Delivered by H.E. Amiera Alhefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative
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At the outset, I thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Volker Perthes, for his briefing on the latest developments in Sudan and for his tireless efforts. We affirm the importance of the joint efforts of the UN Integrated Transition Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), the African Union (AU), and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in the facilitation of indirect intra-Sudanese talks, which started this month. We also welcome the representative of Sudan, Ambassador Al-Harith Mohamed, to his first Council meeting.
As we consider the renewal of the mandate of UNITAMS in early June, in which we look forward to the consultations to be held constructively, we would like to share three key observations.
First, on the political process, the UAE welcomes the concerted tripartite efforts in engaging with Sudanese political parties and stakeholders. This approach shows the potential for the active engagement of regional organizations to help Sudanese stakeholders forge a common understanding and build consensus on the main tracks of Sudan’s transitional process, which includes transitional constitutional arrangements, the formation of the government, and an electoral timeline.
We also view the recent release of several political detainees as a step towards building trust and confidence between the Sudanese parties and paved the way for the indirect talks between the parties. We stress the importance of ensuring the meaningful participation of women, as well as the inclusion of youth, throughout the process, to move the transitional period forward in a sustainable manner. The UAE also stresses that this process must remain Sudanese-owned and led, to truly fulfil the aspirations of the Sudanese people.
Second, in light of the alarming economic situation, The UAE believes that debt relief packages and development assistance from International Financial Institutions and other international donors remain critical to prevent Sudan’s economy from collapsing. As the international community considers how to best assist Sudan through the political process, we must ensure that the urgency of the current economic situation is taken into account, especially given its severe impact on the lives and livelihoods of the Sudanese people. The United Nations estimates that 39 percent of Sudan’s population will be food insecure by September, while the existing Humanitarian Response Plan is currently only 13 percent funded. In addition, the continued suspension of international assistance is negatively affecting the dire economic situation in Sudan, which is already exacerbated by the current geopolitical tensions, climate change, and the disruption of the agricultural season.
Third, we are aware of the important steps taken by Sudan to address current security challenges, including efforts to de-escalate tensions in the Darfur region, where recent clashes have claimed many lives. In this context, we are encouraged by the government efforts to move forward with transitional security arrangements for Darfur under the Juba Peace Agreement, including the gradual operationalization of the Permanent Ceasefire Committee (PCC). In this regard, the Darfur PCC has a critical role to play in investigating ceasefire violations.
In conclusion, the UAE continues to underscore the need to support Sudan in its efforts to achieve sustainable peace and security, including by addressing the economic conditions that are affecting disproportionately the most vulnerable. We therefore reiterate our call for the international community, including the Council, to support the aspirations of the Sudanese people in a manner that respects Sudan’s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and national unity.
Thank you, Madam President.