22 November - The United Nations envoy for Somalia today urged the country's transitional parliament to exercise the spirit of compromise in the debate expected to culminate in the endorsement of a new cabinet.

A session of the parliament got under way today to consider the new cabinet proposed by Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who was himself appointed by President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed last month, following the resignation of his predecessor in September.

“I trust that the period between the endorsement of the Prime Minister and now has been used productively to come up with a Cabinet that would meet the expectations of the Somali people,” said Augustine P. Mahiga, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative.

“I am confident that the honourable Members of Parliament will employ the same sense of responsibility and unity which prevailed during the process of confirmation of the Prime Minister,” he said.

Mr. Mahiga reminded the parliamentarians that with just nine months left before the end of the transition period, Somalia needs a government that will prepare a “road map” to carry out the remaining priority tasks of the transition.

“The people of Somalia, as well as the international community, are eagerly awaiting the establishment of a functional cabinet. I therefore appeal to the parliamentarians to bring the deliberations on the cabinet to a conclusion that will advance the peace process.

“The United Nations and the international community stand ready to assist the new Government as soon as the Cabinet is endorsed,” said Mr. Mahiga.

Somalia has lacked a fully functioning national government since the overthrow of the administration of the late Muhammad Siad Barre in 1991, following which the country plunged into anarchy with various armed factions in a state of protracted warfare.

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was set up six years ago, but is pitted against insurgent groups opposed to it, and has struggled to extend its authority from the capital, Mogadishu, to the rest of the country.