Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, on behalf of Niger, Tunisia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and South Africa (A3+1), during the Security Council Meeting on UNITAMS, 25 September 2020
I have the honour of delivering this statement on behalf of the African Countries, Niger, South Africa and Tunisia as well as St Vincent and Grenadines (A3+1).
At the onset Mr President, permit me to express our gratitude to you for convening this meeting. Additionally, we would like to thank our briefers today, USG Rosemary DiCarlo; and USG Jean-Pierre Lacroix, for their enlightening briefings on the developments pertaining to Sudan and UNITAMS.
The A3+1 would also like to express our appreciation to the UNITAMS planning team for their efforts and consistent consultations in order to bring life to the envisioned special political mission. We are confident that they will successfully navigate the mammoth task ahead of them.
We, as the international community, have been steadfast in our commitment to assist in bringing about peace, stability and prosperity in Darfur for over a decade. It has been a turbulent journey, however, significant strides have been registered in the process.
It is in this context that, as we turn to a new chapter, namely the new Special Political Mission, we ensure that all of us continue to preserve the gains and continue to assist in bringing the peace that ordinary Sudanese have and still urgently yearn for.
In this regard, the Niger, Tunisia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and South Africa welcome the efforts of the Sudanese Transitional Government as it continues to pursue political reforms, make progress in the peace process and tackle the rapidly deteriorating economic situation.
Furthermore, we are also encouraged by the signing of the 29 August 2020 agreement with the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)-Minna Minawwi and SRF, and the 3 September 2020 agreement on principles that mark significant steps toward a trajectory to achieving lasting peace in Sudan.
The A3+1 recognise that the Transitional Government is operating amid conditions characterised by dire economic conditions, a COVID-19 pandemic as well as a tense political climate.
The SG’s report clearly highlights that “Spiralling inflation, continuing shortages of key commodities, a growing public deficit and dropping revenues have placed Sudan’s economy in a critical state.”
Consequently, the A3+1 calls for the lifting of all sanctions in Sudan as they have out-run their course. In fact, they are further hindering prospects for progress in the country.
The A3+1 welcomes the pledges made during the Sudan partnership Conference to assist with the socio-economic situation in Sudan. We trust that this support will aide in alleviating a number of the hardships that Sudan is currently grappling with.
On the security front, we welcome the Transitional Government’s efforts in working together with UNAMID to tackle the increased levels of intercommunal violence in the country as well as the steps made towards the national plan for protecting civilians.
As UNAMID draws down, the A3+1 encourages UNAMID to continue working with national and local authority stakeholders as well as the UN Country Team and other partners in protecting civilians and facilitating mediation and address underlying issues of access to land and resources.
The A3+1 looks forward to the urgent appointment of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to assume overall authority and provide strategic direction for all activities of UNITAMS, as well as fulfilling an advisory and advocacy role at the political level, and coordinate efforts of the international community in support of the strategic objectives of the UNITAMS mandate.
Sudan is geostrategic and shares borders with key countries in the region which are pivotal in unlocking the peace and security of the region and the whole African continent. It’s therefore imperative that we continue to ensure stability in Sudan. As Chair of IGAD, Sudan is critical in building cohesion in the Horn of Africa.
It is the considered view of Niger, Tunisia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and South Africa that the global environment remains difficult and uncertain. Thirty-two (32) Million people have been infected by COVID-19, one (1) Million have perished, all our economies have been battered.
None of us here, P5 and the elected 10 alike, could predict in September 2019 that in September 2020 we will be living in turbulent times occasioned by this pandemic. No-one. Sudan is part of this world we are talking about. So is Africa, the Caribbean, and all our countries and regions.
I thank you.
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
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