Remarks by Ms. Rosemary DiCarlo,
Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs
Joint AU-UN High-level meeting on ATMIS financing
New York, 22 March 2023
I am honoured to welcome you to the second meeting on financing of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).
It is also my privilege to be joined by His Excellency, the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Amb. Bankole, and His Excellency, Hussein Sheikh Ali, National Security Adviser of Somalia.
We are meeting today to draw attention to the funding challenges ATMIS continues to face and to ask for your support.
In recent years, Somalia has made tremendous progress on the political, security and development fronts.
These advances have been made possible by the effort and commitment of the Somali authorities and the support provided by AMISOM, ATMIS’ predecessor, and international partners.
Since its establishment a year ago, ATMIS has continued this supremely important work, including by liberating population centres and providing an enabling environment for political processes to take place
ATMIS has also made quantifiable progress in implementing the Somali transition plan and reviewing the National Security Architecture.
The handover of the ATMIS Maslah camp to the Somali National Army in mid-January was an important step in the transition from ATMIS to Somali forces.
In parallel, the Government continues efforts to generate forces that will gradually assume security responsibilities.
I would also like to highlight the advances made in recent months in the fight against Al-Shabaab.
The Government is countering the group through a three-pronged approach: financial, military and ideological.
Somali security forces –reinforced by clan militias and supported by ATMIS – have carried out successful operations in Galmudug and Hirshabelle, successfully recovering territories from Al-Shabaab. The United Nations and partners are supporting stabilization efforts in the recovered areas to ensure gains are consolidated.
As we look to safeguard the progress made it is undeniable that we are before a difficult reality. The lack of funding for ATMIS and adequate resourcing for the security transition pose a key challenge.
The Mission’s financial gap continues to widen, requiring urgent international attention . At the same time, contributions to the United Nations-operated Somali security forces Trust Fund are stubbornly low.
As you know, the funding model for AMISOM has always been complex. It is comprised of assessed contributions for the logistical support provided by UNSOS and salaries and stipends for troops and civilian staff provided by partners, most notably the European Union.
Despite initial generous donor support, contributions have significantly declined, leaving the mission in a dire financial situation.
I cannot emphasize enough that the current funding situation poses a significant risk to the security transition and could reverse the hard-won gains if not urgently resolved.
Our proposition is straightforward: It is urgent to ensure predictable, sustainable and multi-year funding for ATMIS and adequate resourcing for the Somali security transition.
Our common objective - the full handover of security responsibilities to Somali security forces and institutions by the end of 2024 – depends on it.
Let me close by paying tribute to AMISOM, ATMIS and Somali security forces. Without their tremendous sacrifices, many of the gains achieved today would have not been possible.
I thank you again for joining us again today and urge you to support further this important endeavor.