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Statement Of The Acting Special Representative Of The Secretary-General For Sudan To The Sudan Consortium

Following is the text of remarks given by Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan Mr. Taye Brooke-Zerihoun to the Sudan Consortium on March 20, 2007:

Mr. Chairman, Honourable Ministers and Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen-

Thank you for the invitation to update this important meeting on progress in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement since this Consortium last convened a year ago.

Since then, much of the spotlight of international attention, and indeed the attention of many of us, has focused on events in Darfur - and for good reason. The UN Mission in Sudan has devoted
substantial resources to supporting the political process for peace in Darfur, delivering and/or planning the first two phases of UN support to AMIS - the Light and Heavy Support Packages - as well as planning with the African Union for the transition to a hybrid peacekeeping operation. But it needs to be stressed that these efforts make sense only if they are undertaken in the context of a
meaningful implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The CPA remains the bedrock for sustainable peace in Sudan. We must invest in it, and urge the Parties to do likewise. Only then will Sudan be able to return to peace and realize the tremendous Potential of its people.

The CPA is not simply a bilateral power-sharing deal. It provides for constitutional reform, for new national institutions that respect human rights and the diversity of Sudan's people. It provides for decentralization of government and fiscal reform, to help ensure communities benefit from their own resources and combat the tensions between centre and periphery that have often been at
the root of instability and conflict in the country. The CPA calls for reconciliation between peoples, and for the parties to work in good faith to address the outstanding differences between them. This
complex Agreement, which put an end to one of the longest and bloodiest conflicts in Africa, needs and deserves the sustained attention and support of the international community more than ever

Mr. Chairman, a little over two months ago, on 9 January, we marked the second anniversary of the signing of the CPA. Although progress continues to be made in implementation of the Agreement, there is wide-spread concern that the "spirit of Naivasha" has been largely absent. For the most part., the Parties have co-operated in those areas of implementation that shore up their respective positions. But there remains profound mistrust between them as was publicly aired in Juba on 9 January.

Some of the progress made in CPA implementation is noteworthy. On the power-sharing agenda, almost all of the commissions provided for in the Agreement have now been established. In October, the National Constitutional Review Commission was revitalized, with a mandate to
prepare the legal instruments necessary to give effect to the CPA. The National Assembly has approved some important legislation, including the law establishing the Civil Service Commission to help increase representation of Southern Sudanese in national institutions.

Equally, there has been progress on wealth-sharing. On 9 January, the two Central Banks jointly launched a new currency, the Sudanese pound, in line with the requirements of the CPA. After long delays, the National Petroleum has agreed on its rules of procedure, although it has yet to convene officially. On the other hand, the Commission responsible for overseeing transparent fiscal transfers to the state level the Fiscal and Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission - has begun its work.

On the security agenda, the conventional cease-fire has been respected by the parties except for the serious clashes in Malakal in November last year, which were unprecedented in intensity since
the signing of the CPA. There have also been localized and sporadic acts of violence, often attributed to the indiscipline of soldiers or militia. In all cases, the Cease-fire Joint Military Committee and its network of Area Cease-fire Committees have succeeded in preventing escalation of security incidents. Redeployment of the Sudanese Armed Forces from Southern Sudan is also making good progress, and completion of the redeployment by 9 July this year will be an important milestone.

However, peace is not simply the absence of conflict. It is much, much more. The apparent mistrust between the Parties has implied a lack of commitment to genuine partnership and to the qualitative
objectives of the CPA: political inclusion, democratic governance and protection of human rights. It has also constrained the effective functioning of seminal institutions like the Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC) and the Ceasefire Political Commission, among others.

Progress on the security protocol has suffered as well. The formation of Joint integrated Units is behind schedule. Although the parties have recently agreed on a common doctrine, most JID units on the ground are at best co-located but not yet integrated. Other Armed Groups continue to exist long after the deadline for their integration into one or the other party or their disbandment.  Moreover, some OAGs are still switching allegiance, perpetuating instability and insecurity, and fuelling suspicion about proxy forces.

