Visit of the United Nations Special Representative for Somalia to Minneapolis
MINNESOTA, 26 September 2011— The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Mr. Augustine Mahiga, visits Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the invitation of the Somali Institute of Peace Research (SIPR), and the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights (OCF). The visit is an important milestone for the Somali diaspora in Minnesota, a first and fundamental step to get the Somali diaspora in Minnesota, to play a vital role in the reconciliation efforts and the rebuilding of Somalia through institutional capacity building, business investment, and strengthening civil society by inspiring intellectuals and entrepreneurs to become actively involved in public and private institutional capacity building.
The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia began his visit to Minneapolis with a breakfast with key Somali community leaders, community organizers and representatives from internal relief agencies and elected officials from Minnesota.
Following the welcoming breakfast, UN’s SRGS was received by the Somali women professionals and Somali women’s representatives from the diaspora. The Somali women professionals and Somali women’s representatives considered the visit a landmark event that was inclusive. They have thanked the ambassador for visiting them and welcomed his outreach to the diaspora.
In the afternoon, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Mr. Augustine Mahiga, attended a moderated forum at the University of Minnesota Law School. The ambassador was well received and the event was attended by many Somalis from the diaspora. The ambassador spoke about the current situation in Somalia and answered follow up questions from audience, (audience consisting of Somali Elders and mainstream community leaders), followed by press conference with Somali media and other media outlets.
On Sunday, ambassador Mahiga met local community and business leaders to encourage support for rebuilding Somalia, and asked Somali-born Minnesotans to become more engaged in development and peace building efforts in Somalia.
On Monday, Mr. Mahiga visit local charter school founded by the member of the Somali diaspora and are attended many students from the diaspora.