Statement by Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane for the High Level Meeting on Sudan at the United Nations Head Quarters in New York, United States
24 September 2010

Vice President of Sudan, H.E. Mr Ali Osman Mohamed Taha
Vice President of Sudan and President of South Sudan, H.E. Saiva Kiri
Hon. Presidents
Hon. Prime Ministers
Under Secretary-General
Chair of the UN GA
Excellencies
Ladies and Gentlemen
 
I would like, on behalf of the South African delegation, to express sincere gratitude to the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, for organizing this High Level Meeting on Sudan on the margins of UNGA 65. The meeting takes place at a critical time in the history of the Sudan as we draw closer to the holding of the self determination referendum for South Sudan and the referendum for Abyei.

South Africa would like to commend both the National Congress Party (NCP) and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) for the strides they have made in implementing the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. There are still a few challenges remaining but we have confidence in the parties that those challenges will be addressed before January 2011 and that the referendum will be held on time. We would like to call on the international community to redouble its efforts in support of the CPA partners in ensuring that the Referendum is held in a peaceful environment and is deemed credible. As South Africa we would like to pledge our full support to the Referenda process in the Sudan and we are willing to render any necessary assistance within our capacities through our Independent Electoral Commission to the Sudanese that would enhance their work in readying themselves for the referenda. Furthermore as the international community we must commit to respect the outcome of the referendum whether it be unity or secession.

We commend the parties for agreeing to negotiate Post-Referendum Issues facilitated, including efforts by the African Union High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) under the chairmanship of our former president , H.E. Thabo Mbeki. South Africa views these negotiations as  crucial towards the holding of free, credible and fair referenda processes in the Sudan and maintain peace and security in the region.

Chairperson,

South Africa’s engagement in the Sudan has always been motivated by the desire to ensure peace, security, stability and development prevail in the largest country in the continent. The restoration of peace, security and stability in the Sudan will not only impact positively on the Horn of Africa region but on the continent as a whole, as conflict in the Sudan impacts negatively on the nine countries bordering the Sudan. In support of peace, we have contributed military and police personnel to the AU/UN Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). We therefore call on the international community to render the necessary support to UNAMID in order for the mission to be able to undertake its duties.

We have also engaged in a Capacity and Institution Building Project in Sudan aimed at capacitating Sudanese Officials, particularly those in the South, with necessary skills that they require to administer and deliver basic services to their people, thereby making the unity of the Sudan attractive. To date, more than 1 000 officials from the Government of Southern Sudan have been trained in South Africa. Many of these projects have been conducted in line with South Africa’s mandate as Chair of the African Union Ministerial Committee on Post Conflict, Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) of the Sudan. The PCRD Committee will soon undertake a visit to the Sudan to review the work of the Committee and observe the achievements and effectives of the programmes in place.

Chairperson,

We remain concerned about the security situation in Darfur and would like to call on all the parties to cease hostilities  and return to the negotiating table with the aim of finding a lasting and peaceful solution for Darfur. South Africa fully supports the Darfur Mediation process sponsored by the State of Qatar which is aimed at assisting the Sudanese in particular Darfurians to reach a comprehensive and an inclusive agreement to end the conflict in Darfur. We therefore call on all the parties who are still outside the Doha process to join, as we see the resolution of the situation in Darfur as integral to the creation of lasting peace in the whole of the Sudan.
 
It is my hope Chairperson, that when we conclude this meeting we would have agreed on clear strategies of assisting  the Sudanese during the pre- and post-referendum periods.

I thank you.

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