About The Forum

30 April 2012
Concept note

Istanbul II Conference on Somalia
31 May-1 June 2012


1.         The Government of Turkey will hold an international conference on Somalia (“Istanbul II”) on 31 May-1 June under the theme: “Preparing Somalia’s Future: Goals for 2015”. The conference will provide the international community with a unique opportunity to adopt common positions on the future of Somalia. It will aim to chart immediate concrete actions in the political, security and economic spheres that will enable a smooth end of transition and the establishment of an inclusive and broad-based political dispensation in Somalia after August 2012. The conference will also seek to build consensus on a long-term approach to state-building and economic development, including the evolution of an enabling environment for private investment in the post-transition period.

2.         The conference will engage a wide range of regional and international actors, as well as the Somali business sector, civil society, women’s groups, diaspora and youth representatives. It will endeavor to include representation from all parts of Somalia in an effort to promote home-grown, Somali-led solutions to the Somali crisis.


3.         Since the Istanbul I Conference in May 2010, Somalia has made significant progress in the search for peace and stability. On the political front, in numerous occasions, Somali stakeholders and the international community reaffirmed their strong commitment to conclude the transition by August 2012 and establish a new and more representative political dispensation. Such were the cases of the adoption of the Road Map to end the transition, the signing of the Kampala Accord, the, adoption of the recommendations at the Garowe 1and 2 Conferences and the Galkayo constitutional meeting, as well as the London Conference on Somalia.

4.         On the security realm, combined efforts of the TFG forces, AMISOM and regional countries have led to the recovery of large areas in Mogadishu and central and southern Somalia, creating real opportunities for stability. The increased support to AMISOM as well as to the strengthening of the TFG forces constitutes a fundamental contribution to building a peaceful, stable and prosperous Somalia. This remains a priority, along with the need to set up new and more representative administrations in the areas that are cleared of Al Shabaab presence, so as to avoid a power vacuum in those areas.

5.         A genuine and comprehensive reconciliation amongst Somalis is a fundamental requirement to consolidate progress made in the political and security domains. The different clans, regional and local administrations, the TFG and other relevant actors in Somalia must coalesce around a common vision on how to build a viable Somali state that can deliver sustainable peace and stability in the country.

6.         Now is the time to address both the immediate and multifaceted challenges that confront Somalia, including in the humanitarian field, and to conceptualize and plan for the implementation of long-term solutions. The end of the transition and the new political dispensation should bring new economic opportunities, enabling Somalis to start building durable peace and stability. The TFG and other Somali stakeholders must now begin to create the conditions for social and economic development that can underpin a prosperous future and put an end to the cycle of famine and aid dependence. We should also aim for tangible progress by 2015 towards the Millennium Development Goals.

7.         International partners can help for example by investing in initiatives that will help kick-start economic development in Somalia in relation to access to energy, drinkable water, and the repair of roads; by building the capacity of Government institutions to establish the “rules of the game”, i.e., to design and manage a regulatory framework; and by supporting communities to build resilience to recurrent humanitarian crises. Civil society and local administrations can contribute to this exercise by helping define the priorities in their respective regions. Effective partnerships between public and private actors, as well a participatory approach to economic and social development can in turn contribute to social cohesion and stability.

8.         In short, the end of the current transition represents Somalia’s best opportunity in two decades for peace and stability.  Somali stakeholders and their international partners must therefore redouble their efforts to support the implementation of the Road Map to end the transition, address the immediate needs for stabilization and recovery, and formulate a common vision for the long-term future of the country.


9.         The first day of the conference will entail four sector-based Partnership Forums on economic issues, namely, energy, water, roads, and “resilience” . The Forums will involve representatives of the TFG, the UN, donors, Somali and international private sector, civil society, women’s groups, youth and the diaspora.

10.       The second day of the Conference will be a high-level plenary meeting co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon. It will cover an agenda including political, security, and economic development issues. The meeting will feature opening remarks and statements by Heads of delegations and will conclude with the adoption of an agreed communiqué.


11.       Turkey, UNPOS and the United Nations Country Team for Somalia, in partnership with relevant TFG Ministries and the World Bank, will prepare the Partnership Forums in consultation with other relevant actors, including Somali civil society and private sector representatives as well as regional and international development actors such as the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the International Labour Organisation. They will jointly develop specific agenda, list of participants and review projects to be submitted to Istanbul II.

12.       Participants will be determined based on the list of invitees for the Istanbul I Conference held in (May 2010. Somaliland, Puntland, Galmudug and ASWJ will be invited along with TFG Directors-General, private sector actors and diaspora representatives.
13.       Overall coordination will be ensured jointly by Turkey and United Nations Headquarters. Preparatory meetings will be held as needed, on dates to be determined jointly by Turkey and the United Nations Headquarters, to develop concrete deliverables on the political, security and recovery tracks and prepare the Conference Communiqué.

The concept of “resilience” refers to actions to help affected societies build resilience to cyclic humanitarian and natural crises on the basis of community-based initiatives to improve food security, livelihoods and access to basic services.