|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Members:||Mr. García Moritán
|Mr. Li Junhua
|Mr. De La Sablière
|Sir Emyr Jones Parry
|Ms. Wolcott Sanders
Adoption of the agenda
Security Council mission
Report of the Security Council mission to the Sudan and Chad (S/2006/433)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received letters from the representatives of Austria, Chad, Egypt, Norway and the Sudan in which they request to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite those representatives to participate in the discussion, without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members of the Council have before them document S/2006/433, which contains the report of the Security Council mission to the Sudan and Chad, from 4 to 10 June 2006.
I now give the floor to the representative of the United Kingdom, His Excellency Sir Emyr Jones Parry, in his capacity as head of the Security Council mission to the Sudan and Chad.
I would like to begin by thanking the colleagues who accompanied us on the mission and the Secretariat for all their support. As a written report has been presented and we had an opportunity to deliver some personal comments earlier, so I can be very brief.
The first point is to emphasize the value of such visits. The fact-finding on the ground, the messages we delivered, the manner in which the Security Council wishes to cooperate and work with the Government of the Sudan, in particular, and the way in which the cohesion of the members of the Council was enhanced by the experience all underline why such visits are crucial.
I can only apologize that the schedule did not turn out to be as measured as I would have liked. The net result was that the pressures were, indeed, very intense.
Three years ago, the Council debated whether or not it was right to discuss the Sudan at all. Since then a lot has happened, much of it good in terms of the agreements reached on the ground. But there are now in place a range of United Nations policies, working in cooperation with the Government and the people of the Sudan, aimed at trying to improve the situation there. They cover a multiplicity of objectives. They involve a range of actors. I would like in particular to pay tribute to the work of the African Union on the ground, but I would also note support from the European Union and other bodies.
What we all understood clearly was how complex the situation is and how interrelated are all the different aspects in the Sudan. But we also understood how it has to be set in a regional context.
All those things hang together. I believe one of the things that the Council will be looking for is advice from the Secretary-General about — in addition to Darfur, which is very much on the agenda at the moment — what we should be doing about the situation in eastern Chad, the assistance we need to provide there, and the wider issue of the relationship between the two Governments. The absence of a real relationship really does have a severe impact on the situation.
Fundamentally, the Council members expressed their support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Sudan. But I also wish to see a real improvement in the politics, the humanitarian situation and the security situation throughout the country. Our support for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Darfur Peace Agreement was evident.
That is why I believe we came away reconfirmed in our view that, as the African Union itself had decided, it was right that the United Nations should take over the peacekeeping operation in Darfur. That is the short-term objective; we debated it earlier this week in another forum.
I will end by stressing the wish that we all kept repeating and that is fundamental to policy: to see a partnership with the Government and the people of the Sudan. We cannot do that without the consent of the Government; that is obvious. But I just want to get across this simple message: our wish is to see an improvement in all the aspects of the situation in the Sudan. The United Nations should play its part, working with that Government and its people to provide the sort of future that we all want to see — the sort of future that we would like to believe the Government of the Sudan wants to see for all its people.
I thank Ambassador Jones Parry for his statement.
I now give the floor to the representative of France, His Excellency Mr. Jean-Marc de La Sablière, in his capacity as head of the Security Council mission to Chad.
My comments will be brief, since we already briefed the Security Council on 15 June on our visit to the Sudan and Chad. I shall, therefore, not repeat in detail what I have already said concerning the visit to Chad. But I should like to thank the Chad authorities for the welcome they gave us and to emphasize three points today.
I believe that, in the next few weeks, we should examine very closely the effects of the question of Darfur on the situation in Chad. In that regard, I should first like to recall that, during our contacts in Addis Ababa with President Konaré, the problem of the risks posed by a destabilization in Chad were discussed. The African Union people told us, through President Konaré, how much they were concerned by the risks that a destabilization in Chad could have for the entire subregion. I believe that, when we consider the situation in the Central African Republic in two weeks’ time, we should bear that issue in mind.
