The United Nations top envoy in Somalia on Sunday lauded impressive political, economic and security achievements made by leaders in the past 12 months in the Horn of Africa nation.
Michael Keating, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, said the achievements have enabled Somalia to avert a looming famine, increase revenues and grants, pass key legislation and chart the working relationship between the federal government and member states.
Keating, who in a statement congratulated Somalis and government on the 58th anniversary of their country's independence on Sunday, lauded reforms on the constitutional review and electoral model, and in reforming the security sector.
"The road ahead is long, and the challenges should not be underestimated, not least the destructive capacity of violent extremists and the risk that political and other disputes will undermine efforts to deliver results that benefit all Somalis," he said in Mogadishu.
"But the agenda crafted by the government is a good one and deserves both national unity and timely international support," he added.
Keating said the UN and international partners are working closely with Somali leaders to help achieve results in security, jobs and services in a way that strengthens the rule of law, inclusivity and accountability.
"The United Nations marks this anniversary by recommitting itself to solidarity with all Somalis in the years ahead," he said.
The UN envoy said the independence anniversary is a great day for all Somalis across the world, noting that despite the many hardships they continue to face, Somalis can take pride in the progress that is being made.
"This celebration comes at a moment of political opportunity and hope for a more peaceful and prosperous future," Keating said.
He called on all Somalia leaders, whether in the public or private sectors, to work with the government to deliver results for people to help create jobs for the youth.