Thank you SRSG Perthes for your comprehensive and positive briefing today. Let me congratulate Sudan on the successful outcome of the Paris conference earlier this week. The message was clear: that we must stand together to make the transition irreversible, even though many challenges remain.
Sudan now has a unique opportunity to create conditions for sustainable growth.
The success of the transition process can - and should - be measured by two main criteria:
One, how well the transitional government manages diversity based on the principle of equal rights;
and two, how the people as a whole benefit from economic development.
It is inclusive policies that bring both of these criteria together.
In our view, success will also depend on how well the Government- and we the partners- follow the script of transition laid out in the Constitutional Declaration, and in the Juba Peace Agreement. The Transitional Legislative Council should be formed without further delay, and the Sovereignty Council must prepare for the transition to a civilian chairperson.
Security sector reform also cannot wait. Assisting these processes are at the core of the mandate of UNITAMS.
Norway remains deeply concerned by the security situation in Darfur in particular, and the critical gaps in the protection of civilians. Especially the lack of effective measures against sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls. The humanitarian situation- compounded by climate change- is dire. And the number of persons displaced by conflict in Darfur is increasing. In this respect, we welcome the transitional Government's announcement of eight measures to address violence in West-Darfur. And call for their speedy implementation.
Several of these measures are derived from the Juba Peace Agreement (JPA), in which the UN – represented by UNITAMS – is given specific and critical roles. Going forward, operationalising and clarifying these roles is a key task for UNITAMS, and of great importance to the implementation of the JPA. Ceasefire monitoring is in this context vital.
The peace process is not complete until all armed groups have signed on. We are encouraged by the signing of the Declaration of Principles between the government and SPLM/N (Abdul Aziz al-Hilu). Negotiations on the substantive issues should be swift.
Ongoing and future talks must be inclusive. The full, equal, and meaningful participation of women, must be a top priority for all. Norway stands ready to support the process in close coordination with: the negotiating Parties, the Government of South Sudan, UNITAMS, and other relevant actors.
Pending final government approval, Norway is planning to contribute personnel to the specialised police team in UNITAMS. To contribute to enhancing the capacity of the Sudan Police Force to conduct community policing, and investigate sexual and gender-based violence. An important step towards strengthening the protective environment in the country. We are also considering putting forward a candidate to the post of Military Advisor to SRSG UNITAMS.
Norway commends UNITAMS for progress achieved thus far with limited resources.
And we applaud the SRSG’s commitment to make UNITAMS efforts relevant to the whole of Sudan. The four strategic goals remain relevant and should not change, yet, on a daily basis it is necessary to prioritise tasks. Benchmarks are useful when they relate to measurable results. And indicators should be agreed upon in dialogue with the full range of interested parties – government bodies as well as civil society - at the national and local level.
A continued positive trajectory in Sudan's transition is dependent on a constructive dialogue and partnership between the Government of Sudan, UNITAMS and the Security Council. We are ready to play our part.