacher is taking part in the Brussels conference alongside SDC director Martin Dahinden. Switzerland has earmarked approximately CHF 60 million for Somalia for the next four years.

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