NATIONAL RECONCILIATION CONFERENCE
SOMALIA BUSINESS COMMUNITY
21-22 JULY 2004
1. Members of the Somali business community held a High-level Dialogue in Djibouti July 21-22, 2004 within the context of the IGAD-sponsored Somalia National Reconciliation Conference (SNCR). The meeting was hosted, sponsored, and addressed by H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti. The conference was also attended by: the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Djibouti, H.E. Ali Abdi Farah; the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Seyoum Mesfin; the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources and Kenya’s leading Mediator to the IGAD Ministerial Facilitation Committee, Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka; Kenya’s Special Envoy for Somalia, Amb. Bethuel Kiplagat; and Dr. Babafemi Badejo of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia.
2. The Undersigned members of the Somali business community participated in the Djibouti meeting.
3. The Djibouti meeting was held as part of the third and final phase of the SNRC, in implementation of the decision made by the IGAD 7th Ministerial meeting on Somalia, to discuss the role of the Somali business community in the stabilization of Somalia during the transitional period. In particular the participants agreed on the following:
· To contribute to the creation and protection of a secure environment;
· To create a contact group for the Somali business community to facilitate relations with the transitional institutions, IGAD countries, and the international community. The contact group will commence dialogue with the SNRC and international community in Nairobi as soon as possible.
· To support and participate in economic reconstruction of the country.
4. The Participants
· Noted with satisfaction the progress achieved at the SNRC and acknowledged that the conference is at a critical stage of forging agreement on the formation of transitional institutions;
· Further noted the various phases of achieving control of the military situation inside Somalia and agreed to positively engage and cooperate with the Somali transitional institutions and with the international community in the realization of the full continuum of establishing a secure environment including: ceasefire, containment of heavy weapons, demilitarization, demobilization and re-integration in a step-by-step process that provide security guarantees to the business community;
· Expressed commitment to the Security Council Resolution 792 (1992) imposing an arms embargo on Somalia;
· Highlighted their imperative role in the political and economic reconstruction of Somalia, and expressed their strong desire to fully employ all of their capacities to consolidate a constructive cycle of economic recovery. In this regard, the participants would like priority consideration in the implementation of recovery programmes;
· Expressed a desire for the transitional institutions to adopt policies supporting a free-market economy and regional economic integration;
· Acknowledged the need to establish a structured approach of engagement in all matters concerning their role in the transitional period. In this respect, the participants agreed to explore the possibility of opening a Somalia Chamber of Commerce at the earliest opportunity, and requested support for that objective;
· Expressed their deepest concern about the long-term damage caused to the Somali economy and ecology by the dumping of toxic waste, export of charcoal, and export of female livestock;
· Requested specific assistance from international community in support of economic recovery in Somalia, including lifting of the livestock export ban, unfreezing of the assets of thousands of Somali businesses and households in Al Barakat, and on the United Nations Environmental Programme to ensure a ban on the exportation of charcoal from Somalia.
5. A more detailed report on the proceedings will be issued by the 31st July, to be distributed to all participants, and will be made available on the CRD website: crdsomalia.org .
Done in Djibouti on 22nd July 2004
H.E. Ali Abdi Farah, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Djibouti
H.E. Seyoum Mesfin, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
H.E. Kalonzo Musyoka, Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya
H.E. Mirugi Kariuki, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kenya
Amb. Bethuel Kiplagat, Kenya’s Special Envoy for Somalia