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CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
 OF THE CONFERENCE

Political

The conference considers that:

  •  Somalilandís declaration of independence is irreversible. Dialogue with Somalia will be possible only as sovereign, equal independent states, in the interest of peaceful co-existence. Somalilandís sovereignty is non-negotiable.

 

  • Somalilandís pursuit of international recognition requires that the countryís institutions and systems of governance be continually improved and strengthened. Somalilandís progress towards a stable, democratic political system, including the conduct of free and fair parliamentary elections, represents a new model for the Horn of Africa and the continent.

 

  • Somaliland needs to embark on a concerted diplomatic initiative in order to better communicate its position to the international community, to persuade sympathetic governments to align themselves officially with Somalilandís cause, and to reassure the international community that its recognition will contribute materially to the security, stability and development of the region.

 

Security

 

The conference believes that:

 

  • Somaliland represents the success of a people-oriented ďhuman securityĒ paradigm, in which the definition of security incorporates factors such as governance, economics and the environment, rather than the conventional, state-centric definition of security.

 

  • Somaliland should remain committed to cooperation in regional security concerns, through information and intelligence sharing, security training, communication and transparent financial services.

 

Economic

 

The conference agrees that:

 

  • Somalilandís economic self-reliance is one of its greatest assets. Even when political recognition brings new economic opportunities, the government should continue to pursue policies that reinforce self-reliance rather than inviting dependency and debt.

 

  • The Saudi livestock ban is motivated at least in part by political considerations. Somaliland should simultaneously pursue the lifting of the ban, while diversifying economic production, creating a regulatory environment conducive to foreign direct investment, and seeking alternative sources of foreign exchange earnings.

 

  • Somalilandís geographical position requires that it pursue a long term strategy of economic growth, based on integration with its neighbours, including enhanced cross-border trade, harmonized duties and tariffs, and the augmentation of peoplesí purchasing power.

 

  • The conference expressed concern about the development challenges facing the country and encourages donor governments, as well as the EU and international financial institutions to establish a dedicated funding mechanism for Somaliland taking into account the specific needs, priorities and capacity of the country.

  

Education and Culture

 

The conference also urges that:

 

  • Somaliland should initiate cultural exchanges with its neighbours in order to encourage understanding between the countries and peoples of the Horn.

 

  • Somaliland educational and research institutions should pursue linkages with similar institutions in the region.

  

Media

 

The conference considers that:

 

  • The media have played a key role in the emergence of democracy, the consolidation of peace and the promotion of good governance in Somaliland

 

  • Social and economic issues deserve greater media coverage, proportionately, than they currently receive.

 

  • Development of the media sector requires greater private sector investment, government incentives such as tax breaks and more opportunities for the professional development of journalists.

 

  • The BBC should review both its coverage of Somaliland and its training programme with a  view to more balanced reporting and responsiveness to local needs.

  

Somalilandís Women

 

The conference takes special note of the contribution of Somalilandís women to the political, economic and social development of the country and encourages them to play an even more active role in all domains of Somaliland society.