Thank you SRSG Perthes for your comprehensive briefing today. Also, a special thanks to Hala Alkarib for being with us, and sharing your insights and experiences. Sudanese Women made the revolution. Their full, equal, and meaningful participation is the key to the success of the transition towards a democratic Sudan.
Norway is encouraged to see UNITAMS scaling up its country presence- enabling increased cooperation with the Government of Sudan at all levels. The government’s efforts to facilitate, advise, and coordinate with the UN is much appreciated. We also welcome the commitment to humanitarian reform; and that preparations for electoral commissions, and constitution-making are underway. Strengthening the capacity of authorities and government bodies at all levels will help maximise the impact of international support and funding. Including women in decision-making is an efficient way of strengthening both capacity and legitimacy.
We commend the Government, and the SPLM-N al-Hilu faction, for their efforts towards a future peace agreement. Together with the SRSG and Troika colleagues, Norway will continue to support this process. I also want to note the key efforts of UNITAMS, UN Women, and UNDP in promoting women observers and gender perspectives. And we acknowledge the government’s first steps in implementing the National Plan for Protection of Civilians.
The training of 500 IDP women police, the establishment of 50 gender desks, and 18 family child protection units in the states, are only some of the examples of progress on protection and security sector reform. The constructive engagement between UNITAMS and the Government of Sudan on the mechanism on children in armed conflict, is another.
Norway looks forward to co-hosting a side event in support of Sudan's transition with the Secretary-General on the 30th of September. Both to highlight these positive developments and the results achieved almost halfway in the transitional period, and engage partners towards further support of a peaceful and democratic Sudan.
As much as we welcome progress made, significant challenges remain. 9,8 million people are severely food insecure, and the situation for many IDPs-especially in Darfur- is worsening. In some areas, we see intercommunal conflicts and armed attacks on the rise. Conflict-related sexual violence continues. Recent flooding and outbreaks of diseases is another worry. And the delays in implementing the Juba Peace Agreement, and National Plan for Protection of Civilians are also leaving the population vulnerable.
It is the government’s responsibility to implement the security arrangements in the peace agreement, in collaboration with 'the peace partners'. Rapid formation of the agreement’s Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism is now critical.
We understand that the establishment of the joint protection force in Darfur is underway. We urge the inclusion of a significant percentage of women in the security, military, and police forces - building on their experiences as peace builders, peacekeepers, and community leaders.
The situation on the Horn is fragile. We thank Sudan for their hospitality in receiving and hosting Ethiopian refugees and keeping the border open. We welcome PM Hamdok’s efforts as IGAD chair to find a political solution to the conflict in Ethiopia as well as in South Sudan. Sudan is in many ways a beacon of hope in an increasingly troubled region. We as international partners must offer our support to the government as it works towards irreversible progress for Sudan’s women, men, girls, and boys.