Official speeches and statements - March 10, 2021
1. United Nations - Sudan - Statement by Ms. Nathalie Broadhurst, deputy permanent representative of France to the United Nations, at the Security Council (New York - March 9, 2021)
[translation from French]
I would like to thank the briefers for their comprehensive and interesting presentations.
I would like to stress four points:
France’s priority remains support for the democratic transition in Sudan.
The progress made over the past three months is very encouraging. I have in mind the formation of a new government and the extension of the Sovereignty Council, which includes representatives of former armed groups signatories of the Juba peace agreement. This government has adopted its program of work, with very ambitious goals, including consolidating the peace process. The unification of exchange rates, which was eagerly awaited by France and numerous partners, has provided a first sign of the political will of this new team.
Important steps have also been taken in the area of human rights. We welcome the authorities’ decision to ratify the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance as well as the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. We also encourage the authorities to continue their good cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. As we commemorated yesterday the International Women’s Day, allow us to reiterate our support for the elimination of all discrimination and violence against women and the promotion of gender parity, in Sudan as elsewhere.
Following the commitment made by President Emmanuel Macron, France will organize a high-level conference in support of the Sudanese transition on May 17 in Paris. This event will be an opportunity to solemnly mark the return of Sudan into the concert of nations, to encourage private investors to come back to Sudan and renew commitment of partners for Sudan’s foreign debt relief. This transition should contribute to genuine equality between women and men.
Efforts must continue and even broaden with regard to the peace process and the protection of civilians, which will be my second point.
We encourage the Sudanese authorities to move ahead with the formation of the Transitional Legislative Council. The participation of women must also progress, as the new Council of Ministers has not reached the 40 per cent threshold set by the constitutional document and the Juba peace agreements. The fight against impunity must also continue with the establishment of the transitional justice commission, the reform of the national human rights commission, and continued cooperation with the International Criminal Court.
In Darfur, the violence that occurred on 16 and 18 January and since then, as well as the looting of the Saraf Omra site, which was handed just one month earlier by UNAMID, are extremely concerning. France recognizes the willingness of the Sudanese authorities to take full responsibility for the protection of civilians in Darfur and encourages the government to continue to fully implement its National Plan for the Protection of Civilians, with the assistance of UNITAMS, of course. We further encourage those parties that remain outside the peace process to join it as soon as possible.
These efforts take place in a fragile regional context, as many speakers have pointed out.
We welcome Sudan’s efforts to host and offer protection to more than 61,000 Ethiopian refugees in the East, with the support of all of its international partners, including France, and the United Nations. We must jointly maintain these efforts to prevent any deterioration in the humanitarian situation.
We support the initiatives of the region and the subregion to ease the rising factors of tension, particularly with regard to the land dispute on the border between Sudan and Ethiopia, where the risk of escalation is very worrying. We call on all parties to engage in dialogue, but also to exercise restraint.
In this context, and this will be my last point, France supports the rapid operationalization of UNITAMS to continue United Nations support for the Sudanese transition. This requires first of all that Sudan quickly finalizes the status-of-mission agreement, which is the legal framework required for its action. UNITAMS has a broad mandate that enables it to support the efforts of all Sudanese authorities in addressing the challenges posed by the transition: support for governance and human rights, including the protection of children, support for the peace process, peacebuilding and, of course, the mobilization of economic and humanitarian actors. We therefore call upon Sudan to make the most of the full potential of this mandate, including in terms of capacity building.