Wednesday August 9, 2017
Michael Keating, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia. PHOTO: UNSOM
Mogadishu (HOL) – The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia on behalf of the Copenhagen Group (C6+) that includes the Ambassadors of Ethiopia, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, the African Union (AU), The European Union (EU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have raised concerns that there are no women on the Constitutional Review Committee and that “excluding women would undermine the legitimacy and authority of the Committee”.
In a letter addressed to the Somali Parliamentarians on August 8th and signed by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SR-UNSG), Michael Keating, the UN warned that the absence of a female voice in to the committee would not only be a step backwards for Somalia but would also “represent a glaring disdain for justice and human rights”.
The comments come a day after Abdi Qaybdiid was elected as the Chairperson of the Joint Parliamentary Constitutional Review Committee.
Somalia’s recent election required a 30% quote for women candidates; although Somalia fell short with 24%, the current figure is still a 10% increase from 2012 when just 14% of the total seats went to women.
Mr. Keating calls for both Houses of parliament to support a motion tabled by the Lower House that is sponsored by women MP’s that calls for the inclusion women on the committee.
Somalia’s provisional constitution, which provides the legal foundation for the existence of the Federal Republic and lays out the rights and duties of citizens, was adopted by the National Constitutional Assembly on August 1, 2012