Secondly, the relationship between the Sudan and Chad has greatly deteriorated. In our recommendations at the end of our report, we have dedicated a section to that subject. I believe that one of the issues posed for the Security Council is the matter of the border. If, as we hope, the United Nations takes over from the African Union in Darfur, there will be the issue of implementing the Tripoli Agreement — an agreement that is not being implemented. I think that it would be good if, when Mr. Guéhenno and the Secretary-General make proposals to us, they include the issue of border control. For the time being, the recommendation we have made is that we study that issue.
Thirdly, I should like to stress that the humanitarian situation is very worrisome in the camps for refugees and displaced persons. We have also devoted a number of recommendations to that issue. We were struck by the question of forced recruitment and the problem of ensuring security for humanitarian workers. In our recommendations, we say that the Council must study ways to deal with problems concerning the refugee camps. Here, again, I believe that, when the Secretary-General submits proposals to us, that concern should be borne in mind.
I must say that I am concerned because there is an immediate and urgent problem. The Secretary-General may take the points I mentioned into account in preparing the transition from the African Union Mission in the Sudan to a United Nations force, all of which will take place in due course. Today, however, there is an urgent problem that we should be well aware of: we must find a solution to the issue of protecting the camps.
I thank Ambassador de La Sablière for his statement.
I now give the floor to the representative of the Congo.
I should like in particular to congratulate our colleague, Ambassador Jones Parry, who led the Security Council delegation in the Sudan and Addis Ababa, on the remarkable professional qualities that he displayed throughout our visit. Indeed, we needed those qualities of level-headedness and firmness so that we could be understood by our interlocutors.
Undoubtedly, sometimes we were not understood, but that was not his fault; he was precise and expressed our message clearly and positively. He was also firm with regard to our principles. Therefore, I wish to pay him a well-deserved tribute. I also appreciate his concise presentation of the mission’s report on the mission, which in every respect reflected the work we carried out on the ground in the Sudan, in Addis Ababa, with the African Union and in Chad.
During our travels, the African members of the Council mission informed all the interlocutors that they fully associated themselves with the Council’s approach to the issues discussed and that they had participated in the decisions taken. That indicated clearly to our interlocutors that there was no kind of plot or conspiracy against any African State behind the Council’s decisions. We wanted to stress that to our interlocutors.
Allow me briefly to comment on several points.
First, I think that we have had confirmation that we must indeed strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union. Proof of this was the dispatch of the joint mission to the Sudan immediately following the Council’s decision. That is very important, and we must continue to proceed in that manner.
Africa has stated that it would assume full responsibility for the decision to make the transition from an African mission to a United Nations mission and that it would take all appropriate measures to ensure that understanding prevailed in its contacts with all partners, in particular the Sudanese Government.
In that respect, I would like to announce that the African Union’s Peace and Security Council met on 27 June in Banjul at the ministerial level and adopted a decision on the issue of Darfur. Just this morning I signed a letter authorizing the distribution to Council members of the decision and of President Konaré’s report. Members should receive it during the course of the day.
Also, with respect to contacts with all the parties in the Sudan, we must continue our efforts, because there is much work to be done. We must provide reassurance to all our partners. This is not the time to throw in the towel.
Let me say a few words about Chad. Ambassador de La Sablière has accurately summed up our concerns with respect to that issue. At this stage, we are fully aware of the various concerns that have been expressed. We understand that there have been mutual accusations of interference by Khartoum and N’djamena. However, in that respect we referred them to the Tripoli Agreement of 8 February 2006. I have heard it said that the agreement was unsponsored, but it is a fact that when we were speaking about it — particularly when we were in N’djamena — there were indeed observers from the countries concerned along the borders. I would note in particular that Congolese observers were present at Abeche, pursuant to the Tripoli Agreement. Thus the doors are not shut. That announcement was made to the Chadian delegation, which went to Brazzaville immediately following our visit there. On 14 June it was recalled to that delegation that the African Union remained committed and that the signatories of the Tripoli Agreement intended to have it respected, as evidenced by presence of the observers.
Here in the Council we also adopted two statements on the issue. I would note that we were waiting for the conclusions of the fact-finding mission sent by President Konaré. I can say for certain that two days ago President Konaré went to N’djamena and told the Chadian authorities that the Commission was now in a position to issue its report. At that time we will see exactly what is involved. Thus work is continuing; it was neither halted nor hampered.
