Delivered by: Ghasaq Shaheen, Political Coordinator
At the outset, I thank Assistant-Secretary-General Pobee for her briefing and I welcome the participation of Ambassador Al-Harith Mohamed at today’s meeting.
This week marks seven months since fighting erupted in Sudan, and life has been upended for the Sudanese people.
As the conflict continues to expand, violence, and increasingly sexual violence, is widespread. As ASG Pobee just mentioned more than 6,000 ncivilians, including women and children, have been killed since the fighting began in last April. I would therefore like to emphasize three points today:
First, we need a commitment from all parties to an immediate, permanent and sustainable ceasefire.
This is of the utmost importance to allow for a swift end to the violence that threatens the lives of civilians, as well as allowing for much-needed humanitarian assistance to reach those in need.
We reiterate our hope that parties engage in good faith in the resumed talks in Jeddah, which intend to help reach these objectives.
The discussions offer a chance to build upon the agreements reached in May as well as the Joint Commitments announced on 7 November.
We must also keep in mind that a successful outcome to the talks requires strong regional and international backing. African participation – through the African Union and IGAD – as co-facilitators alongside the US and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – is a welcome development to mobilize regional efforts in order to secure a lasting ceasefire.
Second, the commitments already secured in Jeddah by both parties must be upheld.
It is impossible to respond to massive humanitarian needs without ensuring safe and unimpeded humanitarian access.
The reported looting of humanitarian facilities and supplies speaks to the desperation and dire situation in which the Sudanese people find themselves. According to OCHA, at least 20 humanitarian aid workers have lost their lives since last April, and those still operating on the ground face immense obstacles in the delivery of aid as they are continuously subjected to attacks.
In the face of these horrific circumstances, we commend the efforts of the Sudanese civilians, including women and youth, who are actively helping in the delivery of humanitarian assistance across Sudan. This must be matched with a commitment by the parties to bring the conflict to an end , and by a strong emphasis on international solidarity with Sudan, given the funding shortages. We also call for the protection of civilians and humanitarian personnel, in line with international humanitarian law.
For our part, the UAE has prioritized the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and has provided more than 100 million US dollars’ worth of aid. This includes more than 8,800 tons of food, medical aid, and other relief items.
Third, given the regional nature of the crisis, regional leadership to urge the parties to cease clashes is an urgent necessity.
In this context, the “Neighbouring States” initiative led by the Arab Republic of Egypt is an important initiative that seeks to explore ways of ending this conflict and to address its repercussions on the region, as are the initiatives led by the League of Arab States, the African Union and IGAD. We reaffirm the need for coordination of all the mediation tracks, to ensure that regional and international efforts in the Sudan achieve their aim.
Finally, the UAE remains steadfast in its solidarity with the Sudanese people during these difficult circumstances, and reaffirms its full respect for the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Sudan.
We remain resolute in supporting all efforts to bring this crisis to an end.
Thank you, Mr. President.