Fifteenth Workshop on Federalism for the Somali Ministry of Interior and Federal Affairs

Max Planck Foundation organises the final workshop on the role of constituent units in foreign affairs

On 8 September 2016, the Max Planck Foundation organised the fifteenth and final workshop for the Ministry of Interior and Federal Affairs (MoIFA) in Mogadishu. The workshop covered the role of constituent units in foreign affairs and was attended by 24 participants.

The workshop covered the main advantages and disadvantages of the participation of constituent units in foreign affairs, as well as their participation in treaty-making and treaty-implementation in European, African and Latin American countries. It was deemed appropriate to close the MoIFA workshop series with this theme because it remains one of the significant topics that are still unresolved in Somali federal affairs.

The Somali Provisional Constitution places exclusive competence on foreign affairs with the federal government and further specifies that relations between the two levels of government are to be based on cooperative federalism. According to Article 53(1) of the Somali Provisional Constitution, constituent units are to be consulted on negotiations relating to foreign aid, trade, treaties and any key issues related to international agreements. With a view to assisting the participants to identify and clarify the technical issues arising out of these provisions, the workshop offered comparative perspectives on the role of constituent units in international affairs. Participants therefore had an opportunity to comprehensively discuss the Somali constitutional framework and to compare it with the legal frameworks and practices of other federal countries.

In concluding the fifteenth workshop for the MoIFA, it is encouraging to note that the participants confidently applied their knowledge from previous workshops and remarked that they had gained substantive learning to help them in their day-to-day work. The workshops for staff of the MoIFA was an integral part of the Max Planck Foundation’s project “Support to the Somali Federalisation Process”, which is implemented with the financial support from the German Federal Foreign Office.