Finally, I should like to echo the concern expressed by Ambassador de La Sablière as to the question of international protection of the camps. I believe it important that we consider this question, and I, too, believe that the Secretary-General should make recommendations in that respect.
That is what I wished to say in addition to the outstanding presentation made by the head of the delegation.
Madam President, like other Security Council members, I should like to commend you for this mission. Our visit to the region was an important initiative that allowed us to take stock of developments in the Sudan and in particular of the humanitarian situation in Darfur; the agreement reached between the parties; the realities on the ground; and developments aimed at ensuring stability in the region.
We have also listened attentively to the views of the African Union, and we commend the efforts it has undertaken in support of the peace process. We note also the developments that have taken place in the relations between Khartoum and Chad and their implications for refugees and displaced persons along the borders.
Without a doubt, the visit was positive. We heard the views of all parties involved in the question of the Sudan. There were differences of opinion, in particular with regard to the tense relations between Chad and the Sudan.
The state of relations between those two neighbouring countries — the Sudan and Chad — is particularly important in terms of alleviating the situation of displaced persons. My delegation deems mediation efforts important so as to ensure that the parties can settle their political differences and, in turn, resolve the issue of displaced persons so that the latter can return home.
In the absence of such political solutions, the situation will remain tense, which will not serve the interests of displaced persons. We must also strengthen the Tripoli Agreement in order to resolve the humanitarian crisis of displaced persons, both in Darfur and in Chad, and address the consequences of a complex crisis situation. We welcome the Abuja Agreement, whose full implementation must be ensured, and we must persuade those parties that have not acceded to the Agreement to sign it.
We note that the Sudanese Government was the first party to become a signatory to the Agreement. In that respect, we wish to commend the Sudanese Government for the efforts it has undertaken in order to resolve the very complex crisis in Darfur.
With regard to the transition from an African Union to a United Nations peacekeeping mission and the difficulties that may result, we believe that a dialogue should be undertaken with the Sudanese Government in order to address any problems that may arise.
There is no doubt that resort to Chapter VII has had very negative consequences, as we noted during the visit of the Security Council mission with the Government and parliament of the Sudan. For that reason, we believe that we should build upon the positive initiatives of the Government of the Sudan in order to address points of contention in a thoughtful and measured way.
In any case, the issue that the Council must now address is the transition from the African Union Mission in the Sudan to a United Nations force.
I would first like to express the appreciation of the Government of National Unity for the importance that the United Nations and the Security Council attach to the question of peace in the Sudan.
I should also like to take note of the important Security Council mission to the Sudan. We consider it to have been a positive visit, because the mission was able to see the facts of the situation in terms of the implementation of both the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Darfur Peace Agreement. The mission held meetings with Government officials, various civil society groups and leaders of political parties and the opposition. We believe that visit will be an important step towards strengthening cooperation between the Sudan and the United Nations.
The visit to southern Sudan and the meeting with the First Vice-President of the Republic and President of the Government of southern Sudan and his colleagues enabled the mission to follow the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on the ground, to see the obstacles to reconstruction, rehabilitation, the return of refugees and internally displaced persons and the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process. It was also an opportunity to see how urgent projects are not being implemented due to a lack of resources resulting from the failure of donors to fulfil their obligations. The mission was also able to take into account the absence of all necessary basic resources and infrastructure in the south, which compounds the current difficulties faced by the Government.
The mission’s visit to Darfur made it possible for members of the Council to see with their own eyes the realities of the Darfur conflict, away from the glare of the media and publicity.
In addition to the statement made by the chairman of the mission, and the transparency that has helped us to understand the various aspects of the conflict, we also wish to note that the terms and definitions of this crisis do not convey the complexity of the economic, political and tribal realities of the conflict. I would also add the external dimension to that, which arises from tribal overlapping and cohabitation between Chad and the Sudan.
