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Matt Baugh

Ambassador to Somalia

Part of UK in Somalia

10th April 2013 Nairobi, Kenya

Somalia and the G8: Push to start

This week, as part the UK’s Presidency of the G8, Foreign Ministers will meet to discuss the need to encourage the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to re-engage in Somalia. The G8 countries are some of the largest shareholders in both the World Bank and the IMF. As a result, the UK is using its Presidency of the G8 to propose that G8 countries support two things.

Firstly, in the short-term, to support the steps needed for IFIs to re-engage with Somalia; and secondly, to support a longer-term process leading eventually to arrears clearance (Somalia is approximately £459 million in arrears, with a total external debt of over £2 billion) and full engagement of the IFIs with Somalia.

With one of the lowest levels of GDP per capita in the world, Somalia needs to create a stronger economy and more sustainable growth in order to help improve both security and living standards. However, for twenty years, the conflict, instability and absence of a legitimate government in Mogadishu has meant that the International Financial Institutions (principally, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank) have been unable to provide any tangible, sustained support to Somalia.

Engagement by the IFIs is a key element in Somalia’s recovery from conflict and state collapse. Not only will this support build and grow the economy – creating more jobs and more opportunities for the Somalis – it will also support the foundations on which a successful and increasingly stable Somalia will be built.

In the short term, the active support of the IFIs can help stimulate the economy by bringing in vital technical expertise and advice, providing small-scale funding and support Somalia’s leaders strengthen their focus on economic governance, security and political stability. Once these building blocks are in place, the IFIs can, together with the Federal Government, put together a plan for longer-term engagement, bringing in full-scale technical expertise and financial support to deliver on the more ambitious projects that will help to rebuild Somalia.

However, the process is reciprocal. IFI re-engagement is contingent on the commitment of the Federal Government of Somalia continuing to make progress on strengthening transparency and accountability (both to Somalis and its partners) – key building blocks for Somalia’s future that will also be discussed at the Somalia Conference on 7th May in London

Re-engagement and support from the IFIs could help the Somali government strengthen their capacity to deliver on their priorities. G8 engagement on the IFIs in Somalia would set a high level of foreign policy, financial and political ambition that meshes entirely with the broader set of objectives for next month’s Somalia Conference in London.

This week the Foreign Ministers will also discuss preventing sexual violence in conflict, an issue that is unfortunately relevant to many countries, including Somalia. Under our Foreign Secretary’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, the UK has been working hard to push this issue up the international agenda because we believe more can and must be done to stop these acts occurring. We are looking for the G8 to endorse a new international protocol on the investigation and documentation of sexual violence in conflict to help improve the evidence base from which prosecutions for sexual violence in conflict can be drawn.

For Somalia we know this is a problem, and one the Government are keen to address. In the coming weeks we are looking forward to co-hosting a women’s event in Mogadishu with the Government of Somalia to discuss these and other issues that affect Women in Somalia today. The Prime Minister and the President have declared their strong stance on ending this violence and making the culture of impunity a thing of the past; the UK stands ready to support to see this desire become a reality.

Although the processes will be   long, the UK is intent on pushing on the agenda’s now – and give Somalia the start it so desperately needs.

6 comments on “Somalia and the G8: Push to start

  1. Thank you for trying to advocate for Somalia in the IFIs and the donors’s that will meet in your country and re-engagement of Somalia.
    One simple question I would like to get its answer from you is here: would you please specify the ” key building blocks for Somalia’s future that will also be discussed in the Somalia Conference on 7th May in London?

    Ahmed Dhegaweyne.

  2. Hello mr ambassador matt. I am somali living uk. You called that will help somali goverment and somali people to over come 22year civil war. Help how to win war with al Shabab when you Not give information somali goverment What you know. It is like some one who is blind you told him I will give you help. You tell what is front of him. It is very clear to al Shabab or will give confident Shabab that what the west know will not pass to somali goverment . So still care the terror in somali. Because last week uk goverment tell do not go somali because there terror is coming to Mogadishu. If uk goverment to be tell more information to avoid terror
    Will not car this attacted. Which meant to them think in the future. Terror that you know will only informed you people not Somalia goverment they care on. Please if know any or to littile please give to so Ali. Goverment. More about terror.. My be. You have diffucalated who to I formed or wher e started thare good somali living. Uk.ambassodar. I am British somali living in uk. I will help you with how we can worked together in order to sea somali and British goverment can be good friend . Where you can get liberal Somalia. Living the west and appreciate. What west do four us some. Not spudit people think makes terror. I am sorry if I focused you please.I will like sea somali and .uk . USA.. Are freind then any nation in the world especial Africa. And Arab. It can happen if we understand help our diffecated time. And we will buy back near future…. Please do not lift this diffulated time for somali people…
    .thank. Uk …. Thank uk goverment… Your help

  3. The status in Somalia currently are not fit to have IFI (international financial institution) as it had lack of both transparancy and accountability. This is simple because of lack of representation of the government and parliament from their constituency, this means similarly giving someone with black credit to loan!!…

    Somalia needs first political solution and current government needs to work how could be fully Representative particularly in South of Somalia.