Two years after the signing of the CPA, Abyei, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile have not received the attention they deserve. There is still no agreement on an interim administration for Abyei or on its boundary. Demarcation of the North-South border, itself is behind schedule, although the responsible Committee has recently made some progress in its activities. T he situation is further complicated by worrying reports of increasing militarization in the Abyei area, even while both parties continue to restrict the movement of UN MIS and its ability to monitor the cease-fire zone.

In Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, although both states now have a constitution and an executive, there has been little progress tow ards delivering the integrated administration and reconstruction
assistance envisaged in the CPA. A number of civil disturbances in recent months reflect the frustration of the people of those areas. It is vital for all of us, and the parties in particular, to pay
more attention to those areas and consider how best we can contribute to their stability.

UNMIS continues to support the CPA in all its aspects, including through monitoring of the cease-fire, and through participation in key commissions, notably the Ceasefire Political Commission. The mission also provides technical support in the areas of disarmament and demobilization, police development, rule of law, human rights, refugee and IDP returns, and local reconciliation, as well in the wider dissemination and popularization of the CPA.

Two years after the signing of the CPA, public expectations for greater stability, improved services, and enhanced livelihood opportunities, remain high. The delivery of these and other peace
dividends requires a significant commitment on the part of the Parties, and the sustained support of the international community. In this regard, donor support is critical, and the contribution of this Consortium is of the utmost importance.

Notwithstanding these problems and challenges, the achievements made so far in Southern Sudan are encouraging. Economic development has accelerated as movement of people increases and trade routes re-open. Through the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (South), UN agencies
have finalized arrangements to support government capacity building, judicial reform, water and sanitation, infrastructure development, livestock and the census in Southern Sudan, and more projects are in the pipeline. The slow process of design, approval, appraisal and preparation of grant agreements required for the projects funded under the MDTF current arrangements indicate a compelling need to introduce a more flexible mechanism in the MDTF to respond to urgent recovery and development needs. The agreed concept of two windows in future trust fund arrangements for Darfur should help us move faster to economic development in Southern Sudan, Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile and in the East as well.

Two years ago, the active engagement of many states represented here helped to bring about the signing of the CPA. The commitment of donors to support peace through well-targeted development and reconstruction assistance is a key provision in the Agreement. Today, that same level of engagement is more crucial than ever.

Let me conclude by sketching some priorities for the balance of this year. First, 2007 will mostly be the year of the security protocol. We must see Joint Integrated Units full)' formed and redeployment
completed. DDR programming must get off the ground in earnest and donors' contributions to this effort will be critical.

Second, there must be further progress on implementing the CPA in key areas, including agreement on an administration for Abyei, and development of integrated services and equitable development for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.  Third, we will need to begin to focus this year on the preparations for elections in 2009. Free and fair elections do not begin at the ballot box. A political environment that realizes the general principles of the CPA and the Interim Constitution must be created. Also, technical preparations including for a national census and a voter registration process would need to be accelerated. International support to these preparations is of vital importance, including through technical assistance to the Electoral Commission and capacity-building for political parties who must re-engage with their constituencies and develop programmes that reflect the needs of the people.

We all very much hope that the conflict in Darfur will find a political solution this year. Peace in Sudan is indivisible. The next steps towards implementation of the CPA, including the holding
of elections in 2009, would be greatly influenced by the political stability and security of the whole country. That is why the joint UN/AU initiative to re-energize the political process and bring
non-signatories on board is so important and deserving of the full cooperation and support of all stakeholders.

The CPA is the only vehicle for achieving the ambitious goals set by the Parties at Naivasha to bring about long-term peace, stability and sustainable development for all the people of Sudan. We must
recognize and credit the Parties for continuing to declare their commitment to the Agreement and its principles, even when - more often than not - the road ahead looks pot-holed and perilous.

We must therefore not relent from urging the Parties to adhere to their commitments, and should continue to work with them to facilitate the full and timely implementation of the CPA. Sudan's
immediate neighbours and the wider international community have a critical role to play and contribution to make in supporting the Parties efforts on post-conflict reconstruction. The UN Mission and the wider UN family in Sudan are prepared to cooperate with and support the efforts of this Consortium in our shared objective to help Sudan realize the tangible benefits of peace, stability and development.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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