|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
6522nd Meeting (AM)
Security Council Extends Mandate of Mission in Sudan until 9 July 2011,
Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1978 (2011)
Announces Intention to Establish Successor Mission;
Requests Secretary-General to Report on Consultations to That End by 16 May
Considering the results of the referendum of Southern Sudan announced on 7 February and the request by the Government of Southern Sudan for a continued United Nations presence there, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) until 9 July 2011.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1978 (2011), the Council also announced its intention to establish a mission to succeed UNMIS, determining that the situation in the region continued to threaten international peace and security. It requested the Secretary-General to continue to consult with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement parties in that regard, and submit a report by 16 May. It further authorized UNMIS to utilize its assets to prepare for the establishment of the successor mission.
The meeting started at 10:32 a.m. and was adjourned at 10:35 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1978 (2011) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling all its previous resolutions and statements concerning the situation in Sudan,
“Considering the results of the referendum of Southern Sudan, announced on 7 February 2011 by the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, and considering the request by the Government of Southern Sudan for a continued United Nations presence in South Sudan,
“Determining that the situation in the region continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
“1. Decides to extend until 9 July 2011 the mandate of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) as set out in resolution 1590 (2005);
“2. Announces its intent to establish a mission to succeed UNMIS;
“3. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to consult with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement parties in this regard and submit a report by 16 May;
“4. Authorizes UNMIS to utilize its assets to prepare for the establishment of the above-mentioned successor mission;
“5. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
When the Council met, it had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Sudan (document S/2011/239), which covers developments in that country and activities of the Mission from 31 December 2010 to the present. It notes that on 9 January 2011, six years after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement came into effect, voting began for the Southern Sudan self-determination referendum, with official results showing 98 per cent voting in favour of separation.
Against that backdrop, the Secretary-General recommends that the Mission’s mandate, which will expire on 30 April 2011, be extended through 9 July 2011, when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement interim period will be completed. While the referendum marked a “momentous achievement”, several key issues contained in that Agreement remained unresolved or incomplete and, if left unaddressed, could quickly undermine progress and pull parties back into conflict.
“Both the Sudanese and their international partners must resist the temptation to relax their efforts following the success of the referendum,” the Secretary-General states, calling upon senior leadership of the National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to take immediate action to resolve all outstanding issues. Parties to the Agreement could no longer postpone addressing the question of Abyei’s future status. The delay had cost lives and could easily unravel the goodwill earned from the referendum process, he says, noting that UNMIS was committed to doing everything to assist in keeping the peace and protecting civilians in that area.
In addition, he calls on parties to ensure credible popular consultations in Blue Nile and South Kordofan States and to commit to mechanisms for implementing their results beyond the interim period, reiterating the United Nations willingness to support the Government in implementing those critical aspects of the peace process.
While encouraged by progress in negotiations in Addis Ababa on post-Agreement arrangements, several difficult questions must be addressed before separation, he says, noting that a failure to resolve security issues and the disposition of armed forces along the border — disputed or otherwise — could easily spark renewed violence. He urged the parties to make use of every resource available to quickly resolve those questions. The international community stood ready to help, but could only act effectively once the parties had made clear how best it could contribute.
Following the request of the Government of Southern Sudan, planning to support peace consolidation and capacity-building in various areas had begun, he says, outlining his expectation that a new mission would be built on the foundations and infrastructure established by UNMIS, without prejudging its mandate, composition or concept of operations. As such, he recommends that the Council support his request to incur planning costs for the new mission, adding that he would report to the Council by mid-May with an update on those planning issues.
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