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Statement from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the opening of the National Constituent Assembly

By United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS)
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MOGADISHU, Somalia, July 26, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Dr. Augustine Mahiga, today called on all Somali people to participate fully and peacefully in the remaining political processes that will facilitate the end of the transition by the 20th August 2012. The SRSG made these comments as the 825-member National Constituent Assembly (NCA) convened in Mogadishu to discuss, vote on, and adopt a new Provisional Constitution.

“This is one of the critical remaining milestones to complete the transition on the 20th August. These milestones are; first, to deliberate on and adopt the draft constitution; second, to form a new Parliament; and third, form a new Government. The NCA is the first step!” Dr. Mahiga said. “The Provisional Constitution provides a legal framework that will support the new Federal Parliament, President and Government to continue the much needed political and social stabilisation in Somalia,” the SRSG said. “It also brings Somalia into the 21st century on issues such as fundamental human rights and freedoms, including the empowerment of women.”

“This new constitution also recognises the fundamental importance of Somalia as an Islamic state, blended with modern 21st century society.” Dr. Mahiga explained. “Its adoption by a representative group of Somalis selected by the traditional Elders will be key to completing the remaining tasks to end the transition.”

“With less than one month left until the transitional period ends, it is time to deliver on the legitimate expectations of the Somali people,” Dr. Mahiga said, pledging continued support.

“The United Nations Security Council is watching this process and remains committed to doing all that is possible to support Somalia's leadership to reach a timely end to the transition political processes and lead to peace and stability in Somalia.”

The SRSG also took the opportunity to pay tribute to the significant effort that has gone into organizing this important 9-day event. “The logistics involved in mobilising a large number of people and rehabilitating a venue where such a large event could take place has been a huge undertaking and it has been successfully led by the Transitional Federal Government's

Joint Implementation Unit with support from the United Nations,” he said.