New York, 16 November 2010
Statement by H.E. Mr. Sven Alkalaj, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina
at the UN Security Council Debate
on Reports of the Secretary-General on the Sudan
At the outset, let me thank the delegation of the United Kingdom, led by the Right Honourable William Hague, for convening this meeting, and the other members of the Council for their participation at a very high level.
It is my pleasure to speak on behalf of Bosnia and Herzegovina, striving to give our contribution to this timely and important debate. I sincerely hope this meeting, as a collective effort of the Security Council, will bring positive energy and encouragement for the people of the Sudan and help them overcome challenges at this critical juncture. I also commend the comprehensive statement of the Secretary-General and his creative involvement and leadership in this process.
The parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) have implemented many of its provisions, and now the time has come for the final phase that will chart the future of the Sudanese people.
Therefore it is of crucial importance that the final CPA provisions, including the referendums on the selfdetermination of the people of the Southern Sudan and on the status of Abyei, are timely and fully implemented.
Time and again, we have supported comprehensive implementation of the CPA. We consider that at this critical stage, it is of utmost importance for the CPA parties to redouble their efforts to address outstanding issues, in view of the fact that full responsibility for implementation of the CPA rests squarely with them.
For all the processes within the Sudan to succeed, open and extensive negotiations between the parties to the CPA on the post-referendum arrangements — including border management, citizenship, migration and security — are essential. Reaching an agreement on those important issues will create an environment conducive to the implementation of the final stage of the CPA, primarily for the successful conduct of the referendum and the implementation of its outcome. In that context, I express our appreciation to the African Union High-Level Panel on Darfur for the facilitation of negotiations between the parties.
We are concerned over the fact that referendum preparations are behind schedule. Our particular concern is the delay in fulfilling the Southern Sudan Commission mandate, as it could have a major impact on preparing and conducting the referendum on time.
We urge both parties to prevent further delays in the Commission’s work. The international community and the United Nations should do their utmost to assist the parties in their efforts. The engagement of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) and its technical and logistical support in the process of preparing and conducting referendums is indispensable.
With regard to preparations for the Abyei referendum, the situation is even more urgent. The parties therefore have to immediately address the issue of establishing the Abyei Referendum Commission.
We welcome the role of the Secretary-General’s Panel for the Referendums in monitoring and assessing the referendums processes. Due consideration must also be given to contingency planning for the transitional post-referendum period. We are encouraged that UNMIS and the United Nations country team have already commenced preparations for United Nations support in the post-referendum period.
During this critical time, we must not lose sight of the humanitarian situation in Southern Sudan, which deserves due consideration and the full attention of the international community. The population of Southern Sudan still needs the unwavering commitment of the humanitarian community. Sufficient funding for humanitarian needs must be put in place in order to ease the suffering of the affected population. By the same token, extensive development of the governance capacities of the Government of Southern Sudan, regardless of the outcome of the referendum, should not be neglected. In that regard we commend the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the United Nations Development Programme for their efforts in providing assistance to the Government of Southern Sudan.
As for the situation in Darfur, we reiterate our full support for the peace process in Doha led by the United Nations and the African Union and the mediation efforts of Joint Chief Mediator, Mr. Bassolé.
It is essential that all parties seize the opportunity offered by the Doha peace process, and we urge them to join that process without preconditions or further delay. As there is no alternative for lasting and sustainable peace in Darfur, the international community has to exercise its pressure on those refusing to do so.
We underline that it is essential to continue working towards a comprehensive solution for Darfur that would include a ceasefire and security arrangements, fair representation at all levels of government, reconciliation and economic development.
Addressing those aspects, together with the rule of law and justice — particularly ending impunity and holding all perpetrators of war crimes responsible — would offer a solid basis for sustainable peace in Darfur.
There is no doubt that the upcoming period bears extremely high risks but also offers opportunities. Primary responsibility for the outcome rests with, and is in the hands of, the Sudanese people. It is also important to emphasize that at this decisive time, the Sudan needs both the attention and support of the international community.
Allow me to conclude by expressing our strong belief that the Sudanese people have the strength and the courage to overcome all challenges and choose a better future for themselves and the entire region. As far as the CPA parties and their leaders are concerned, they must be fully aware of their responsibilities and duties towards their people and must govern their actions toward ensuring a safe and prosperous future for the country.
Finally, on behalf of the country that will preside over the Security Council in January 2011, I can assure the Council that Bosnia and Herzegovina will do its utmost to facilitate the efficient exercise by the Council of its role with regard to the foreseen referendum process.