    UK are playing very good role by initiating May conference, which Somaliland unfortunately expressed can not participate in that conference for obvious reasons as it need assurances and guarantees of their inspirations.

    I am pleased to read your blog as you are writing before May conference on Somalia and would like to contribute what I see priority in to this conference in Building stable Somalia. As this conference following up last year conference on Somalia.

    There is need to review the communique of previous London conference what is development had been achieved which is encouraging while there are some other items still outstanding. This will have effect on both the Somali people and members of international community whether the upcoming May conference will be successful or disillusioned with the lack of progress.

    What I hope the priority to achieve of the upcoming conference is to develop two main areas:

    1) Security and political issues : reaching Somalia stable is very important to us as this have security concerns both to UK and Somali diaspora specifically as this had very strong impact on engagement Somali youth in UK.

    I feel having confidence of Somali people to their government is very important and need to work out how the current Somali government to work out to plan election for the South of Somalia within current government term so the government to be at least represented more widely and having Somali people confidence, While need also current Somalia government to engage the dialogue with Somaliland as the London conference communique item 6 still outstanding which requires Somalia government to resume the dialogue with Somaliland about their future relationship with international community support, therefore there is need to make sure progress has to be made London Conference item 6 before 7th May 2013.
    I would like to suggest you that there is need Somaliland to take part this conference which require persuasion of Somaliland government to participate by guaranteeing at least “ that Somaliland and Somali Government dialogue with international community support need to recognizes the rights of people in Somaliland to determine their political future through a free, fair and open referendum, free of coercion or intimidation”.
    2) Economic development:

    It’s very important factor, but I feel the international aid is not solution all it causes in my experience is corruption and dependency but need to open a trade to and from Somalia or Somaliland to boost the economy also will save tax payer money towards the aid in this difficult economy times. Also the diaspora and international are very keen to took part any investment and economic development but only needs if there is security.

    I feel UK can play a key role security , Political Stability and Economic development.
    Wishing upcoming success conference.

  4. These are real strategies that can help Somalia to recover and develop on time if they are well implemented.

  5. Thank you ambassador Matt Baugh for your tireless effort of helping Somalia to come out of this 20 year darkness.

    I think the source of the problem in Somalia are this.

    1) Security- and this to achieve security Shebab must be eliminated. No other way around.

    2) Clan territories: These so-called tribal administrations are the reason why Somalia can’t come out of this self-inflicted wounds.

    3) In effectiveness of Mogadishu administration. The Somali government must take bold steps and they must set the example. The same thinking that destroyed us won’t bring Somalia back.

    And of course, we need all the help the world can afford. Forgiving the debt and helping Somalia to stand on its feet is I hope what the G-8 will do.

    On a lighter note; friend of mine who is tech savvy and fallows all your tech portals calls you “Ambassador Buux” Buux meaning “complete” in Somali. He reads your last name as Mr. Buux,,of course that is not how your last name is pronounced, but he thinks you fit that description.

    Good luck to the May 7th and new united strong Somalia will be back. We need the help of world brothers.

    Thank you

  6. This is a great initiative spearheaded by the UK, and we as Somalis appreciate those efforts. there are other countries doing their bit for us Notable Turkey, AU & the Arab league, More can be done to encourage economic growth. encourage more Somali diaspora to return and invest in their country. the following needs development

    ports expansion
    Airports
    roads/ Highways leading to main ports
    other vital infrastructures around the capital,

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About Matt Baugh

Matt is married to Caroline, a GP from South London specialising in pre-hospital care and tropical medicine. They have 3 small children. Matt has been working on Somalia since May…

Matt is married to Caroline, a GP from South London
specialising in pre-hospital care and tropical medicine. They have 3
small children. Matt has been working on Somalia since May 2010, when he was appointed the UK’s Senior Representative and Head of the UK’s
Somalia Office. On 2 February 2012 he was accredited as the first
British Ambassador to Somalia for 21 years. Since taking up his Somalia
appointment, he has been able to travel to Mogadishu, Hargeisa and
Garowe, and has been deeply touched by the warmth of the welcome he has received, but also the scale of the challenges that Somali people face
every day.
Matt is a career civil servant and is currently on secondment to the
Foreign Office from the UK Department for International Development. Now 37, he has spent much of his career to date dealing with conflict,
security and humanitarian issues. Since 1999 he has worked in Iraq,
Sudan, Afghanistan and the Balkans, as well as a number of major relief
operations and protracted emergencies. He also helped to set up and lead
the UK’s Post Conflict Reconstruction Unit, now the UK Stabilisation
Unit. Matt is a graduate of the UK Joint Services Command and Staff
College’s Higher Command and Staff Course (2010) and was previously
Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for International
Development (2008-9).
Away from work, Matt is an avid England rugby fan (although he
refuses to admit his own playing days are long over). He is also a keen
mountaineer and skier and, together with Caroline, was part of a team
that raced to the Magnetic North Pole in 2005. These days he is more
likely to be found teaching his children how to swim and build
sandcastles.

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