Mr Secretary General,
Mr Prime Minister of Sudan,
Mr Chair of the African Union Commission,
Madam High Representative,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Earlier this month I visited Khartoum. I had the privilege of meeting some of the representatives of a vibrant and fearless civil society. And, despite all remaining difficulties, the prevailing mood was one of optimism and confidence. Confidence in a brighter future – since a brutal regime has been peacefully brought down.
Let me say to all these brave women and men: the people of Germany, who will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of their own peaceful revolution just next week, are deeply impressed by your courage.
It is with great pleasure that we welcome you here, Prime Minister Hamdok, as a representative of the new Sudan. Thank you for setting out the first priorities of your new government.
We welcome the steps taken by your government to engage with the international community. A very meaningful and positive development in this regard is the agreement to establish an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights which was signed this Wednesday. I commend your government on this decision.
We all know that the challenges in Sudan are immense. Reforms are needed, far-reaching reforms that must be felt throughout your country – be it in the centre or on the periphery of the Sudan.
Germany is ready to provide support:
- We have offered to provide technical assistance and expertise for economic reforms.
- We offer our support in the area of constitutional reform and the rule of law as well as peace mediation.
- And we are also looking into ways of resuming our bilateral development cooperation.
We all know: the reform process will not be easy. It can only be done jointly, and with the support of international and regional partners. Coordinating these efforts is key – in order to make sure the contributions are sustainable and tailor-made.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Peace must also extend to Darfur.
In the coming weeks, the UN Security Council will have to decide on the future of UNAMID. This mission has contributed enormously to making Darfur a more stable and secure place.
But let’s be clear: the situation remains volatile and the root causes of the conflict have yet to be solved. We would risk a relapse into conflict and violence if the international community walked away at this point.
Therefore we, together with our British co-penholders, are very interested to hear about the vision of your government, Mr Prime Minister, for the future work of the United Nations and the African Union in Darfur.
We would support the creation of a strong and meaningful follow-on mission to UNAMID to accompany the Sudan on its way towards peace.
And, finally, let me add a regional perspective to this discussion: The situation in the Sudan has immediate implications for peace and stability in neighbouring countries.
We need to keep this in mind when discussing support for the Sudan, South Sudan and the region.
Prime Minister, the developments in the Sudan are a ray of hope in troubling times.
You can count on Germany’s full support. So that the Sudanese people can continue to look to the future with optimism and confidence.