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14 June 2010 - Security Council - Sudan - Statement by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(UN translation)

I wish on behalf of France, I thank you, Mr. President, and the United Kingdom for having made possible this discussion on the Sudan and for having invited President Mbeki, Mr. Menkerios, Mr. Gambari and Mr. Bassolé to participate. I thank them for being with us today.

As all previous speakers have said, the coming period is crucial for the Sudan and its people. We must be united, which means that all international community actors must work together, first and foremost of course the United Nations and the African Union.

Thanks to the joint United Nations-African Union forum set up following the Addis Ababa meeting on 8 May, structured and continuous coordination between the two organizations on all Sudan issues will now be possible, in particular on the referendum. We must take full advantage of this, in line with the principles of the United Nations Charter and Security Council resolutions. Being united also means ensuring coherent action by the representatives of the international community. As the African Union High-Level Panel reports, we cannot isolate the Sudan conflicts: they are all interlinked.

And we must be vigilant. As the Comprehensive Peace Agreement implementation period comes to an end, we must ensure, in accordance with resolution 1919 (2010), that all stages leading to the January 2011 self-determination referendum can be completed.

First of all, the Government of the Sudan must meet its own commitments. In the immediate future, the Referendum Commissions, which are key in organizing next January’s poll, must be established. France and the European Union are prepared to provide technical and financial support in organizing the referendum. The deployment of European Union observers could also help to make the process more transparent. In the run-up to the referendum, the parties must also make significant progress in settling outstanding post-referendum issues, which, as already noted, include demarcating the borders, clarifying the modalities for wealth-sharing and resolving citizenship issues. Postponing those questions will only raise questions about the credibility of the referendum.

The United Nations must also help in this process, both with logistical support for meeting deadlines and by making its expertise available to the parties. Here, we expect that the Secretariat will play an active role in supporting the parties. The Security Council should remain vigilant in the coming months, given the high stakes involved. France therefore calls for the Council to be given regular briefings and presentations on the progress in the preparations for the referendum.

Of course, the support of the United Nations should continue after the poll to implement the decision that the people of Southern Sudan will take. To that end, we have already called on the Secretariat to consider modalities for a United Nations presence following the interim period of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. This issue has already been properly raised by my colleague from Gabon.

Beyond that political support, the United Nations should monitor the humanitarian situation in the Sudan. In particular, given the reported deterioration of the humanitarian situation, the international community should consider how it can bolster its support for the development of Southern Sudan. The Council could consider that issue in the coming weeks.

Turning now to Darfur, it is essential that all parties participate in good faith in the negotiations led by Joint Mediator Bassolé and the State of Qatar. We encourage the African Union to continue its efforts to pursue this political process. A first stage has been initiated by the Justice and Equality Movement and the Liberation and Justice Movement with the signing of framework agreements with the Sudanese Government. Those agreements should be implemented as soon as possible. All elements of the Movement for the Liberation of the Sudan should join the process. It is unacceptable for the Movement to remain outside the peace efforts.

With regard to the situation on the ground, we must not accept that the free movement of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan and of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) should be impaired by Sudanese authorities and rebel groups. The Missions should be able to ensure the protection of civilian populations and to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance everywhere and without exception. In that regard, we are concerned about the issue of access to humanitarian assistance in camps in Darfur. We would like to have more detailed information in that regard, as well as in connection with the efforts of UNAMID to correct the situation.

Lastly, we should promote justice in the Sudan. We recently met with Mr. Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, whose briefing was damning (see S/PV.6336). We cannot expect there to be peace and stability without justice and without combating impunity. France supports international criminal justice, and we reiterate Sudan’s obligation to cooperate, pursuant to resolution 1593 (2005). In that regard, we are concerned about the Court’s new report to the Security Council underscoring the lack of cooperation by the Sudan (see S/2010/265). We should follow up that communication. We cannot remain silent. Moreover, international criminal justice to judge the most serious crimes should go hand in hand with the strengthening of the Sudanese justice system. That system too must commit itself resolutely to combating impunity and to developing a mechanism for reconciliation at the local level.

In conclusion, I would like again to say that France is prepared to participate in the joint efforts to be taken so that the coming deadlines in the Sudan provide an opportunity to bolster the stability of the region and to put an end to the suffering of populations, which has continued for far too long.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU