Boris Johnson and Antonio Guterres Briefings

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Boris Johnson and Antonio Guterres

Recorded coverage of the press conference with Boris Johnson and Antonio Guterres at the conclusion of the London Somalia Conference 2017, from Thursday 11 May.

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Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for coming along. I want to begin by


thanking Secretary-General Gutierrez and the president. I want to learn


what makes this London conference on Somalia different. Too often in my


time as Foreign Secretary, I have attended conferences whose sole


purpose has been to apply sticking plaster to a wound, even while that


wound is still being inflicted. But what we have got in Somalia is


different. Yes, it is true that after decades of turmoil, Somalia


remains a wounded country. But it is in the process of being healed. And


thanks to the leadership of the president and his colleagues, thanks


to the courage and sacrifice of the forces and their Somali courses and


to the help being given by the international community. The


overriding aim of our work today is to accelerate the healing of the


country and to lay the foundations for a peaceful and prosperous


Somalia. That is why we have concluded a new security pact,


recognising the essential truth that piece is the first requirement of


any form of progress, particularly economic growth. The agreement


between the federal government and the regional administrations on a


national security model will give Somali forces clarity over command


and control, making them more effective and in time, allowing them


to take over in liberating areas from the terrorists of Al-Shabaab


and providing security thereafter. And in return for these vital


reforms being carried out by the Somalis, by the federal government


and the state authorities, the international community will provide


more help, particularly over the training of police and military


forces. We will improve the coordination of our work. In the new


partnership for Somalia, our Somali partners and the international


community have undertaken to work together and to hold each other to


account so that we deliver the support and reforms that Somalia


will need over the next four years and as we prepare for our shared


ambition of one person, one vote elections in 2021. Most importantly,


everyone at this conference acknowledged the severity of the


drought that Somalia is now enduring. At this moment Kerber over


6 million Somalis need emergency food supplies and nobody can forget


that the last time Somalia was blighted by famine in 2011, 260,000


people died. If we act early and decisively, and that disaster can


still be avoided. For this to happen, aid agencies must be free to


go wherever necessary in safety and without hindrance to distribute food


aid to all those in need. Britain is leading the way in responding to the


humanitarian crisis in Somalia in providing food, water and medicine


to over a million people. Together, we have come to this conference


determined to speed up the healing of Somalia's wound, recognising the


scale of the problems that remain, but determined to ensure that


Somalia and the Somali people can achieve the peace and prosperity


they deserve. I now hand over to President Farmajo. Good evening.


Today, the government of Somalia set out our priorities and plans,


together with our international partners who have committed to


support us. We agreed on a security pact and a new partnership for


Somalia in support of Somalia's national development plan, endorsing


the national partnership for Somalia is a great step forward for Somalia.


The national partnership for Somalia is a partnership based on the


principle of mutual accountability between our governments and its


international partners. A clear agreement on both our parts to work


together on a set of shared goals to bring lasting peace, stability and


prosperity to Somalia for the good of the Somali people. Our aim is to


fulfil Somalia's vision, to achieve a stronger, more secure, more


cooperative union that enhances equity and good governance for all


Somalis. But that cannot be achieved without secure Somalia.


