The London Conference on Somalia held at Lancaster House, London, folded Friday afternoon with a call for the convening of a Constituent Assembly in Somalia, among a raft of other agreements aimed at helping Somalia to emerge from a critical humanitarian crisis.
Convened at a defining moment in Somaliaâs history when the Transitional Federal Institutions come to an end in August 2012, the conference, attended by President Kibaki, among other leaders, acknowledged that the situation in Somalia remains precarious and in urgent need of support from the international community.
During the conference, world leaders agreed to inject new momentum into the political process in Somalia, strengthen the African Union Mission ( Amisom), help Somalia develop its own security forces, build stability at local level, and step up action to tackle pirates and terrorists.
In a communiquÃ read at the end of the conference by the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, William Hague, participants in the conference agreed that the mandate of the Transitional Federal Institutions which ends in August should not be extended.
The conference therefore endorsed existing agreements that chart the way towards more representative government in Somalia, namely the Transitional Charter, The Djibouti Agreement and the Kampala Accord.
As a short-term solution, the conference endorsed the priority of convening a Constituent Assembly to replace the Transitional Federal Parliament. It is expected that the Constituent Assembly would prepare a constitution as well as appoint a new Interim Authority with the task of establishing the institutions of government and preparing elections.
The conference emphasised that although there was international momentum and goodwill to help the Somali people, Somaliaâs future rests with the people of Somalia. In this regard, the conference stressed the need for future political leadership in Somalia to be accountable to all people.
Leaders agreed to incentives progress on the political process and stressed the need to act against spoilers to the peace process. The conference agreed that proposals in this regard would be considered before the Istanbul Conference that will be held in June.
With respect to security and justice, the conference affirmed that these were essential both to a successful political process and to development. The conference noted that better security could only be achieved if there is better justice and rule of law.