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431-00224 (Foreign affairs)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

We, the undersigned, residents of Canada, draw the attention of the Government of Canada to the following:

Whereas:

  1. On the 18th May 2020, the people of Somaliland will be celebrating 29th years since reclaiming their independence;
  2. The independence declaration of May 18, 1991 occurred after years of documented human rights violations by the Somali state against the civilian population of Somaliland;
  3. In 2001, Somaliland established a new constitution; Somaliland has since established its own Currency, Central Bank, and built a successful free-market economy. They have overseen the restoration of peace, established an independent judiciary and Electoral Commission, and cultivated a stable, multiparty democracy;
  4. On 13 November 2017, Somaliland conducted its' third presidential election; The British government funded a 60-member international election observer mission. Members from 27 countries participated. The international observers have congratulated the Somaliland people on a peaceful poll that was well-organized;
  5. Between 2015 - 2017, Somaliland suffered from extremes drought. Livestock and harvests were lost. The local population suffered from malnutrition, lack of water, medical supply. Hundredth of deaths and thousandth are still displaced after they lost all their livestock's and assets;
  6. A stable and peaceful democracy requires investments in infrastructure such as water boreholes, schools, libraries, Sports Centre's, community health center's, roads, dams and police services;
  7. International recognition of the Republic of Somaliland as an autonomous state would attract foreign investments, result in direct access of aid for disaster relief and infrastructure investments. These investments would strengthen enhance security, drive economic development, reduce illegal migration and extremist recruitment, and entrench democracy in one of the world's most unstable regions.

THEREFORE, we request that the government of Canada recognize the Republic of Somaliland as an autonomous state, that may result in foreign investments, direct access of development aid, foreign aid for disaster relief and infrastructure developments investments loans.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne

The Government of Canada recognizes Somaliland as a semi-autonomous and important region within the Federal Republic of Somalia. Canada’s position is consistent with that of the international community and maintains that it is at the discretion and responsibility of both the Federal Government of Somalia and Somaliland to determine the course and nature of their current and future relationship.

The Government of Canada would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the considerable progress made in the Somaliland region, to which locals and diaspora members have made a significant contribution.  More specifically, Canada would like to acknowledge the progress made with respect to peacebuilding and democratic development, as best exemplified by the November 2017 elections. The 2017 elections were a notable accomplishment, and set a positive example for the rest of Somalia and the region.

Looking forward, Canada will continue to work with members of the international community to help strengthen the capacity of the Federal Government of Somalia and the regions. Canada is committed to increasing its engagement in the Somaliland region through the Canadian Embassy in Nairobi. Officials from the Embassy conduct frequent trips to Hargeisa and engage with a broad range of actors to advance shared priorities.

The Government of Canada engages regularly with the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia and a broad range of actors, including non-governmental organizations. All of Canada’s missions abroad are charged with advancing inclusive approaches that respect of social differences as a key element of fostering and sustaining peace. The promotion and protection of human rights and gender equality is an integral part of Canadian foreign policy and a priority in bilateral engagements with Somalia.

Canada will continue to use the opportunities presented by multilateral meetings, such as the High-Level Meeting on Somalia, to raise awareness and highlight Canada’s support for cooperation between the Federal Government and the regional governments, and the importance of inclusion and collaboration. Canada will also continue to support Somalia’s objectives and ensure progress towards peace and security, sustainable development, establishing a federal democracy, addressing humanitarian needs, and providing basic services to its people.

Presented to the House of Commons
Salma Zahid (Scarborough Centre)
June 1, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00224)
Government response tabled
July 20, 2020
Photo - Salma Zahid
Scarborough Centre
Liberal Caucus
Ontario

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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