The Sudanese Government has always been proud to be a bridge of communication and association between our two brotherly peoples. However, the well-known domestic problems facing the Government of Chad have prevented that cohabitation of civilizations and cultures, giving rise to hostile actions and various accusations.
The Darfur Peace Agreement on the whole was a major historic achievement. It was the result of great efforts, during which the President of the Government of National Unity showed flexibility in order to reach agreement. The Government of National Unity emphasized that the Agreement would be implemented fully. At the same time the Government is keen to protect the Agreement from any danger posed by groups that oppose it, as well as from foreign hostile activities. The Government of the Sudan continues to expect that the Security Council will carry out its activities and exert pressure on the various parties that refused to sign the Agreement and are hindering its implementation.
Secondly, the Sudanese Government expects the Council to attach particular importance to the external challenge posed by Chad’s support for groups that reject the Agreement.
Thirdly, the Government expects the Council to support the African Union Mission and to conduct activities that conform to the Darfur Peace Agreement.
The Sudan is aware that its neighbour Chad, prior to its domestic crisis, had been making efforts to help resolve the conflict in Darfur. However, we must point out that the Sudan took the first step and undertook various initiatives to contain the crisis and resolve the conflicts within the Government of Chad. Sudan’s commitment to establish peace and stability in Chad did not take the form of a bilateral or regional commitment or initiative but was due to a strategic vision according to which internal stability in Chad is essential for the Sudan’s stability. The Government of Chad, a brotherly country, is fully aware of that fact.
I would like to briefly give some examples of the Sudan’s initiatives and its contributions during 13 years to preserve internal stability in Chad. I should like to point out that the Sudan did not raise the question of Chad before the Security Council because the African Union is working to resolve tensions between our two fraternal countries. However, our brothers in the Chad Government have forced us into this situation. I should therefore like to give a few examples of the Sudan’s initiatives to maintain stability in Chad.
First, on the initiative and sponsorship of the Government of the Sudan, reconciliation between the Government of Chad and opposition groups made possible the signing, on 14 May 1993, of the N’Djamena agreement between the National Front of Chad, led by Dr. Elharith, and the Government of Chad.
Secondly, the Sudan took the initiative to use its good offices to contain the dispute between the President of Chad, Idriss Déby, and his Minister of Defence, Abbas Koty. Those efforts led to the signing of the Tripoli agreement on 14 August 1993. The Minister of Defence was able to return to Chad under that agreement.
Thirdly, Sudan carried out reconciliation efforts between President Déby and the group of the national reform council. That resulted in the signing of the reconciliation agreement in 1995.
Fourthly, Khartoum supported the reconciliation meeting on 22 October 1997 between the Government of Chad and four opposition parties in Chad. That led to the signing of the Khartoum agreement between the parties and the return of opposition parties to N’Djamena, accompanied by a senior Sudanese official.
Fifthly, in July 1999 the Sudan sponsored reconciliation between Chad and the National Movement for Democracy and Development, led by the rebel Moussa Madela.
Those are just a few examples of efforts at reconciliation carried out successfully under the sponsorship of the Sudan.
Many agreements — at least, the initial contacts between the Government of Chad and its opposition — have been facilitated by the Government of the Sudan, and I shall not list them here. Chad has made false accusations against the Sudan concerning the Tripoli Agreement signed between the two countries. The Government of Chad has stepped up contacts with groups that have not signed the Agreement and are seeking to undermine it and to disrupt the peace emerging in Darfur. I should like to cite a few examples of the hostile acts carried out by Chad following the signing of the Agreement.
The Government of Chad is in contact with the rebel group led by Adam Bakhit, which opposes the Darfur Peace Agreement. It supplied that group with small arms and light weapons of various types in May 2006, encouraging the rebels to cross into Sudanese territory, where they carried out a military operation against the Bir Mazza and Graida regions of Darfur.
Secondly, the Government of Chad contacted the Movement for Justice and Equality, which, as members know, opposes the Agreement and has threatened to hinder its implementation. With Chad’s support and provision of armoured vehicles and personnel transports, the Movement carried out military manoeuvres and attacked various regions, particularly in Bahai. The region of Tultul, in Western Darfur, 15 kilometers from the town of Beida, was attacked with heavy weapons by a Chadian military unit. Nine members of the Sudanese army were killed and 14 injured, only two days after the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement.
