I want to thank ambassador Jones Parry for his briefing and I would also like to thank the Security Council mission to Sudan for a comprehensive report on a very complex situation. I commend the Council and the Secretary General for their active roles in the peace process for Sudan, as this is the second time the Council has visited the region to push the Sudan peace process forward.
My government welcomes and supports the analysis and recommendations coming out of the mission. The international community must face the coming tasks and challenges. The continued leadership of this Council will be crucial. You can count on Norway’s support.
The complexity of the situation in Sudan is best illustrated by the fact that three different peace processes are going on at the same time. Each has its unique character, but they are still interconnected. We must press ahead with implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the North and the South. We must get all parties on board on the Darfur Peace Agreement and get this complicated process underway. Initial talks for Eastern Sudan have been successful and negotiations will hopefully soon start in Asmara.
The Darfur conflict is at a crossroads. I want to pay tribute to the African Union for a tremendous job done, both in establishing and maintaining an important peacekeeping mission under adverse conditions, and in bringing the Abuja peace process to a successful conclusion.
The situation in Darfur is still very difficult. There is still broad scepticism against the DPA among the population. They look for guidance from the leaders who negotiated in Abuja. We must continue to push for a broad acceptance of the agreement. The door must still be open for the rest of the Darfur leaders to sign, but after a process where they can discuss and agree with the government the various concerns raised. Such a process must not, howevere, undermine the position of those who have already signed the agreement. Possible sanctions must not impede this political process, which should be an incremental part of the implementation and the Darfur dialogue.
The Government and those leaders who already have signed, headed by Minni Minawi, should under all circumstances start to implement the agreement. This will show the commitment of the two parties and also show the benefits of the agreement to the rest of the movements. Several elements are important here: to start the disarming process of the militias, especially the Janjaweed; to bring forward the Darfur-Darfur-dialogue; to deliver humanitarian assistance; and to actively disseminate the content of the Darfur Peace Agreement to the population of Darfur.
The UN, AU and the international community must help the parties to implement the agreement and should support all of these processes urgently. Norway will participate in these efforts. Security and protection for the population must be given a very high priority. AMIS must be strengthened, especially with increased responsibility for the AMIS police.
Only the UN, however, will be able to sustain an operation of this magnitude over the necessary period of time. Norway therefore supports the UN re-hatting of AMIS in order to protect the population of Darfur and to guide and support the implementation of the peace agreement. Norway is ready to participate in the expanded UNMIS for Darfur– hopefully within a Nordic framework. Our preparations for this continue with a possible starting point of January 1st next year.
Lastly some words about the north-south issues and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement: With all the difficulties counted, this agreement and the emerging political cooperation between former combatants show that it is - after all - possible to sustain the peace process for Sudan. The CPA is the main pillar of this process, and it must now be supported and strengthened by the agreement for Darfur and the East.
The implementation of the CPA is moving forward. We can now see progress on the security and withdrawal of troops from the south and the east. But the process is too slow with a number of difficult issues that need urgent resolution, such as Abyei, the Border Commission and the Petroleum Commission. The humanitarian situation is critical, not only in Darfur but also in the South and the East. Return of IDPs is very difficult and needs further support. Abyei’s lack of administration makes this particularly difficult. Norway will push for a full implementation of the CPA, especially through our chairmanship of the Assessment and Evaluation Commission. The international community must continue to stay engaged in the north-south issues and the implementation of the CPA, also through fulfilling its pledges made in Oslo last year. The Norwegian support to Sudan amounts to a total sum of 200 mill. USD over the last two years.
Thank you, Mr President