Contact Group to hold first Nairobi meeting

A Somalia Contact Group (CG), established earlier this year by the UN Secretary-General, is to hold its first meeting in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, on 25 July, a UN official told IRIN on Wednesday.

Dr Babafemi Badejo, the senior political officer of the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), said the group has about 30 members.

"It includes all members of the Security Council, the co-chairs of the IGAD [Inter-Governmental Authority on Development] Partners Forum [Italy and Norway], as well as organisations Somalia belongs to, and countries that have undertaken peace initiatives in Somalia, plus the EC, which has also
been actively involved in the peace process in the country", he said.

According to a UN Security Council presidential statement of 28 March, which endorsed the establishment of the CG, the group is to operate in both Nairobi and New York.

The Nairobi branch is expected "to promote the completion of the Arta [where the Transitional National Government of Somalia was established in 2000] peace process...", the statement said.