The Somalia Partnership Forum is a recurring international forum to promote peace and development processes in Somalia. The forum is an opportunity to highlight the advances Somalia has made to date and set objectives in the areas of policy, security, economic recovery and humanitarian issues for the coming six months. This high-level forum is for foreign ministers and other representatives of the international community.
Participants will gather in various meetings during the forum to jointly map out a common path forward in a number of different areas. This year’s forum will particularly spotlight women’s rights and meaningful participation in Somali society and politics.
Security, democracy and economic development in focus
Developments in Somalia are advancing gradually and showing a number of positive outcomes. The Government, in office since March 2017, has a reform agenda that prioritises security, the economy and deeper democracy. One achievement is that following the last election, the parliament is now made up of 25 per cent women.
Peace and stability essential for continued progress
Peace and security in Somalia have improved, although the situation remains fragile. The al-Shabaab terrorist network threatens the country’s security and controls the southern areas of Somali territory. The Gulf Crisis and the war in Yemen also risk having a destabilising effect on Somalia, due to the many political and economic ties in the region.
Security and political stability are a basic requirement to ensure the success of the Government’s reform programme. Sweden believes it is important that the international community live up to its commitments in Somalia to reinforce the positive developments in the country. The Somalia Partnership Forum is one way to support Somalia and follow up common objectives.
Participants will also discuss priority economic reforms to increase economic growth and prosperity for the entire population, including young people and women. Part of this work involves creating dialogue between different actors. Good conditions for investments are another important factor. Forum participants will also discuss the continued path towards future debt relief for Somalia.
Women’s participation in political life
The forum will address the importance of women participating in political life to create peace and stability. Women’s participation is also important in the process of democratisation and economic recovery, and in preventing violent extremism and terrorism.
Background to the Somalia Partnership Forum in July
A similar meeting was held in London in May 2017, when participants agreed on a partnership with Somalia aimed at achieving peace and prosperity. A follow-up meeting took place in Mogadishu in December 2017, when participants outlined a plan for the country to take responsibility for its own peace, security and stability. The forum in Brussels on 16–17 July will follow up these conferences.
Future cooperation and a new Swedish cooperation strategy for Somalia
At the forum, Sweden, the EU and Somalia hope to agree on commitments concerning the best way for Somalia to receive long-term support for political, economic and security-related developments in the country.
Earlier this month, Sweden adopted a new cooperation strategy for Somalia, making Sweden the fourth largest donor in the country.