Statement by H.E. Dr. Michael Spindelegger, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria
SC - Debate on Sudan
New York, 16 November 2010
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I would like to thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Thabo Mbeki for all their efforts and for briefing us today. I also listened with keen interest to the statements by the Foreign Minister of the Sudan as well as the Secretary-General from SPLM. I thank Foreign Secretary William Hague for his initiative, which gives the Security Council an opportunity to issue a strong message of support for sustainable peace in the Sudan, and in particular the implementation of the CPA.
In the past few months we have witnessed some important positive developments. Let me mention only two: the elections held in the Sudan and the marked improvement of relations between the Sudan and Chad.
Although the implementation of the CPA has been laborious, much has been accomplished. We trust that both parties will fulfill their commitments to implement the CPA, in particular to undertake credible referenda and to abide by their outcome.An EU-observer team is deployed in Sudan this week.
Last week, in a conference that took place in Vienna, high-level participants from the North and the South demonstrated their consensus on one core point: Whatever the outcome of the referenda, the North and the South will have to strive for a mutually beneficial coexistence.
We all know what is at stake and what arrangements still have to be agreed upon. We welcome that progress in the preparations for the Referenda has been achieved. Still, further progress is needed, in particular in the preparation for the Referendum in Abyei. Preparations also have to take place for the Popular Consultations in the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States. The parties also need to prepare in a timely manner for the post-referendum phase. In that sense, we welcome the signing of a Framework Agreement in Khartoum.
Strengthening the rule of law, ending impunity and ensuring human rights for all will be important in this process in order to guarantee lasting peace and stability. The full inclusion of women in these processes is also of utmost importance.
Austria has offered technical expertise in the area of citizenship, and upon the invitation of the parties, has discussed this offer with interlocutors in the North and the South in October. We are ready to continue working with both sides in a transparent and open manner
We must work to avert conflict, to ensure regional stability and to protect civilians. Therefore, contingency planning by UNMIS is important. We welcome the implementation of the Comprehensive Strategy on the Protection of Civilians. Increased patrolling, especially long range patrols, and an extended UNMIS presence in remote areas and potential hotspots is very important. Freedom of movement is crucial for UNMIS to fulfill its tasks. We also believe that the participation of UNMIS in the regional strategy for the protection of civilians from attacks by the LRA is essential.
We are deeply concerned about continued insecurity in Darfur and condemn the abduction of peacekeepers, humanitarian workers and demand their immediate release. We also condemn the violence against civilians in and around IDP camps. We urge all parties to allow free access to everyone in need of humanitarian assistance. We are also concerned about the recent arrest and detention of human rights activists and journalists.
UNAMID has an important role to play in protecting civilians and needs the full support of the Government of the Sudan and all other parties involved. The safe and voluntary return of the high number of IDPs in Darfur must be ensured.The New Strategy on Darfur by the Government of the Sudan and its people-centred approach is a welcome step; however, we need all parties to engage fully and constructively in the peace process without preconditions. Also in this context, I would like to highlight the importance of the full participation of women in the peace negotiations on Darfur in line with resolution 1325, as well as an adequate participation of civil society.
Austria strongly supports the work of the African Union/UN Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Bassolé and the facilitation of the African Union High Level Panel under the leadership of President Thabo Mbeki. We strongly support all efforts to strengthen mechanisms to promote justice, accountability and reconciliation, in particular the International Criminal Court. Peace and justice must go hand in hand.
Mr. President, the primary responsibility to act lies with both partners of the Government of National Unity of the Sudan. Enduring co-operation between the parties will be essential for the benefit of all Sudanese people. Let me also assure you that Austria and the European Union stand ready to support every effort towards a peaceful future for Sudan. It is the aim of the International Community to create a “win-win-situation” for the North and the South.