Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
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Human Rights Council - 24th Regular Session

Item 10
High-Level Panel on Somalia

24 September

 

Australia welcomes the distinguished panellists to the Human Rights Council. Your presence, and the convening of this panel, is another clear indication of the importance the international community places on the stability and prosperity of Somalia.

In recent years, Somalia has been exemplary in recognising its significant human rights challenges, and asking this Council for assistance. We commend Somalia for its continuing robust engagement with the international community.

Australia welcomed the endorsement of the New Deal Compact for Somalia at the recent Brussels Conference. The Compact will help provide a framework for coordinated international assistance targeted to priority areas. Importantly, the goals relating to inclusive politics, security and justice have the potential to make a significant impact on the enjoyment of human rights in Somalia. We also welcome the adoption of the Post-Transition Human Rights Roadmap.

At this crucial time of state-building, we urge the Somali Government to ensure that human rights are enshrined in the new institutions and laws it establishes. We are concerned, for example, by the Independent Expert’s finding that the draft media law currently under consideration by the Parliament contains a number of articles that would restrict freedom of opinion and expression and hamper the independence of the media.

We encourage the Government of Somalia to use the technical assistance offered by the Independent Expert, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the international community, to build a strong foundation of respect for human rights law based on international norms.

We welcome the Government of Somalia’s undertaking to continue in-depth consultations across the country to seek the views of civil society, academics, women, youth, vulnerable groups, the private sector and local administrations as it updates and strengthens the Compact.

Australia will be pleased to support the resolution renewing the mandate of the Independent Expert, who plays an important role in providing advice and expertise, and also in monitoring and evaluating progress in Somalia.