Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
February 22, 2012

(As Delivered)

The United States is pleased to vote in favor of this resolution. The Transitional Federal Government of Somalia – the TFG – and AMISOM need to work together in fighting Al Shabaab, and this resolution supports that goal. The expansion of the AMISOM troop contingent and the accompanying growth of the logistical support package administered by the UN Support Office for AMISOM could make a decisive difference in weakening terrorism and bringing peace.

In the short term, we hope this strengthened UN commitment will help make tomorrow’s London Conference on Somalia a success.

The United States will continue its strong bilateral support for AMISOM troop contributing countries, which to date has totaled over $338 million. We urge other member states to also provide assistance. We call on new donors to play a part in the effort to support the TFG’s National Security Forces, which urgently require assistance.

We look forward to a strong continuing conversation in this Council and between the UNSC and the African Union on AMISOM's progress, needs, and challenges, and will continue to monitor how best to support AMISOM in the months to come. We regret that this Council did not include support for maritime assets for AMISOM at this stage. We consider maritime assets valuable in achieving AMISOM’s overall security objectives, and we hope this Council will revisit this discussion in the coming months.

With this resolution, the Security Council is demonstrating its backing for an African-led regional security initiative.

We commend the governments of Burundi and Uganda for their commitment and welcome Djibouti's initial deployment. We urge all countries contributing troops to AMISOM to adhere to prescribed command and control arrangements. We also welcome today’s decision to incorporate Kenyan military efforts into AMISOM’s strategic objectives and mandate. We urge other African Union partners to contribute troops as soon as possible to help AMISOM reach a strength of 17,731 uniformed personnel and to capitalize on AMISOM’s historic successes against al-Shabaab.

Of course, the situation in Somalia cannot be resolved by military force alone. The Transitional Federal Government must seize the opportunity provided by AMISOM and the Somali National Security Forces. It must complete the tasks laid out in the Kampala Accord, the Roadmap to End the Transition in Somalia, and the Garowe Principles. There must be no extension of the TFG’s mandate beyond August 20. The time for political progress is now.

At the request of the TFG, the Security Council has taken important steps today to further degrade al-Shabaab, by cutting off one of its primary revenue streams: charcoal exports. This charcoal ban will also reduce a serious environmental threat that impacts food security in Somalia. We urge all member states to take rapid, effective steps to meet their responsibility to comply with this obligation and to immediately implement the ban on charcoal.

In concluding, let me emphasize the United States’ ongoing commitment to Somalia, to the AU, and to AMISOM. We will continue to work with the international community to help end the threat of terrorism to, and the suffering of, the Somali people.

Thank you, Mr. President.