Mr. President, representatives of Hirshabelle State and media. Allow me to start by thanking his excellency the President [Ali Abdullahi Hussein 'Gudlawe'] and his team for the very warm welcome to not only myself but my colleagues. We have received a very, very warm welcome here in Jowhar. This is my first official visit to Jowhar since my arrival in Somalia.
Today, I had the opportunity to also meet members of the Hirshabelle Executive Council, some clan elders and civil society representatives.
And I have had very useful discussions with interlocutors on national and state level issues.
The President and I engaged on how outcomes in the National Communique of 12 June concluded by the Federal Government of Somalia and the Federal Member States can be supported here in Hirshabelle.
We discussed Hirshabelle's state-building priorities in several areas, in addition to inclusivity, the security transition and most important of all to his excellency the President -- the drought and drought response.
I commended the President for his outreach to the various communities in Hirshabelle and pledged UN support for reconciliation initiatives, addressing the drought and other Hirshabelle priorities.
I also encouraged the appointment of women to leadership positions in the administration.
In my engagement with clan elders, women, youth and representatives of people with disabilities, I conveyed my appreciation for their contributions to Hirshabelle's development.
As the UN, we will remain engaged on these issues and Hirshabelle's priorities. I again thank his excellency the President and his team for the very warm reception.
Thank you, Mr. President.