It is extremely unfortunate that I must come before the Council to offer these sad details and list the hostile acts carried out by Chad against the Sudan and its people. We have no alternative, however, because, at a time when we are striving to help peace to take root and to assist the African Union in promoting such developments, the Government of Chad has referred its complaints to the Security Council.
The priority of the Sudanese national Government is successfully to implement both the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Darfur Peace Agreement. Two days ago, a high-level delegation of 60 representatives of the Sudan Liberation Movement came to our capital, Khartoum, to participate in five discussion groups to identify ways to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Darfur Peace Agreement. We will involve the opposition in the implementation of those Agreements so as to establish peace, security and stability on the basis of equality and peaceful cooperation and coexistence with all neighbouring States, without exception.
Consequently, the Security Council should take into account the fact that we have our own urgent internal priorities. The accusations made by the Government of Chad have also painted a false picture of reality. Chad should focus on its own internal problems and halt its hostile actions against the Sudan, especially given the fact that we have supported President Déby in his most difficult moments.
The Council should address the domestic and external threats to the Darfur Peace Agreement. The Government of the Sudan will continue to work with an open mind and in a spirit of commitment and to respect the African mechanisms in order to resolve the problems between us and Chad.
I wish at the outset to express the gratitude of the Government of Chad for the visit undertaken by Security Council members to N’djamena and Chad. On behalf of the Government of Chad, I also thank Council members, in particular Ambassador De La Sablière, for their kind words concerning the welcome they received in Chad.
I shall be very brief, as I do not wish in any way to open a debate at this meeting, whose purpose is to present the report of the Security Council’s mission. However, I would simply point out that we shall respond in due time to the accusations and remarks made by my colleague from the Sudan, and provide evidence to refute his statements.
I should also like vigorously to recall and to stress the importance that the Government of Chad attaches to my letter of 14 June addressed to you, Madam. We feel that the contents and tone of the letter merit particular attention with regard to the stability and security of our country. At the appropriate time, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Chad intends to come to New York to address the Security Council on this matter. I shall therefore say no more.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and the countries associating themselves with this statement.
Let me start by thanking Ambassador Sir Emyr Jones Parry for his highly informative and very useful briefing on the Security Council mission to the Sudan and the region. The European Union entirely shares his assessment of the situation and of what needs to be done urgently.
We have welcomed the Darfur Peace Agreement as the indispensable basis for peace and security and an end to the suffering of millions of people in Darfur. We will continue to work for its full and rapid implementation. We urge the remaining factions to commit themselves to the Peace Agreement and we call on all parties to implement it without delay.
There still are a number of misunderstandings in the Sudan about the Darfur Peace Agreement and the role of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and the United Nations. We therefore need to explain the Agreement and its benefits better to the people in the region. The refugees and internally displaced persons in the camps, as well as the civilians outside the camps, need an urgent and visible improvement in their living conditions. The following steps are imperative.
First, the worsening humanitarian situation demands immediate action. Attacks on humanitarian workers must be stopped immediately. The European Union calls on the Government of the Sudan and all parties in Darfur immediately to remove existing obstacles to the delivery of aid and to end any obstruction of humanitarian work or assistance rendered to AMIS.
Secondly, protection of civilians must be provided and impunity for abuses ended. We call on the Government of the Sudan to bring the perpetrators to justice for crimes committed in Darfur and to stop the violence against internally displaced persons, especially sexual violence against women and girls. Protection of victims and witnesses needs urgently to be strengthened. We reiterate our full support for the ongoing investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and urge all parties, in particular, the Government of the Sudan, to fully cooperate with the ICC.
Thirdly, the African Mission in Sudan (AMIS) needs to be strengthened in order to be able to fulfil its mandate, taking into account, in particular, the new tasks arising from the Darfur Peace Agreement. The European Union will continue to provide planning, technical, financial and equipment support to both the military and police components of AMIS. Together with the African Union and the United Nations, the European Union is organizing a conference on AMIS on 18 July in Brussels.
