Thank you USG Khare, for your comprehensive briefing today.
Firstly, let me highlight the positive political developments in Sudan over the last months.
The key message to draw from them is that- although many challenges remain- the transition in Sudan is irreversible. And presents a unique opportunity to create conditions for sustainable economic growth.
In this regard, we thank the transitional Government, and the Darfur state capitals, for their role in ensuring a responsible drawdown of UNAMID. This brings me to my second point, that the fragile security situation in Darfur- and confusion regarding the end-use of team sites and assets- creates challenging conditions for the blue helmets. It is therefore crucial that the drawdownliquidation of UNAMID is done in a sustainable and orderly way.
Protecting civilians must remain at the core of all efforts, even during UNAMID’s drawdown- and thereafter. Lack of protection fuels conflict, displacement, and mistrust.
Particular attention should be given to children, women, and combating conflict related sexual violence.
We are happy to note that UNAMID remains on schedule for the closure of team sites, and, that the mission has accelerated the process to allow for contingencies. Norway hopes that the recent advances will prevent any unnecessary delays during the coming rainy season. We are also pleased to learn about the conclusion of the Framework Agreement on the civilian end-use of team sites and assets.
This is particularly relevant against the backdrop of the significant looting seen from former UNAMID Camps, both in Nyala and in El Geneina. We therefore urge the Sudanese government to protect the assets handed over from UNAMID, as they will be of direct benefit to the civilian population in Darfur. These steps provide a solid basis for liquidating the mission within the next 12 months.
This brings me to my final point: with the drawdown of UNAMID, greater responsibly now lies on the Sudanese authorities- and the Sudanese Security Forces in particular. UNITAMS, and the remaining parts of the UN-system, must ensure support to Sudanese authorities in protecting civilians, and preventing human rights violations and abuses.
We must also secure the completion, or handover, to Sudanese authorities of residual activities done by UNAMID. This includes activities in areas of: the rule of law, community policing, preventing gender-based violence, and community stabilization. It is also important that UNAMID transfers knowledge to UNITAMS, and the United Nations Country Team. Particularly on common strategic objectives, and priorities in Darfur.
Let me conclude President by extending our sincere gratitude to UNAMID civilian and uniformed personnel- particularly those who gave their lives while serving to promote peace and stability. We would also like to thank troop and police-contributing countries, the UN Country Team, UNITAMS, and the humanitarian community for their invaluable support to peace in Darfur.
Norway stands ready to support the people of Sudan in this defining moment.