Speech at the Conference “Fostering Peace and Security in Sudan”
hosted by MEP Fulvio Martusciello at the European Parliament, 18 July 2023
Thierry Valle – CAP Liberté de Conscience
Speech 18/07/23 Sudan
The United Nations Security Council convened on 2nd June 2023, to discuss the ongoing situation in Sudan.
The members of the Security Council recalled the previous Press Statement issued on 15 April 2023, expressing deep concern regarding the continued military clashes between the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces.
I will summarize the key points and outcomes of the Security Council’s deliberations.
The Security Council’s position on the Condemnation of Attacks and Humanitarian Concerns.
The members of the Security Council strongly condemned all attacks targeting the civilian population, United Nations personnel, humanitarian actors, and civilian objects, including medical personnel and facilities.
They emphasized the importance of adhering to relevant provisions of international law and the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, including humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence.
Ceasefire, Humanitarian Access, and Political Settlement
The Security Council underscored the immediate need for all parties to cease hostilities, facilitate humanitarian access, and establish a permanent ceasefire arrangement.
They urged the resumption of the process towards reaching a lasting, inclusive, and democratic political settlement in Sudan.
The Council reaffirmed its support for the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) and called for its continued engagement.
Proposed actions to strengthen international coordination and cooperation
Recognizing the importance of strengthened international coordination and collaboration, the Security Council reiterated its firm support for African leadership in resolving the conflict in Sudan.
They acknowledged the African Union Roadmap for the Resolution of the Conflict in Sudan and welcomed its efforts to establish an Expanded Mechanism and Core Group.
The Council also commended ongoing endeavors to secure a viable peace process and support the resumption of Sudan’s transition to democracy.
They highlighted the significance of the Ministerial Special Session on Sudan held on 20 April and the African Union Peace and Security Council Summit on 27 May 2023, which reaffirmed the elements outlined in the African Union Roadmap.
The Jeddah Declaration and Ceasefire Implementation
The Security Council welcomed the signature of the Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan, known as the “Jeddah Declaration,” on 11 May in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The 2 signatories acknowledged their responsibilities and commitments under international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
The Council called upon the signatories to fulfill these obligations.
The Impact on Neighboring Countries and Humanitarian Assistance
Expressing concern over the impact of the conflict on neighboring countries, the Security Council encouraged international and regional organizations, as well as UN member states, to swiftly respond to emergent humanitarian needs in Sudan and its neighboring nations.
The Council called for increased contributions to address humanitarian needs.
They emphasized the importance of honoring all pledges in full and in a timely manner, ensuring the provision of humanitarian assistance both within Sudan and neighboring countries.
The Support for the Juba Peace Agreement and Sovereignty of Sudan
Reaffirming their strong commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence, and territorial integrity of the Republic of Sudan, the members of the Security Council emphasized the significance of the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA) signed on 3 October 2020.
They stressed that the JPA remains binding for all signatories and must be implemented fully, particularly its provisions on a permanent ceasefire in Darfur.
The United Nations Security Council acknowledges the urgent need to address the ongoing conflict in Sudan and highlights the importance of upholding international law, protecting civilians, and ensuring unhindered humanitarian access.
The Council reiterates its commitment to supporting Sudan’s transition to democracy and calls for concerted efforts from international and regional actors to facilitate a peaceful resolution and restore stability in the region.
On 19 June 2023 I attended the interactive dialogue about human rights in Sudan of the 53rd session of the Human Rights Council.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, described the conflict as reckless and senseless, occurring within a context of impunity.
The situation in Sudan was characterized by a devastating human rights and humanitarian crisis, unfolding rapidly and on an alarming scale.
The conflict had resulted in widespread suffering, with numerous civilians losing their lives or being injured. Millions of people required urgent humanitarian assistance, but the delivery of aid was hindered in many areas.
He also called for prompt and impartial investigations into alleged human rights violations and stressed the need to end impunity.
Mohamed Belaiche, Special Representative of the Chairperson and Head of the African Union Liaison Office in Sudan rejected a military solution and advocated for a consensual political dialogue to address the crisis.
He emphasized the African Union’s commitment to implementing its roadmap for peace in the region and cooperating with the efforts of the Council.
During the Inter-dialogue many countries from the European Union as Lithuania on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and so on condemn the decision to expel the Head of UNITAMS Mr. Volker Perthes and called on all actors involved to cease the armed confrontations, safeguard civilians, and stop any attack on critical civilian infrastructures.
I personally think that during this Interactive Dialogue, it is regrettable that only one of the parties involved in this conflict was able to be heard during this session on Sudan.
Only Mr. Hassan Hamid Hassan, Permanent Representative of Sudan to the United Nations Office at Geneva, was present.
I think it is a pity that, in a bid to launch a peace process, the opportunity to hear the two protagonists was missed.
As many member states at this Interactive Dialogue stressed, the peace process will require the two protagonists to come together to find a peaceful solution and, above all, the establishment of a democratically elected civilian government.