Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Robert Wood, Alternative Representative for Special Political Affairs, Following the Adoption of a UN Security Council Resolution on Somalia

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December 1, 2023

Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, since this is the first time taking the floor under your presidency, let me congratulate you and your team for assuming the Council presidency and offer my delegation’s full support as you carry out your duties.

I wish to thank Council members for their engagement on this resolution, and the UK in particular for its efforts as the penholder. The United States welcomes the extension of the Panel of Experts mandate and renewal of the arms embargo, travel ban, and asset freeze measures.

The United States voted in favor of this resolution as these measures, and the Panel’s role in monitoring their implementation, remain crucial to promoting peace and stability in Somalia and in the broader region. Moreover, this renewal ensures that Panel oversight and reporting will continue to inform the al-Shabaab Sanctions Committee and this Council. For these reasons, we look forward to the swift appointment of the experts, so they can begin their important work.

The United States also voted in favor of this text because these measures will help limit the influence of groups like al-Shabaab and address the drivers of conflict in Somalia.

We welcome the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia’s commendable progress on weapons and stockpile management. We encourage it to continue this important work.

We urge all UN Member States to implement existing sanctions measures to help curb al-Shabaab’s ability to access funds, weapons, and other support they need to carry out attacks and to support Somalia’s security and police institutions with the resources they need to combat terrorism and secure their citizens.

We further urge our fellow Council members to support designations, including of al-Shabaab operatives. These designations demonstrate that the international community will support accountability and end impunity for those who undermine peace and security in Somalia.

The United States is disappointed by the omission of the Djibouti and Eritrea language. We note that there has been no noticeable progress on the outstanding issues between the two countries. We remain committed to working constructively with all parties to support the normalization of relations between the two countries.

We are committed to the Somali people and will continue to work closely with the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia, fellow Council members, and all stakeholders to facilitate peace for the country and the region. Thank you, Mr. President.

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