Two Days Training on UPR Engagement and Shadow Report Submission in Somalia

In a groundbreaking initiative, Maternal Mercy and Development (MMD), with funding from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and implementation support from MMD recently organized two days training program that brought together a diverse group of participants – including representatives from organizations of persons with disabilities and civil society organizations – to empower them in effectively engaging with the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process.

The training, attended by over 25 individuals from civil society organizations, aimed to equip this multifaceted group with the knowledge, skills, and strategies required to contribute meaningful shadow reports and advocate for the implementation of UPR recommendations accepted by the Somali government.

“The UPR presents a unique opportunity to amplify the voices of marginalized communities and hold the government accountable for its human rights commitments,” said Ahmed Abdi Omar, the facilitator, a trainer and an expert in international human rights mechanisms. “By bringing together this diverse group of stakeholders, we are ensuring that the UPR process in Somalia is inclusive and representative of the country’s diverse needs and challenges.”

During the two-day session, participants delved into the intricacies of the UPR mechanism, understanding the reporting guidelines, and developing evidence-based advocacy approaches. The training sessions were designed to cater to the specific needs and perspectives of each stakeholder group, fostering collaborative learning and the exchange of best practices.

Participants from organizations of persons with disabilities expressed their enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to the UPR process and ensure that the unique challenges faced by the disability community are reflected in the shadow reports.

“Too often, our voices are left out of important decision-making processes,” said Zamzam Munya, a visual handicapped girl. “This training has empowered us with the knowledge and confidence to engage directly with the UPR and push for the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities in Somalia.”

The training also fostered collaboration and networking among the diverse group of participants, encouraging them to establish connections, share best practices, and explore opportunities for joint advocacy efforts. This collaborative approach is expected to result in a more unified and impactful civil society response to the UPR.

“By bringing together this diverse group of stakeholders, we are laying the foundation for a truly inclusive and accountable UPR process in Somalia,” said Asad Ali, the director of MMD. “We are committed to supporting the continued engagement of persons with disabilities, parliamentarians, and civil society organizations, ensuring that the UPR recommendations translate into tangible improvements for all Somali citizens.”

Fahad Mohamed.