The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Somaliland Yasin Hagi Mohamoud welcomed Secretary General of the Global Diplomatic Council (GDC) Hon. Amb. Yohan Byrde to Somaliland during the third week of October 2019 in order to discuss the international relations of Somaliland and the activities of the GDC.
The Global Diplomatic Council has been working for many years with representatives from numerous governments on increasing their international standing and ability to maximize their integration into international institutions. The GDC Secretary General Yohan Byrde and the Deputy Secretary General Jeroen Zandberg had many fruitful discussions with the Foreign Affairs Minister and his advisors on how the long-time experience and extensive network of the GDC in international affairs could best be utilised in order to bring Somaliland into the international fold.
The Republic of Somaliland is a de-facto State located in the Horn of Africa. It has an area of 176,119 km2 and a population of 4.5 million. On 26 June 1960 Somaliland was granted its independence by Britain and became the 15th State to gain independence in Africa. Thirty-five UN Members recognised its independence and sovereignty. However, on the first of July 1960 Somaliland and Somalia signed an agreement which established the Union of Somalia and Somaliland. This Union survived until 18 May 1991 when Somaliland declared its independence. Since that day the government of Somaliland has worked tirelessly on reasserting its presence on the international stage. Somaliland has been an open, democratic and peaceful country since 1991 and serves as a model and a beacon of hope in a region where dictatorships and failed States are not the exception but the rule.
The future of Somaliland looks bright and promising. For instance 2020 will see the finalisation of several major infrastructural works that will play an important role in the future economic development and international integration of Somaliland. The new international airport in Berbera, funded by the UAE, will open its doors. The Free Zone in the coastal city will also be officially opened and the extension of the Port in Berbera by DP World with an additional 800 meters of modern docking facilities will be finalised. A further sign of economic success is the fact that the oil and gas surveys which have been carried out by British Genel and UAE based RAK Gas have moved to the next stage. Contracts between the oil companies and the government of Somaliland have been signed and in 2020 the drilling will start.
During the third week of October 2019, the Global Diplomatic Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Somaliland held many informative and inspiring meetings about the various scenario’s and strategies that could improve the position of Somaliland within international institutions. There are many challenges ahead. These challenges offer great opportunities for the rapid development of Somaliland and the participation of Somaliland in international institutions. This increased recognition will hopefully lead to the fact that Somaliland will again be able to be a full member of the international community and take their rightful place among all the other democratic, prosperous sovereign States. The Global Diplomatic Council is ideally suited to make this a reality and Hon. Amb. Yohan Byrde looks forward to cooperating with the government of Somaliland.