MOGADISHU, Somalia, January 31, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The United Nations’ top political official, Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, visited Mogadishu and expressed the UN’s strong commitment to support Somali efforts to build peace. While in the Somali capital, USG Feltman met with Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, the Ministers of Justice, Defense and Interior and the Speaker of the Somali Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari. USG Feltman discussed a range of issues with the Somali authorities, including the positive political and security gains made in Somalia. He encouraged dialogue and reconciliation, including with Somaliland and Puntland. He expressed concerns over human rights, particularly sexual violence against women and encouraged the Government to take the necessary steps to strengthen promotion and protection of human rights. The discussions also focused on the future of the UN presence in Somalia and the need for a better coordinated and coherent approach by the international community to support this new phase of peacebuilding in Somalia. USG Feltman expressed the United Nation’s firm commitment to support the Somali government in its efforts to extend state authority and peace dividends to the population at large, and address the security and humanitarian challenges it faces. “I was inspired and encouraged by what I heard today from the Somali authorities,” said USG Feltman. “This is a Government which has both vision and a practical plan to implement it. They have truly taken ownership of the process and our role is to do our utmost to support the Somali authorities, across the board and without hesitation. Somalia is beginning to undergo a profound transformation. The United Nations will continue to assist however possible. Source: APO
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