6 March 2008
Secretary-General
SG/SM/11454
AFR/1665

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES MOVE TO ESTABLISH ‘FRIENDS OF UNAMID’ GROUP


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:


The Secretary-General welcomes the initiative to establish a group of “Friends of UNAMID”, which will focus on supporting the deployment of the African Union-United Nations peacekeeping Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).  The first meeting of the group was convened by the United States and Canada on 6 March 2008 in New York.


The Secretary-General urges all UNAMID troop and police contributors to expedite the deployment of the units and assets that they have pledged to the Operation.  In this connection, the Secretary-General also welcomes the initiative of the United States Government to help accelerate the deployment of UNAMID by providing $100 million to African troop-contributing countries for training and equipping military units which have been pledged for UNAMID.


The Secretary-General also urges Member States to provide the outstanding enabling units, including air assets, in order to permit UNAMID to achieve full operating capability.


The Secretary-General looks forward to sustained and focused international engagement on both peacekeeping and the political process in Darfur and calls on all parties to engage in good faith in political negotiations in order to bring the current crisis to an end and achieve lasting peace.


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For information media • not an official record