11/06/2004
Press Release
SC/8120



Security Council                                           

4988th Meeting (PM)                                         


Security Council endorses establishment of 3-month advance team


in sudan to prepare for un peace support operation


With Resolution 1547 (2004), Adopted Unanimously, Council Declares

Readiness to Establish Mission to Aid Implementation of Peace Agreement


The Security Council today welcomed Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s proposal to establish, for an initial period of three months and under the authority of a Special Representative, an advance team in the Sudan to prepare for a future United Nations peace-support operation following the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement.


Unanimously adopting resolution 1547 (2004), the Council declared its readiness to consider establishing such an operation to aid implementation of a peace agreement, and requested the Secretary-General to submit to the Council recommendations for the size, structure, and mandate of that operation, as soon as possible after the signing of the agreement.


The Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) are holding talks in Naivasha, Kenya, to try to reach a full ceasefire and peace agreement.


By further terms of the text, the Council requested the Secretary-General, pending signature of the agreement, to take the necessary preparatory steps, including, in particular, pre-positioning the most critical logistical and personnel requirements to facilitate the rapid deployment of the operation.


In addition, the Council called on the parties to use their influence to bring an immediate halt to the fighting in the Darfur region, in the Upper Nile and elsewhere.  It urged the parties to the Ndjamena Ceasefire Agreement of 8 April to conclude a political agreement without delay, welcomed African Union efforts to that end, and called on the international community to be prepared for constant engagement, including extensive funding, in support of peace in the Sudan.


Furthermore, the Council requested the Secretary-General to keep it informed of developments in the Sudan, particularly on the Naivasha negotiation process, the implementation of the peace process and the execution by the advance team of its mandate, and to submit a report to the Council no later than three months after adoption of this resolution.


In statements after the vote, speakers welcomed progress made in the peace process, but stressed the necessity for similar progress throughout the Sudan, in particular in Darfur and the Upper Nile region and ending widespread human rights violations.


The representative of Algeria, recognizing the fragility of the peace process, called for mobilization of all resources to accompany the process in order to avoid a possibility of failure.  He would have welcomed mention in the resolution of such ongoing mobilization by the international community.


The representatives of United Kingdom, Germany, United States and Pakistan also spoke.


The meeting began at 12:33 p.m. and ended at 12:50 p.m.


Background


When the Council met this afternoon it had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the Sudan (document S/2004/453), in which he calls for the deployment of an advance team in the Sudan to prepare for a future United Nations peacekeeping mission, as hopes rise for a comprehensive peace agreement to end the 21-year civil war in the south of Africa’s biggest country.


The sheer size of the Sudan -– it is about as large as the whole of Western Europe -– and its relative lack of infrastructure means it is important that staff go in as early as possible so they can handle the inevitably daunting logistical challenges, the report states.  The planned sectors in a United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Sudan are each the size of Austria, which makes the tasks of monitoring and verifying any peace deal extremely difficult.


The future operation will face many tasks, including the coordination of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes for ex-combatants; the monitoring of ceasefire arrangements; the return of refugees and other humanitarian activities; the organization of elections; and the destruction of landmines.


The advance team should include experts in various areas, liaison officers, security staff and a strong mission support element, and would include up to 25 military liaison officers and military support elements.  The mission support element would necessarily need to be robust in order to provide the technical planners with effective support services, while it simultaneously continues the ongoing practical administrative and logistical preparations for the eventual smooth and timely establishment of the monitoring and verification peace support operation.


The report states that the Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) are holding talks in Kenya to try to reach a full ceasefire and peace agreement.  Last month the two sides initialled three protocols aimed at ending the conflict, which has had a devastating impact on the Sudan’s south.  More than 2 million people have been killed since the war began in 1983, 600,000 fled the country as refugees, and another 4 million people have become internally displaced.  The report also says the parties to the conflict in southern Sudan must do all they can to bring an immediate halt to hostilities in Darfur.


Draft Resolution


It also had before it a draft resolution (document S/2004/473) which reads as follows:


The Security Council,


Welcoming the signature of the Declaration on 5 June 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya, in which the parties confirmed their agreement to the six protocols signed between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), and reconfirmed their commitment to completing the remaining stages of negotiations,


Commending the work, and continued support of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in particular the Government of Kenya as Chair of the Subcommittee on Sudan, in facilitating the peace talks, and recognizing the efforts of the Civilian Protection Monitoring Team, the Joint Military Commission in the Nuba Mountains and the Verification and Monitoring Team supporting the peace process, and expressing its hope that IGAD will continue to play a vital role during the transitional period,


Reaffirming its support for the Machakos Protocol of 20 July 2002 and subsequent agreements based on this Protocol,


Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, independence and unity of Sudan,


Recalling the statements by its President (S/PRST/2003/16) of 10 October 2003 and (S/PRST/2004/18) of 25 May 2004,


Condemning all acts of violence and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by all parties and expressing its utmost concern at the consequences of the prolonged conflict for the civilian population of Sudan, including women, children, refugees and internally displaced persons,


Urging the two parties involved to conclude speedily a Comprehensive Peace Agreement and believing that the progress now being made in the Naivasha Process will contribute to improved stability and peace in Sudan,


Welcoming the Secretary-General’s report (S/2004/453) of 7 June 2004,


“1.   Welcomes the Secretary-General’s proposal to establish, for an initial period of three months and under the authority of an SRSG, a United Nations advance team in Sudan as a special political mission, dedicated to preparation of the international monitoring foreseen in the 25 September 2003 Naivasha Agreement on Security Arrangements, to facilitate contacts with the parties concerned and to prepare for the introduction of a peace support operation following the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement;