Fourthly, we must ensure a smooth transition from AMIS to a United Nations-led operation in Darfur. We are encouraged by the unity of opinion on this subject between the Security Council and the African Union. The joint United Nations-African Union assessment mission to Darfur, which has just returned to New York, has our full support and we look forward to its recommendations for a future United Nations mission. As Secretary-General Annan said last Friday, the situation on the ground in Darfur is indefensible.
If the Government cannot fulfil its responsibility to protect its own citizens, it has an obligation to accept outside help. We therefore strongly urge the Government of the Sudan to accept the help of the United Nations and to welcome the planned United Nations mission in Darfur. We continue to believe that sanctions must be applied against those who impede the peace process. We welcome the action taken by the Security Council so far.
The international community needs to show strong continued commitment to secure peace and long-term development in Darfur. The European Union is ready to respond positively to requests for support for the implementation of the Agreement, including the Darfur-Darfur dialogue, which plays a crucial role in involving civil society in the implementation process. We need to establish the structures of this dialogue so that it can begin its work promptly. The Pledging Conference on the reconstruction and development of Darfur, to be organized by the Netherlands, needs the support of the whole international community.
The European Union remains deeply concerned about the regional destabilization caused by the Darfur crisis and by the increasing insecurity in the refugee camps in Chad. The Security Council’s missions report bears testimony to the appalling situation in the refugee camps, the suffering of the local population in Chad and the danger of the camps serving as recruiting centres. We call on the Sudan and Chad to comply fully with their obligations set out in the Tripoli Agreement of 8 February 2006 to put an end to any support for rebel groups in the other country.
At the same time, the situation in Southern Sudan remains fragile. The implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) is behind schedule. Difficult issues remain to be resolved. The European Union reaffirms its commitment to continue supporting the implementation of the Agreement. It offers the only way to a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Sudan. In this context, we welcome the agreement on a ceasefire and a framework for peace talks between the Sudanese Government and the Eastern Front. We call on both sides to start substantive negotiations in good faith immediately and to invite international observers to this process.
The problem of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) needs specific attention. We recognize the intentions of the Government of South Sudan to persuade the LRA to enter into serious peace negotiations with the Government of Uganda. We hope that this can lead to a dissolution of the LRA, while scrupulously respecting the arrest mandates and injuctions from the ICC.
In conclusion, the European Union would like to stress that it is our collective duty to make sure that all players involved understand that accepting the help of the United Nations in Darfur is in their own best interest.
The situation in the Darfur region of the Sudan is entering an important phase of transition from armed conflict, disorder and human catastrophe to an emerging glimpse of hope that the conflict is coming to an end, and that incremental steps are being taken to restore calm and stability and to achieve national reconciliation. Undoubtedly, the current phase of the Darfur problem presents a significant challenge for the Sudanese, the African continent and the international community. Such challenge is manifested in whether we can fully benefit from the experience we gained over the past two years in addressing the situation in Darfur, where the international community lacked the ability to comprehend the particular character and the historical, geographic and demographic circumstances in the region. Therefore, the manner in which the international community sought to address the conflict in that region was both unconvincing and inefficient.
In this context, we believe that the current phase will require an agreement among us all on a number of priorities that would provide for a new framework for addressing the problem, guarantee the best possible utilization of the momentum resulting from the signing of the Darfur peace agreement and create a space of trust between the Sudanese parties and the international community in their quest for stabilizing the region. This should include the settlement of all outstanding issues between the Sudan and its neighbours, particularly Chad.
To this end, I wish to present the views of Egypt on those priorities, which we believe should be addressed and supported by the United Nations in a parallel and integrated manner.
First, the point of departure must be the assistance we should provide to the Government of National Unity in the Sudan to reinforce its ability to address the situation in Darfur. That should involve a clear approach that does not undermine the country’s sovereignty or territorial integrity. The approach should not exacerbate the situation on the ground but should be based on an all-inclusive peace agreement.
