Somalia Assumes Role on UN Security Council: Leading Advocacy for African Issues and Strengthening Global Security

Abukar Dahir Osman, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Somalia to the United Nations, spoke at the UN Security Council on October 20, 2023.

Somalia will rejoin the United Nations Security Council after almost 50 years, focusing on African interests, global security challenges, and boosting its diplomatic and economic status. Alongside Algeria and Sierra Leone, Somalia aims to strengthen African representation on the Council, with a focus on preventing conflicts, sustainable development, and providing humanitarian aid.

The African Union strongly supports Somalia’s candidacy. Somalia was endorsed as the only African candidate during the latest African Union Executive Council meeting in February 2024. Other competitors like Mauritius and Madagascar withdrew following this endorsement.

Somalia’s campaign emphasizes tackling the root causes of conflicts, utilizing its experiences to mediate regional disputes in the Middle East and Africa through its memberships in the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Key areas of focus during Somalia’s term will include Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) and Youth, Peace, and Security (YPS).

Previous experiences from Somalia’s tenure on the Council from 1971 to 1972 play a significant role in shaping its current objectives. Somalia aims to improve national security by gaining global support for counterterrorism actions. This participation can enhance Somalia’s international reputation, attract investments, and bolster economic growth by strengthening diplomatic ties and forming strategic partnerships.

Drawing from its expertise in combating extremist organizations like Al-Shabaab, Somalia seeks to provide valuable insights into the Council’s counterterrorism strategies. Somalia’s emphasis on community-based reconciliation efforts could inform more effective counterterrorism policies within the Council.

Expectations of political divisions arise as new non-permanent Council members like Denmark, Greece, Pakistan, Panama, and Somalia join in 2025. The Council faces significant divides over major global conflicts such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Israel-Hamas war.

Ongoing conflicts like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas conflict challenge the Council’s unity. Somalia’s alignment with the OIC and its stance on these conflicts could create friction with permanent members like the United States. However, Somalia could also play a role as a mediator in these contentious debates.

Somalia’s push to dissolve UNSOM and phase out ATMIS align with its goal of achieving autonomy and sovereignty. By showcasing its ability to independently handle security and governance, Somalia aims to strengthen its credibility and influence on the Council.

Somalia plans to advocate for closer ties between the UN, the African Union (AU), and sub-regional organizations to enhance peacekeeping efforts. Somalia’s concerns about the misuse of digital technologies and threats posed by artificial intelligence and weapons of mass destruction will be important topics within the Council.

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