“2.   Endorses the Secretary-General’s proposals for the staffing of the advance team and requests in this regard the Secretary-General to conclude all necessary agreements with the Government of Sudan as expeditiously as possible;


“3.   Declares its readiness to consider establishing a United Nations peace support operation to support the implementation of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Council recommendations for the size, structure, and mandate of this operation, as soon as possible after the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement;


“4.   Requests the Secretary-General, pending signature of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement to take the necessary preparatory steps, including, in particular, pre-positioning the most critical logistical and personnel requirements to facilitate the rapid deployment of the above-mentioned possible operation principally to assist the parties in monitoring and verifying compliance with the terms of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement as well as to prepare for the Organization’s role during the transitional period in Sudan;


“5.   Underlines the need for an effective public information capacity, including through local and national radio, television and newspaper channels, to promote understanding of the peace process and the role a United Nations peace support operation will play among local communities and the parties;


“6.   Endorses the conclusions of the Secretary-General with regard to the situation in Sudan, in particular Darfur and the Upper Nile set out in paragraph 22 of his report, calls upon the parties to use their influence to bring an immediate halt to the fighting in the Darfur region, in the Upper Nile and elsewhere, urges the parties to the Ndjamena Ceasefire Agreement of 8 April 2004 to conclude a political agreement without delay, welcomes African Union efforts to that end, and calls on the international community to be prepared for constant engagement including extensive funding in support of peace in Sudan;


“7.   Requests the Secretary-General to keep it informed of developments in Sudan, particularly on the Naivasha negotiation process, the implementation of the peace process and the execution by the advance team of its mandate, and to submit a report to the Council no later than three months after adoption of this resolution;


“8.   Decides to remain seized of the matter.”


Adoption of Draft


The text was unanimously adopted as Security Council resolution 1547 (2004).


Statements


EMYR JONES PARRY (United Kingdom), speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, said the Council in the vote had demonstrated its unanimous support for the Naivasha peace process and the statesman-like role carried out by the parties.  The United Kingdom would look for further progress.  It was right that the United Nations should put itself in a position to support that process and the Government of Sudan to end the conflict that had run for such a long period.  The process, a special political mission and the readiness to consider peace support operations, were correct at the current stage.  It was also necessary to see similar progress throughout the Sudan, and important to recognize, in particular, the situation in Darfur and avert the humanitarian catastrophe in that area.


WOLFGANG TRAUTWEIN (Germany) welcomed the commitment for implementation of the future peace agreement in the Sudan.  When implemented, he said, the agreement would end a long-lasting conflict.  Long-lasting peace in the country, however, would only be possible when all conflicts in the country were resolved, including widespread human rights violations.  He, therefore, supported the plan of action of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for the protection of human rights in Darfur and welcomed in that regard the fact that the resolution made reference to the Presidential Statement of 26 May.


JAMES B. CUNNINGHAM (United States) drew attention to the statement issued yesterday by the Group of 8 (G-8), in which they welcomed the signing by the Government of the Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement protocols on power-sharing, among other things.  They had urged the parties to reach a comprehensive agreement that included a timetable and security arrangements as quickly as possible.  They expressed the hope that the agreement would end one of the world’s most painful conflicts.  They also expressed grave concern over the humanitarian, human rights and political crisis in Darfur.  They welcomed the announcement by the Government that restrictions of humanitarian access would be eased.  There were, however, continuing reports of gross violations of human rights.


He said the G-8 leaders had also called on the parties to fully respect the ceasefire, allow unimpeded humanitarian access to all those in need, and to create the conditions for the displaced to return safely to their homes.  They called on the Sudanese Government to disarm the “Janjaweed” and other armed groups responsible for human rights violations in Darfur.  They called on the parties to address the roots of the Darfur conflict and to seek a political solution.  They supported the African Union, as it assumed the leading role in the monitoring mission, and pledged their countries assistance in ending the conflict in the Sudan and to providing humanitarian aid.  They had called on all parties to respect the right of all Sudanese to live in peace and dignity.  They looked to the United Nations to lead the international effort to avert a major humanitarian disaster.


ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) welcomed the recent conclusion of protocols that paved the way for a peaceful settlement of the conflict, but remained aware of the fragility of the peace process.  The Secretary-General had indicated that the parties to the conflict and the international community must display unshakeable will and determination to implement the peace process in the Sudan, he said, and called for mobilization of all resources to accompany the peace process in order to avoid a possibility of failure.  He would have welcomed mention of such ongoing mobilization by the international community to accompany the peace process.


MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) said the civil war that had afflicted the Sudan for a large part of its independent history was most unfortunate.  Its consequences had been severe for its people and the region.  He welcomed progress made for a mutually acceptable settlement to the conflict.  Pakistan also welcomed the engagement of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and welcomed the United Nations commitment to support the peace process.


The resolution’s main objective was to welcome the recent progress in the Naivasha Process and to enable the deployment of an advance team, he said.  The cooperation of the parties would remain vital for the implementation of any peace agreement.  It was important to keep the Government engaged in the process.  The resolution had referred to the problems in the Darfur and Upper Nile regions.  The humanitarian crisis in Darfur had been initiated by an armed rebellion and escalated by the response.  It was important for the international community to generously respond to the crisis.  Noting that the response had been disappointing, so far, he welcomed the reference in the resolution to the need for extensive funding.


The Sudan was an important member of the African Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the United Nations, he said.  As a United Nations Member State, the Sudan had all the rights and privileges under the Charter, including sovereignty and territorial integrity.  Long-term peace and unity in the Sudan were in the interest not only of its own people, but also of the international community.  That should be the Council’s central objective.  It should be a matter of principle that a country concerned in any issue under the Council’s discussion should have the right to participate in the Security Council.  That right had been extended to other countries and should not have been denied in the current case.


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