Secondly, we need to improve the difficult humanitarian situation in Darfur. That should take place within a framework of enhanced understanding and constructive cooperation with the Sudanese parties aimed at increasing the level of humanitarian assistance and facilitating the access to and the delivery of such assistance to the needy in a manner commensurate with the dire humanitarian situation in the region, and in a manner that would lead to the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes.
Thirdly, we need to introduce a clear approach and to take significant steps towards the launching of the Darfur-Darfur dialogue, which should bring together all parties and tribes which were not party to the crisis and which did not carry arms. Such an inclusive approach will guarantee the launching of an integrated national reconciliation process, ensure justice and widen the base of consensus on the requirements for peace and stability within the unity and sovereignty of the Sudan. We believe that the relationship between the United Nations and the Government of National Unity of the Sudan, and with the people of the Sudan in general, must be based on a comprehensive partnership that can instil mutual trust and cooperation that would complement the efforts under way to convince the non-signatories of the agreement to join it and to refrain from obstructing its implementation.
Fourthly, we must embark on a process of formulating a comprehensive plan for reconstruction in Darfur within a more comprehensive framework of development in all the regions of the Sudan. Such an endeavour is essential for the elimination of potential conflict over resources, which might provide the grounds for renewed armed violence in the region. Egypt prepared an integrated programme with a view to contributing to reconstruction and development efforts in southern Sudan and began to implement it in cooperation with the Government of National Unity shortly after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The programme consists of a package of projects in the areas of health, education and infrastructure development. Egypt is currently preparing a similar programme for the reconstruction and development of Darfur, to be implemented as soon as the Darfur Peace Agreement becomes all-inclusive.
Fifthly, we must initiate, without delay, the process of strengthening the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) so that it can carry out its vital role in monitoring the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement during the transition period, in accordance with the enhanced concept of operations under consideration by the African Union Peace and Security Council. Our preliminary reading of the enhanced concept of operations suggests that that it would lead to the major transformation of the AMIS mandate — if AMIS were to become a full-fledged peacekeeping operation. We therefore stress the need for the parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement to agree to the proposed new mandate of AMIS.
In the meantime, we look forward to the international community’s providing political and financial support to AMIS. We hope that the forthcoming donor conference, scheduled to take place in Brussels on 17 July, will produce tangible results in translating such support into practical commitments.
Sixthly, we need to consider the Darfur Peace Agreement in an integrated and comprehensive context, taking account of other existing political and operational arrangements in all parts of the Sudan, particularly the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the positive developments in the talks taking place in eastern Sudan. In that way we would prevent too close a focus on one issue, to the detriment of other efforts to ensure lasting peace and stability in the Sudan.
The leadership of the African Union during the various stages of addressing the situation in Darfur has produced commendable results that reflect the solid will of Africa to take ownership of the means to resolve its own problems. Our continent expects from the Security Council, and from the United Nations as a whole, full and sustained support, as well as confidence in the ability of the organs and structures of the African Union to address the most difficult tasks before it. Our most recent experience during the critical phases preceding the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement proves that the international community’s support for the African Union leads to positive results. Thus, we look forward to enhancing the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union in the next critical phase in the implementation of all aspects of the Darfur Peace Agreement.
In this context, Egypt is closely following the ongoing consultations between the United Nations and the Government of National Unity, including through the contacts made by the most recent Security Council mission to the Sudan — about which we have just been hearing — in relation to, inter alia, the possible transition of peacekeeping tasks from the African Union to the United Nations. We hope that those consultations will be conducted in the most transparent manner and that the concerns of all parties will be addressed with due seriousness. We also hope that the Security Council will address all such concerns during the next phase with an open mind.
In this context, we welcome the conclusions made by the joint United Nations-African Union assessment mission during its most recent visit to the Sudan concerning the need for the consent of the Government of National Unity regarding the deployment of any peacekeeping operation in Darfur and its emphasis that the principal guarantee for the success of any such mission will depend on the Government’s full cooperation.
The situation in Darfur and the human catastrophe caused by the armed conflict in the region have touched the heart of the international community. However, we believe that the international community has a joint responsibility in this respect, particularly given the lack of a comprehensive and integrated vision and of a deep sense of understanding of the causes and the dimensions of that conflict.
