Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Istanbul, Turkey----The first-ever Global Somali Diaspora Conference was held on 21st – 22nd of June 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey. The conference, which was the culmination of many consultations and smaller meetings among Somali Diaspora over the past year, was attended by 100 leaders, activists, professionals and community representatives from Australia, Asia, North America, Europe and Africa. The participants of the Conference agreed on the importance of a unified global Somali Diaspora Organization and resolved to create an organization named “Global Somali Diaspora”.
The conference was addressed by the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey H.E. Professor, Dr. Emrullah Isler, Former Somali Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Osman Jama Ali (Kallun), H.E. Maryam Qasim, the former minister of social services, Turkish Diaspora Agency Vice President Mr. Mehmet Kose, Somali Ambassador to Turkey, H.E. Mohamed Mursal, Turkish Ambassador to Somalia, H.E. Dr. Cemalettin Kani Torun, and many other notable speakers. A memorable performance was provided by the Somali composer, singer and song-writer Al-Ustad Ahmed Naji Saad.
After two days of deliberations, participants resolved to:
I. Form a global Somali Diaspora organization with chapters around the world that connects communities and mobilses them for a positive action.
II. Express profound gratitude to the government and people of Turkey for hosting the conference and the warm hospitality.
The Global Somali Diaspora organization is a membership-based, nonpolitical, advocacy organization that strives to become a home for all peoples of Somali origin. It will work with all governments, regions, groups and organizations for the betterment of Somali people.
The objectives of this organization are:
1. To mobilize, organize and empower the Somali communities in the diaspora.
2. To promote the language, culture and heritage of Somali people.
3. To provide a voice and advocacy for all issues pertinent for the Somali communities in the Diaspora and in the homeland.
The new Global Somali Diaspora organization has Board of Trustees and Board of Advisors each comprising of 9 people representing the five continents. Mr. Abdi Barud (Hariir) of Bristol, UK was elected as an Executive Director and Mr. Sadik Warfa of Minnesota, USA as a Deputy Executive Director.