President Mbeki’s Speech to the UN Security Council – Sudan
PRESENTATION BY PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI, CHAIRPERSON OF THE AU HIGH LEVEL IMPLEMENTATION PANEL FOR SUDAN TO THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL: UNHQ, NEW YORK: JUNE 14, 2010.
Distinguished Members of the Security Council:
We would like to thank you for giving us this opportunity to engage the Security Council on the issue of Sudan.
As Your Excellencies will recall, the last time we were here last December we informed the Council that the African Union had expanded our mandate to follow up on its decisions on Darfur, on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the process of democratisation in Sudan, and indeed our Panel has been doing what it can to honour this mandate.
In this regard I am happy to inform the Council that by common agreement, our Panel works in close cooperation with three institutions which are playing a central role in assisting the people of Sudan to resolve their problems.
I refer here to UNAMID, UNMIS and the AU-UN Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur, all of which are correctly represented at this meeting, and will address the Council.
I am certain that there is no need for us to convince the Council about the importance of this cooperation, which enables our four institutions to share information, coordinate their actions and support one another, while fully respecting their various mandates.
On behalf of our Panel I would like to take this opportunity once more to thank JSR Ibrahim Gambari, SRSG Haile Menkerios and JCM Jibril Bassole for the possibility they have given to our Panel to work with them and the institutions they lead, which, I am certain, will greatly assist in accelerating progress towards meeting the goals towards Sudan which are shared by the African Union and the United Nations.
In this regard I am certain that the Council is aware of the fact of the joint AU-UN meeting on Sudan held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on May 7 and the statement the two organisations issued at the end of that meeting, which reflects the scope of their shared understanding and coordinated approach.
Similarly, the Council will also be familiar with the fact of the May 8 meeting again held in Addis Ababa, convened by the AU and the UN, which brought together the representatives of the governments and inter-governmental organisations which are actively involved in work to help resolve the challenges that Sudan faces, including all the countries neighbouring Sudan.
We were indeed very pleased that this inclusive meeting again reached a common agreement on the approach towards the major challenges facing Sudan, and agreed that the AU and the UN should convene a bi-monthly Consultative Forum to ensure proper coordination of the interventions of the entirety of the international community.
Once again we are certain that the Council is familiar with the decisions adopted at this meeting.
The Joint Convenors of the Consultative Forum, the AU and the UN, are determined that this Forum should meet as was agreed and effectively carry out the principal tasks for which it was established, namely to ensure effective coordination of international action on Sudan.
As the Council is aware, the May 8 meeting agreed with the AU and the UN that the Global Political Agreement on Darfur should be concluded this year, ahead of the holding of the South Sudan Referendum. I am happy to say that the Government of Sudan has agreed with this proposal.
Accordingly, as did the May 7 and 8 Addis Ababa meetings, we fully support the Doha negotiations which are focussed specifically at concluding a Peace Agreement involving all the belligerents. We therefore fully support the efforts of the Joint Chief Mediator, supported by the Government of the State of Qatar, to bring all the belligerents into the peace negotiations, with a view to concluding these negotiations as speedily as possible.
Similarly we support the efforts of the Mediator and Qatar to mobilise Darfur civil society to support the Doha peace process.
Again as agreed at the May 7 & 8 meetings, we will take steps immediately to prepare for the convening of the fully inclusive process, in the form of a Darfur-Darfur Conference, targeted at concluding a Global Political Agreement. Again I am happy to inform the Council that the Government of Sudan has agreed to this.
In this regard I should also mention that when we return to Sudan later this month we will engage the officials designated by the Government of Sudan to work on the details relating to the implementation of the decisions of the AU on the issues of justice and reconciliation in Darfur.
Our intention in this context is that by the time the Darfur-Darfur Conference considers the item of justice and reconciliation, we should have agreed on all the relevant details with the Government of Sudan.
With regard to Darfur, we would also like to mention that again when we return to Sudan later this month, we will join the Government and UNAMID to consider a detailed programme to improve the security situation in Darfur. This meeting will also take into account proposals on this important issue which have been elaborated by the US Special Envoy, Gen Scott Gration.
Sustained improvement of the security situation in Darfur would help to create the conditions for the refugees and the IDPs to realise their wish to return to the villages from which they were forcibly removed. In this regard it is obvious that such voluntary return as may take place will have to be accompanied by a process of reconstruction and development to assist the returnees to resettle and build better lives for themselves.
With regard to matters relating to the CPA the Panel has convened for June 21 the first meeting of the teams which will negotiate the post-referendum arrangements, taking into account both possible outcomes of the South Sudan Referendum. This meeting will mark the beginning of the post-referendum negotiations.
As agreed with the CPA Parties, the Panel will then be on standby to assist the Parties in the event that they require intervention to resolve any of the matters on the post-referendum agenda.
Again as agreed with the Parties, the Panel will work with them to help resolve outstanding CPA matters, in particular the finalisation of matters relating to the North-South border as well as Abyei.
We will work on these matters together with UNMIS as we will with regard to supporting the newly-constituted South Sudan Referendum Commission, bearing in mind the urgency that attends all these CPA issues.
Similarly, later this month we will begin work especially with UNMIS and the Sudan Council of Churches aimed at helping to end the communal conflicts in South Sudan which continue to claim many lives.
We will also continue to work particularly with the Political Parties in South Sudan, as we did during the General Elections, to help prepare the conditions to ensure that the January 2011 South Sudan and Abyei Referenda are free and fair. In this regard we are confident that UNMIS will play a vital role to assist in organising these Referenda.
We will also continue to attend to the important issue of the further democratisation of Sudan. In this regard, in particular, we are working towards convening a Forum of the Sudanese Political Parties which will seek to develop a national consensus on the major challenges facing Sudan, including the process of democratisation.
Like the Sudanese themselves and our UN partners, our Panel is fully conscious of the complexity of all the matters I have mentioned and the time pressures under which the correct solutions have to be found.
In this regard, and to conclude, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the UN, the EU and other inter-governmental organisations, and individual governments, including members of this Council, for the support they have extended to the Panel to empower us to do the work expected of us.
We are pleased that both this Security Council and the AU Peace and Security Council remain seized of the question of Sudan, convinced that this will assist those of us on the AU Panel on Sudan, in UNAMID, UNMIS and the Darfur Mediation more effectively and expeditiously to discharge our responsibilities.