Moment of truth project methodology is to work collaboratively with Somali and international civil-society organizations, governmental organizations, international organizations, universities and other partners to rationally evaluate the state of Somali physical and institutional infrastructure development, and to offer pragmatic, unbiased and constructive recommendations to policy makers and the public. Further, where and when they can be effective and sustained, the MTP engages in pragmatic institutional capacity development projects.
Moment of truth project recognizes that Somalia and its citizens – including its international Diaspora – are presented with many challenges. However, the MTP also recognizes that Somalia has many assets with which to address these challenges; most significantly, the will, spirit and intellectual capacity of its people. By harnessing this human capital, by offering pragmatic solutions to complex problems, and by coordinating voluntary coordinated Civil Society responses, MTP serves as a catalyst for sustained social and economic development in Somalia – and abroad.
Clearly, Somali security is an issue that must be addressed. However, there is more to Somalia than violence. Thus, kinetic solutions – standing alone – will not resolve Somalia’s security issues nor alleviate the suffering of the Somali people. Instead, the MIP maintains that Somalia’s future is largely dependent on the state of its infrastructure – including its governance infrastructure – and this infrastructure has been substantially diminished due decades of conflict, instability and neglect. Because of this, the MTP advocates for a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, and inclusive human security approach; an approach that respects the culture of the Somali people, protects the rights of all Somali citizens, offers greater opportunity for social and economic development, and sets the foundation for societal self-actualization.
In undertaking our work, Moment of truth project is guided by the following principles:
The goal of Somali Human Security is to seek genuine peace with freedom and justice in common cause with a community of free and independent nations.
The advancement and preservation of democracy are essential to promote human rights, inspire principled cultural achievement, and maximize economic development.
Informed public opinion and an enduring non-partisan consensus maintain a viable security structure in a democratic society.
Moment of truth project is fully aware the vital importance of these principles. Thus, upon its inauguration, the MTP’s Board – in accordance with its stated mission and objectives – dispatched a team of experts to every province in Somalia to conduct a comprehensive Somali Needs Assessment. This MTP team of subject matter experts volunteered their time, talents and treasure to undertake this project. Their findings and recommendations will be outlined in depth in future publications. However, at the outset, it is important to note that MTP’s Needs Assessment underscored Somalia’s critical need for substantially increased governance capacity, inclusive political mediation, focused economic recovery, and sustainable physical infrastructure reconstruction, rehabilitation and development. In particular, the Needs Assessment highlighted the critical need to immediately begin undertaking planning for – and expeditious execution of – sustainable development in the following fields:
Conflict Mitigation, Peace-building and Mediation;
Rule of Law Development, Justice Sector Reform, and Judicial Strengthening;
Institutional Governance Capacity Training and Building;
Civil Society Development and Strengthening;
Universal Access to Education and Curriculum Reform;
Economic Liberalization, Free Market Encouragement, Entrepreneurship, Free Trade, Open – Transparent – Competition; and
Physical Infrastructure Development, including sustainable Agriculture, Riparian Rights, Transportation, Telecommunications, and Health Care.
Coordination and Cooperation
Moment of truth project is prepared to work with the Transitional Somali Government to build a representative democracy. However, we recognize that after more than three decades of tyranny, this work will not easy. Former regime leaders and regional spoilers have ruled by terror and treachery, and left deeply ingrained habits of fear and distrust. Remnants of these regimes, joined by foreign terrorists, continue their battle against order and against civilization. However, the MTP will continue working closely with Somali citizens as we take ever-increasing responsibility for our own affairs. As has been accomplished elsewhere, the strength and will of free peoples are now being tested before a watching world. We WILL meet this test.
The new reality is that because of coordinated Somali civil-society institutional governance and human rights capacity-building insistence, the Transitional Somali Government is just beginning to see the need for change. Recent events in Somalia – and in the Diaspora – have revealed broad public support for political pluralism, the rule of law, and free speech. In short, what we are witnessing are the stirrings of Somali democracy and they carry the promise of even greater change to our oppressed people. What is missing, however, is the capacity to make this promise a reality. That is where the Somali Strategy Forum can help.
With regard to Somali governance, the Somali Strategy Forum believes:
Governments that protect the rights of their citizens are ultimately more stable, successful and secure;
Governments that suppress ideas never succeed in making them go away;
Governments of the people and by the people set a single standard for all who would hold power;
Governments must maintain their power through consent, not coercion;
Governments must respect the rights of minorities, women and children, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; and
Governments must place the interests of their people and the legitimate workings of the political process above individual party or tribal membership.
With regard to Somali Civil Society development, the Somali Strategy Forum believes:
Successful societies limit the power of the state and the power of the military so that governments respond to the will of the people, and not the will of an elite;
Successful societies protect freedom with the consistent and impartial rule of law, instead of selectively applying the law to punish political opponents;
Successful societies allow room for healthy civic institutions — for political parties and labor unions and independent newspapers and broadcast media;
Successful societies privatize their economies and secure the rights of property;
Successful societies prohibit and punish official corruption, and invest in the health and education of their people;
Successful societies recognize the rights of women;
And instead of directing hatred and resentment against others, successful societies appeal to the hopes of their own people.
We at the Moment of truth project understand that without these ingredients, counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency efforts alone will not create a safe society. We also understand that without striving to make these principles a reality, elections alone will not make a true democracy.
National Economist And Political Analyst
Investment in the Future
Moment of truth project serves as a beacon to all those who would work with us to help promote Somali tolerance, plurality and education. We understand that decades of violence have deeply affected the country’s ability to rebuild and sustain itself. Because of this, the MTP’s highest priority will continue to be to develop inclusive education and training programs that will help ensure the nation’s needs are met; particularly with regard to vulnerable populations. At the same time, the founding members of the MTP recognize the critical need for encouraging economic recovery as a basic cornerstone for fostering Somali reconciliation. Thus, we will continue to work with all who would engage in voluntary coordinated social and economic development .
This will be a massive and difficult undertaking. However, it is worth our effort – it is worth our sacrifice – because we know the stakes. The failure of democracy in Somalia would embolden terrorists around the world, increase dangers to the Somali people and the international community, and extinguish the hopes of millions in the region. But, with our help, democracy in Somali will succeed and that success will send forth the news – around the world – that freedom can be the future of every nation.
National Economist And Political Analyst
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