However, the national, regional and international resolve shown in recent days gives us reason to hope for a settlement of the problem in Darfur. We would therefore like to emphasize here that all of our pronouncements and actions must be characterized by caution and determination. We must avoid oversimplification and a narrow focus in terms of the reality on the ground. In our view, that is the only means of reaching our common objective of alleviating the suffering of civilians and achieving the desired security, justice and development for all, as well as the maintenance of international peace and security within a framework that fully respects the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Sudan.
I would like to thank Ambassador Jones Parry for his briefing. I would also like to thank the Security Council mission to the Sudan for its comprehensive report on a very complex situation. I commend the Council and the Secretary-General for their active roles in the peace process for Sudan, as this is the second time that the Council has visited the region to push the Sudan peace process forward.
My Government welcomes and supports the analysis and recommendations emerging from the mission. The international community must face up to the coming tasks and challenges. The continued leadership of the Council will be crucial. It can count on Norway’s support.
The complexity of the situation in the Sudan is best illustrated by the fact that three different peace processes are going on at the same time. Each has its unique character, but they are still interconnected. We must press ahead with implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the north and the south. We must get all parties on board on the Darfur Peace Agreement and get the complicated process under way. Initial talks for eastern Sudan have been successful, and we hope that negotiations will soon start in Asmara.
The Darfur conflict is at a crossroads. I want to pay tribute to the African Union for a tremendous job done both in establishing and maintaining an important peacekeeping mission under adverse conditions, and in bringing the Abuja peace process to a successful conclusion.
The situation in Darfur is still very difficult. There is still broad scepticism regarding the Darfur Peace Agreement among the population. The people are looking for guidance from the leaders who negotiated in Abuja. We must continue to push for the broad acceptance of the Agreement. The door must still be open for the rest of the Darfur leaders to sign, but after a process in which they can discuss and agree with the Government the various concerns raised. Such a process must not, however, undermine the position of those who have already signed the Agreement. Possible sanctions must not impede that political process, which should be an integrated part of the implementation of the Darfur dialogue.
The Government and the leaders who have already signed, headed by Minni Minawi, should under all circumstances start to implement the Agreement. That will show the commitment of the two parties and also show the benefits of the Agreement to the other movements. Several elements are important here: starting the process of disarming the militias, especially the Janjaweed; bringing forward the Darfur-Darfur dialogue; delivering humanitarian assistance; and actively disseminating the content of the Darfur Peace Agreement to the population of Darfur.
The United Nations, the African Union and the international community must help the parties to implement the Agreement and should support all of the processes as a matter of urgency. Norway will participate in those efforts. Security and protection for the population must be given a very high priority. The African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) must be strengthened, especially with increased responsibility for the AMIS police.
Only the United Nations, however, will be able to sustain an operation of this magnitude over the necessary period of time. Norway therefore supports the United Nations re-hatting of AMIS in order to protect the population of Darfur and to guide and support the implementation of the Peace Agreement. Norway is ready to participate in the expanded United Nations mission for Darfur, hopefully within a Nordic framework. Our preparations for that are continuing, with the possible starting point of 1 January next year.
Lastly, I would like to comment on the north-south issues and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Despite all the difficulties, that Agreement and the emerging political cooperation between former combatants show that it is, after all, possible to sustain the peace process for Sudan. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement is the main pillar of that process, and it must now be supported and strengthened by the agreement for Darfur and the east.
The implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is moving forward. We can now see progress on security and the withdrawal of troops from the south and the east. But the process is too slow, and there are a number of difficult issues that need urgent resolution, such as Abyei, the Border Commission and the Petroleum Commission.
The humanitarian situation is critical not only in Darfur, but also in the south and the east. The return of internally displaced persons is very difficult and needs further support; the lack of administration in the Abyei region makes the situation particularly difficult. Norway will push for full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, especially through our chairmanship of the Assessment and Evaluation Commission. The international community must remain engaged on the north-south issues and the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement by, inter alia, fulfilling the pledges made in Oslo last year. The Norwegian Government’s support for Sudan over the past two years amounts to a total of $200 million.
There are no further speakers inscribed on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.