Statement by Ambassador Wittig on Sudan in the Security Council's Meeting
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This is the first time that Germany is taking the floor in a formal meeting of the Council as one of the new non-permanent members. Allow me to express my country's determination to assume the responsibility associated with membership in the Security Council. Germany will contribute to the work of the Security Council in the interest of the United Nations as a whole.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Haile Menkerios and to President Benjamin Mkapa for their informed and encouraging briefings.
Germany welcomes the peaceful voting during the referendum and joins others in congratulating the parties to the CPA and the people of Sudan. Germany also extends her gratitude to the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission in Khartoum and the Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau in Juba. Without their tireless efforts and careful preparations, this success would not have been possible. Germany is also grateful for the invaluable contribution of the United Nations Mission to Sudan under the leadership of Special Representative Menkerios. We commend all domestic and international monitoring teams that followed the process closely.
Germany took part in the observer mission of the European Union. We are proud to have been able to thus contribute to the success of the referendum process. My country also supported voter education and continues to support the Southern Sudanese Police Forces and is engaging in an intense political dialogue with the parties.
All parties in the Sudan now need to continue to co-operate in good faith in the resolution of their differences. Multiple and serious challenges remain: The violence in Abyei during the first days of the referendum demonstrated that a swift and durable solution of the question of Abyei is of utmost importance. We urge all parties in the area to refrain from using violence and to seek peaceful solutions to their conflicts. We urgently call upon the CPA parties to reach an agreement on Abyei as well as on other remaining CPA and post-referendum-issues such as citizenship, the rights of Northerners in the South and of Southerners in the North, wealth sharing, border demarcation, security arrangements. All these issues have the potential to undo the progress realized so far.
We therefore suggest that the Sudan Consultative Forum under the joint chairmanship of Thabo Mbeki as Head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan and the UN meet at the earliest convenience to address these questions.
The parties and the Security Council also need to look beyond the CPA and be prepared to act swiftly to address the challenges ahead and prevent future conflict. In any event, the Security Council and the international community will have to continue and extend their support to institution building in South Sudan.
Furthermore, we must not lose sight of the development in the Northern part of Sudan. It is in the interest of regional stability to provide a perspective there, including an economic perspective to master the upcoming challenges. Debt relief, free trade and economic and development cooperation in the North and the South are necessary to open a path to a peaceful and prosperous future.
The positive news on the referendum must not divert our attention from the situation in Darfur. We are very concerned about the continuing violence in this region and the displacement of thousands of people. The situation of children in particular should be one of our primary concerns. We call upon all parties to the conflict to fully respect the humanitarian principles, including humanitarian access.
We are especially concerned about the abduction of three Bulgarian Members of the UN Humanitarian Air Service in Darfur by an unidentified armed group. We demand their immediate release.
We also repeat that those responsible for the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole committed in Darfur must be brought to justice. In this context, we recall Security Council Resolution 1593.
We support the Doha peace talks and call upon all parties to participate in the peace process hosted by the Government of Qatar and to co-operate with the joint UN-AU mediator Bassolé. We expect all parties to carefully study the proposals elaborated by the mediation in Qatar and urge all parties to the conflict in Darfur to continue negotiations and to conclude a ceasefire agreement immediately and without preconditions.
We repeat our calls to ensure full and unhindered access for UNAMID throughout the mission area. While we support all efforts of UNAMID, particular attention must be paid to the mission’s core mandate, the protection of civilians and humanitarian access.
For several years now, the Security Council has been assuming responsibility for the situation in Sudan and the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that led to the Southern Sudan referendum. The determination and the unity of the Council have been key to the negotiations and the preparations that preceded the referendum. The parties of the CPA were always able to count on the support of the Council. At the same time it was very clear what the Council expected from the parties in Sudan.
By holding this meeting today, three days after the polling has been concluded, the Security Council again sends a strong message of concern and responsibility to the parties and people in Sudan.
The referendum in Sudan shows what the Council can achieve for the maintenance of international peace and security, if it acts timely, united and with clear messages. We all know that huge challenges remain for peace and stability in Sudan. Germany is ready to contribute to the work of the Security Council towards a peaceful and prosperous future of Sudan.
Thank you, Mr. President.