Statement by Ambassador Günter Sautter during the UN Security Council Meeting on UNITAMS, September 25, 2020

25.09.2020 - Speech

Check against delivery

Today for the first time, we are discussing the situation in Sudan and UNITAMS – the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan. I want to underline that the notion of Assistance stands for the spirit of a new chapter in the relationship between the Council and Sudan: a chapter based on genuine cooperation and partnership.

This support is crucial. I am confident that I speak on behalf of all of us when I say that we want the Sudanese government to succeed. We want the Sudanese people to cash in on the peace and democracy dividend. This is why we hosted, together with the UN, the EU and Sudan, the Berlin Partnership Conference in June, mobilizing $1.8 billion in assistance to Sudan and marking the beginning of a new political partnership between Sudan and the international community.

We welcome the agreements reached with parts of the armed groups in Juba and look forward to the signing of the agreements next week. It is crucial that the implementation of the agreed provisions starts swiftly. We welcome ongoing talks with parties who have not yet joined this process. At the same time, we urge those who continue to stand outside of this process to become part of the solution.

Partnership also means being frank about the challenges ahead. As the report by the Secretary-General notes: an unstable economic situation, the need to ensure justice for past crimes and violence, including the massacre of 3 June 2019, and rising humanitarian needs. All of them are aggravated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am not suggesting that UNITAMS can overcome them immediately. But we are convinced that UNITAMS can make a significant difference on the ground. For this to happen, UNITAMS needs to be “fit for purpose”. The purpose of the mission is clearly defined in resolution 2524 and entails four strategic priorities. We hope and expect UNITAMS to be able to work on all of those, including adequate resources for civilian protection and human rights. In this context, we feel it is important that the position of SRSG be filled soon.

While we appreciate the update by the Secretariat on the planning process, we would like to mention that the Council also requested information about the geographical deployment of the mission. I have heard from Rosemary DiCarlo important remarks on this. In particular, we are looking into the footprint in Darfur and which components will be represented in which specific office. We expect that United Nations Police will be represented in all offices of the mission.

We would also like to reiterate that the Council asked the Secretariat that UNITAMS makes use of lessons learned from the State Liaison Functions concept and that a mechanism based on them should be established in Darfur, including in Jebel Marra and the Two Areas.

I would like to call on the Secretariat to be both realistic and ambitious in its planning and we welcome what we have seen so far.

Germany will continue to support the build-up of UNITAMS, including by making available additional voluntary contributions and personnel. We encourage other member states to also consider doing so.

The Council will soon have to make a decision on the future of UNAMID. We note with concern that the report in front of us points at a deterioration of the security situation in Darfur. This is an alarming signal. We are looking forward to more analysis and data in the special report mandated by this Council. This report is to contain an assessment of the capacity of the Sudanese Government to protect civilians as foreseen by resolution 2525.

In closing: The response of the UN Security Council to the historic change and transformation in Sudan is a very good example of what the multilateral system can muster in support of the aspirations of the people.  Around the same time last year during the high-level week of UNGA, Prime Minister Hamdok was here in New York. He said at this occasion: “The Sudanese people are moving confidently and steadily on their way towards the future as a friend and equal partner with all peace-loving people of the world”. I am convinced: the Security Council will continue its strong partnership with the “new Sudan” and its peace-loving people.


Top of page