You Today we have endorsed Somali-led and security pact with


our partners, based on an agreed vision on Somali-led institutions


and force that is are affordable, acceptable and accountable. It has


come to a realisation that Somalia needs bold and courageous steps from


our international partners. We need our partners to invest more directly


in our priorities and our country system. As this will strengthen


Government institutions and is critical for sustainability. Our


Government has committed change, the way we manage our economy. To work


together and work with a development of partners. We have committed to


another kind of partnership which also moves us forward and enables us


to grow a public-private partnership and my organisation will ensure a


concrete, concrete and tangible steps are taken to improve the


business environment. . Also, I'm pleased with the outcome of the


events that took place during this conference on the contribution of


the civil society to Somalia and recognise their collective role in


supporting be stability and prosperity in Somalia. Great things


are happening for Somalia and I'm so happy to be here, to witness it. My


people have a promise that my fairly new organisation is here for them


and their needs. Together we can achieve anything. Let's work


together, Somalia, and her friends, to tackle the challenges that come


our way. As I mentioned this morning, the expectations are very


high but not performing is not an option. Thank you all for being


here. I will now give the floor to the the excellent UN


Secretary-General. I thank you. Thank you, very much, first of all


to the Government of the United Kingdom, to Boris Johnson for having


had the initiative of this conference and to the president of


somal why for having created the political conditions that allowed it


to happen. And this conference was an unmitigated success. This


conference has created the conditions for an opportunity to


materialise, a opportunity that we cannot miss. An opportunity to take


Somalia out of decades of conflict, of poverty and of terrible suffering


for the Somali people. An opportunity to defeat terrorism and


to establish peace. An opportunity to allow for the build-up of


national Somalian institutions and lay the foundations of a normal


economic and social development process. And these opportunities are


possible because we have, in Somalia, a plan for the Government


and we have a strategy and plan that makes sense and is supported by the


international opportunity. But now for the opportunity not to be


missed, the international community needs to come together and to


massively support Somalia. First of all, responding to the appeals to


increase humanitarian aid to be able to face the dramatic challenges of


food economy and disease in the country. Second, to fully support


the Government in the build-up of institutions in particular, as it


was mentioned by the Foreign Secretary, the national army and the


national police force that need to be built in a co-ordinated way and


end the strategy of the Somali Government. The interests of the


international community is also to be able, in between, before the


national Ince stewings are able to fully protect the Somali people, the


international community must give strong and predictable financial and


equipment support to our mission, to the mission of the African Union,


that with enormous sacrifice and enormous courage, has been fighting


Shah Babb in very dramatic circumstances, but creating the


conditions that allow these conference and this opportunity to


take place, our mission deserves a much stronger support than the much


more predictable support from the international community and,


finally, it is very important for us all to be able to support the new


national development plan of Somali and to create the conditions for it


to be possible through all the instruments of Development


Corporation, including with the necessary technical mechanisms to be


put in place and the guarantees of sustainability, including an


effective process of debt relief. If the international community will be


able to respond to the challenge, I'm sure this opportunity will not


be missed and I'm sure that Somalia will be the success story we need in


our troubled world. Hear, hear. Thank you very much, Antonio,


Secretary-General, we will have a few questions now. Can I invite a


question from representatives, first of all, of the Somali media. Yes,


Universal? Until I miss my guess. My question, I will put in Somali


language for the benefit of the audience back home.


TRANSLATION: There is the third conference of London, this


conference is different from the other conference.


This one is special because there is the international community on in


conference and there is full support from the international community


that there was support the Somali attack. So if we work collectively


with the international community, the outcome of this conference will


be successful. We put a lot of emphasis on Somali's security pact.


And we came up with this security pact and the objective together to


defeat the terrorist groups and how we drive forward our community, also


to build the Somali national army, then once the community are


committed and they are with us to help us with both economy, Somali


economic recover rain also to build Somalian national defence army. Also


the national community knows that 40% of Somali's population is the


youth, so we want to do all, take the actions so that our youth


doesn't radicalise and go to Al-Shabab or illegal immigration.


Thank you. I will have a go at answering that too. I think I


understood the gist of the question. You are saying - what is the


difference between this conversation and proceeding coverses on Somali. A


perfectly fair question. There have been dozens since 2000. I think the


real difference and why this London conference is potentially so


important is that the president has come here today, representing not


just the federal Government of Somalia, but also, he's brought with


him, I think half a dozen presidents of the regional governments and they


have put on a wonderful show of unity and of their determination to


work together to deliver the security architecture. And I think


that's the thing I would personally single out as being most important


about this conference and what the international community wants to do


now is to back that security architecture and the strong her and


more robust it is, and we had some very powerful words today we heard,


then the more the international community will be able to come in


with support. So, we will be reviewing progress, obviously, in


October, but that is the big development for me, because it is


peace and the peace and security architecture that will be the


bedrock of prosperity. I think we'll go now to a representative of the UK


media and James Landale. The BBC? James Landale, BBC. First of all,


can I ask about the arms embargo, Mr President, can you explain why you


believe it is important that the arms embargo is lifted and Foreign


Secretary, can you explain why the international community is so


reluctant to do it. Foreign Secretary, can I ask you about the


humanitarian need? The United Nations says there is a short fall


of 900,000 dollars. What more will the British Government to do meet


that need? I have covered many conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, I


have been told about the importance of training up the army and police


force. With respect, it is a slow, patchy gradual process at best. How


can we be confident it is going to happen in time? Let me take that


first question. Well, it is a very valid question. The reality is


Al-Shabab has been active in Somalia for ten years and the reason we are


looking to rebuild, to reorganisation our army is because


of lack of equipment and weapons. Al-Shabab has AK-47 and the Somali


national army, national forces has the same equipment, the same


weapons. And that's why this war has been lingering for ten years and if


we don't have more sophisticated and better weaponry, definitely this war


will continue for another 10 years. That's why we would basically like


to see the arms embargo to be lifted and of course that's why we need the


international to help us in rebuilding Somali national army and


that's why we wanted to face the challenge of al-Shah Babb. Because


they are here in Somalia, they are in Somalia simply to destroy and


deny the opportunity, Government to function.


And to be part of the international community. So that's why we will


require. Why we want to see the arms #e78 barring yo to be lifted. But we


are not asking now that arms embargo to be lifted today but we are


requiring to have a road map and then a milestone to see that maybe


next year, in maybe in eight months after we meet all the requirements,


that arms embargo to be lifted. I agree very strongly with the


president that this is not the time to lift the arms embargo and we


shouldn't be thinking of doing it that way around. The priority has


got to be, as he rightly says, to get the forces to a condition


working with the regional authorities where they are able to


take on Al-Shabab and where they are able to engage their operations


where it has done so heroically and bravely over the last ten years and


that's what we are trying to achieve.


Recorded coverage of the press conference with foreign secretary Boris Johnson and UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres at the conclusion of the London Somalia Conference 2017, from Thursday 11 May.