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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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New York, 31 July 2007 - Secretary-General's statement at Security Council after adoption of Resolution 1769 on the hybrid force for Darfur

Mr. President,

Excellencies,

I am honoured to address the Security Council after its adoption of this historic and unprecedented resolution.

By authorizing the deployment of a hybrid operation for Darfur, you are sending a clear and powerful signal of your commitment to improve the lives of the people of the region, and close this tragic chapter in Sudan's history.

Today's resolution is the culmination of serious and painstaking collaboration within the Security Council. I commend you for your efforts. The adoption is also the result of sincere and intensive cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union.

As we open this new chapter, I pay tribute to the men and women of the African Union Mission in the Sudan, who have given their all in the service of peace -- some paying the ultimate price.

We must now move forward, in all haste, to build on their work. We must put in place the complex and vital peacekeeping operation which you have authorized today.

The Council is familiar with the administrative, logistical and serious operational challenges that must be overcome to establish the hybrid. We must dedicate ourselves fully to deploying a Mission which will make a clear and positive difference in the lives of the people of Darfur. They have a right to expect nothing less.

Preparations for the operation have been underway since early this year. Today's resolution will give even greater momentum to our efforts. If we are to meet the ambitious goal established by the resolution, and assume authority in Darfur by the end of the year, the Council must remain engaged. Member States must provide every support -- especially troop and police contributing countries.

Additional capable troops must be committed. Support systems must be put in place. Command structures must be established. National Governments know from their own experience that this takes time, but time is not on our side.

Equally fundamental will be the unequivocal and continuous support of the Government of Sudan. If the Government is not a good-faith partner in this initiative, the operation will fail. We have the same expectation of the rebel movements.

As we recognize the importance of today's resolution, and redouble our collective efforts to strengthen peacekeeping in Darfur, we must also acknowledge that it is only through a political process that can we achieve a sustainable solution to the conflict.

The Special Envoys of the United Nations and the African Union have stepped up their efforts, and will be meeting with the parties in Arusha later this week. It is crucial that the Arusha meeting yield positive results, so as to pave the way for negotiations and, ultimately, a peace agreement. Only in this way can we end the violence and destruction that have afflicted Darfur for more than three years.

We will build peace through negotiations for a political settlement, and sustain peace on the ground with our peacekeepers. I look forward to working closely with you, the Members of the Council, with the African Union, and with all Governments concerned as we advance towards our shared goal.

Thank you.


Statements on 31 July 2007