Speech delivered by Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Chairperson of the AU PCRD Committee, on the occasion of the AUPCRD Ministerial Visit to Sudan, 26 October 2010.

  1. I wish to first express my gratitude to Member States of the PCRD Committee that you are able to make to the Sudan for this visit at short notice which, as we said already, was the decision of our January 2010 meeting.

  2. Overall, the visit was a great success.  Not only did it give us a lot of insight into preparations for the referendum and the status of PCRD in Sudan. It also affirmed to the Sudanese our commitment and that of the AU to support them during this critical moment in their country’s history.

  3. During our short visit in both Khartoum and Juba, we met with leaders of government in the North and the South.  We also met other important stakeholders such as the AU High-level Panel, the Referendum Commission, and development partners.

  4. We have agreed, as an outcome of our visit, to send a follow-up technical team of our committee whose main focus will be to develop a concrete plan based on our mandate and terms of reference.

  5. In my view as the Chair, this follow-up team should be assembled as soon as possible.  In terms of its composition, it should mirror the membership of our committee.

  6. My preference is for this technical team to prepare a document with a clear road-map for our consideration at our next meeting on the sidelines of the January 2011 Summit.

  7. I hope in considering the plan, the technical team will propose the holding of an African solidarity PCRD conference for the Sudan. 

  8. We should also consider, as part of the plan, sending missions to our capitals to mobilise African support for the PCRD effort in the Sudan.  We will count on the support of the Chair of the AU Commission and the Commission for Peace and Security in the advocacy campaign.

  9. I want to thank the AU Liaison Office as well as the AU Commission for their preparatory work without which this mission would not have been a success.

  10. We must also thank both the governments of the North and the South for receiving us and facilitating our work.

  11. Let me once again thank you and wish you a safe return to your respective countries.

For further information please contact Chief Director for Public Diplomacy Kgomotso Saul Molobi on 082 940 1647/ molobisk@dirco.gov.za

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
Private Bag X152

26 October 2010

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