While Somaliland supports the Somali New Deal process and welcomes engagement by the international
community, regretfully Somaliland will not be able to participate in the High Level Partnership Forum in
Istanbul for the same reasons that our Government was not able to participate in the previous Fora in
Brussels and Copenhagen.
Somaliland and Somalia find themselves at very different stages of development in social, political and
security terms. Our country’s national needs and priorities are fundamentally different to Somalia’s. Our
presence, therefore at the HLPF in Istanbul would not be appropriate. We wish to remind the
international community that Somaliland will be celebrating 25 years as an independent country this
year and that as a state it meets the full criteria for statehood. Somaliland has overcome a legacy of
conflict and civil war, rebuilt its devastated economy, secured peace and stability within its borders, and
established democratic governance in the interests of its people.
Somaliland has since 2010, developed its own Somaliland 2030 Vision and corresponding National
Development Plan (NDP) which highlight Somaliland’s own development priorities; tailored to our
specific context and needs. In line with our support for the New Deal process, the Somaliland
Government and civil society further prioritized these needs through the development of the Somaliland
Special Arrangement (SSA). The SSA was adopted as a guiding document for the receipt of development
assistance and forms a distinct and separate component of the broader Somali New Deal Compact. Both
the National Development Plan and SSA are due to end this year and are currently in the process of
being externally evaluated in line with DAC criteria. The results of this evaluation will form the basis for
the development of our new NDP for 2017-2021.
Our lack of attendance at the conference should in no way be read as a reluctance to speak with and
cooperate with Somalia on an equal basis regarding international aid and development issues. Indeed,
as part of the communiques emerging from our ongoing political dialogue with Somalia was the express
statement that both parties “agree to encourage and facilitate international aid and development
provided to Somaliland”. Our decision also does not mean that we do not wish to continue our
important direct engagement with the international community. On the contrary, Somaliland is
extremely grateful for the international community’s support and friendship across a whole range of
important issues and wishes to continue this engagement through various bi-lateral and multi-lateral
mechanisms that include its own High Level Coordination Fora.
However, I would like to stress to our international partners, that Somaliland should be allocated a fair
allocation of any development aid pledged during the HLPF. The development support given to
Somaliland makes a vital contribution to Somaliland’s progress, prosperity and continued security and
the impact is clear to see on the ground. Somaliland and its people should not suffer inadvertently for
not being present at this Forum. We support the Partnership Principles of the New Deal, and hope to
work with the international community in the future to ensure both Somaliland and Somalia emerge as
strong, stable and democratic countries.
Ahmed Aden Ismail (Keyse)
Vice Minister and Acting Minister