Somalia: UN Chief Welcomes Swearing-in of New Somali Cabinet Ministers

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the swearing-in today of the cabinet of ministers put forward by Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon and endorsed by the country's parliament.

"This marks another important step in the determined efforts by Somalia's new leadership to bring about a positive change in Somalia," Mr. Ban's spokesperson added in a statement.

Prime Minister Shirdon announced the composition of cabinet - known as the Council of Ministers - on 4 November and the parliament endorsed the nominations on 13 November. The 10-member cabinet includes Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fauzia Yusuf Haji Adan, reportedly the first woman to hold such a senior position in the Horn of Africa nation.

Earlier this week, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, welcomed parliament's endorsement of the cabinet ministers as a "historic milestone" for the county, which has been undergoing a peace and national reconciliation process in recent months that led to the end of a nine-year political transition period.

Mr. Mahiga, who also heads the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), commended Mr. Shirdon as well as President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud for their consultations with a wide cross-section of Somali society in the lead-up to the appointment of the cabinet, "which bears all positive hallmarks of a potential good government."

The Secretary-General and his Special Representative look forward to working with the President and his Government to implement the six-pillar policy that will guide the country to democratic elections in the course of the next four years, today's statement added.

That policy aims to secure progress in the areas of stability, economic recovery, peacebuilding, service delivery, international relations and unity.

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