Secretary-General's remarks at joint press conference with Salva Kiir, First Vice President of Sudan, and President of Southern Sudan [unofficial transcript]
Juba, Sudan, 4 September 2007SG: Thank you very much, Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon. Thank you very much, Mr. President, for this warmest welcome.
I am very pleased to visit southern Sudan, Juba, and I was very much impressed and moved by such a warm and wholehearted support and greetings of welcome from all of the people of Juba.
Taking this opportunity I would like to convey through you my warmest appreciation and thanks to all those people who have lined up welcoming me in Juba.
We have discussed a number of issues concerning the peace and security and development of Sudan, and particularly of southern Sudan. I have listened with interest to President Salva Kiir, his visions and his commitment to keeping peace and security in southern Sudan.
It is crucially important that we implement this Comprehensive Peace Agreement. For that to be possible it is again important that leaders of both north and south Sudan – President Bashir and President Kiir, are fully committed and closely coordinate for the successful implementation of this agreement. I as United Nations Secretary-General and the international community will support such noble but difficult efforts.
On this, I know that there are some remaining issues like demarcation, redeployment of forces, and the status of Abyei. All those issues, I sincerely hope will be completed with a strong political commitment.
I have just paid tribute at the tomb of the late Dr. John Garang. John Garang was a great leader. He was a man of uncommon vision. He was a man of determined will to unify this country. The CPA is the lasting vision of Dr. John Garang. It is now the duty of people of Sudan, north and south, to implement the CPA and bring as soon as possible peace and security to this part of the world.
We need to see, peace as soon as possibleThe United Nations will try to expedite peace negotiations with a target date of sometime during the month of October.
Now with the Security Council resolution authorizing 26,000 peacekeepers in Darfur, where again I am going to visit tomorrow, these peacekeeping operations must be accompanied by a political process. This is my firm commitment, and I am encouraged by a strong commitment by President Salva Kiir to that common purpose. Taking this opportunity again I would like to commend the leadership and initiative of President Salva Kiir in bringing peace between Uganda and the LRA. I sincerely hope again that we will see the final peace process, and for that I count on his continued leadership and cooperation.
Now finally, I would like to announce a very important appointment. I have decided to appoint Mr. Ashraf Qazi, who is now currently Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq to be the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Sudan. With his wide and extensive diplomatic skills and experience, I hope that he will make a great contribution, in coordination with the Sudanese government, to bring peace and security and to coordinate all development issues and political negotiation processes. He will need your support and cooperation for that to succeed.
Thank you very much.
Q: My question is regarding Darfur. The Abuja peace process is dead, because some parties did not sign. Now the Abdul Wahid didn't go. He refused completely to go to the talks. What are you going to do about this situation?
SG: The peace talks which I am trying to convene, together with the African Union will be crucially important for the final peace process. I sincerely hope that all leaders and representatives of the Darfur movements will participate, including Abdul Wahid. I was encouraged by President Kiir's willingness and commitment to convince him to participate in that important negotiation. At the same time, as I announced this morning, the agreement by President Bashir to allow Mr. Suleiman Jamous to leave the country will also create conditions conducive to peace negotiations.
Q: The Sudan Armed Forces have failed to meet the deadline to withdraw from southern Sudan by July 9th. What do you propose to do to address this issue?
I have discussed this matter with President Bashir and made a report to the Security Council on it. There are still remaining issues about the implementation of this point. I sincerely hope that this issue will be addressed in close consultation and cooperation between south and north Sudanese leaders. I offered my readiness to cooperate. Wherever the United Nations can help, I will spare no efforts.