Statement by His Excellency Mr. Takeaki Matsumoto
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Japan
At the Meeting of the United Nations Security Council
16 November 2010
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to pay tribute to His Excellency The Right Honorable William Hague, for convening this ministerial meeting in his capacity as President of the Security Council for the month of November. It is indeed timely for the Security Council to discuss the issue of Sudan at this very critical juncture for the country. I would also like to welcome the efforts of the Secretary-General; UN staff and peacekeepers; H.E. Mr. Mbeki, Chairman of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan (AUHIP); the African Union (AU) and the CPA parties to achieve peace and security in Sudan. Japan highly commends that the CPA parties, both by H.E. Mr. Karti, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and by H.E. Pagan Amum, Minister of Peace and CPA Implementation of the Government of South Sudan, expressed their strong commitment concerning faithful implementation of the CPA, in particular, the implementation of the referenda in January next year as planned.
The country of Sudan has endured the longest civil war in the recent history of Africa, and the situation represents one of the most urgent challenges facing the international community. Sudan is also a unique case in which the UN and the AU are closely collaborating in peacekeeping. Achieving peace in Sudan is thus an indispensable element in achieving peace and stability in the whole of Africa.
In order for peace between the south and the north to be realized, it is first and foremost necessary for the parties to advance the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with strong will and determination.
The most important task at this time is for the referenda to be conducted as scheduled on 9 January 2011, in a free and fair manner. The Security Council and the international community must see this process through, firmly and attentively. In this context, the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), which is now supporting the implementation of the Agreement, will play an even greater role in the coming weeks, along with the High-Level Panel on the Referenda appointed by the Secretary-General.
It is essential that all interested parties accept the results of the referenda, regardless of their outcome. In addition, the parties must be encouraged to make further progress in the dialogue between them, so that the dividends of political stability and the economic potential of Sudan can be enjoyed by all of its people, through collaboration and cooperation between the partners of northern and southern Sudan.
For progress to be made in this dialogue, the continued assistance of the African Union (AU), through the AU High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan (AUHIP) led by Chairman Mbeki, and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is critical. In this context, I had the opportunity to meet with His Excellency Mr. Mahboub Maalim, Director-General of IGAD, on the occasion of his recent visit to Japan, to discuss IGAD's engagement in support of peace in Sudan.
In the months to come, it will also be necessary to give further consideration to the modality of United Nations engagement in Sudan in the post-CPA period.
Peace cannot be achieved in Sudan without stability in Darfur. We therefore strongly urge all parties to the conflict in Darfur to join the peace process. At the same time, it is important that the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) be enabled to pursue its mission, including its mandate to protect civilians, with greater effectiveness.
The international community must continue to actively support Sudan in its efforts to build peace. Since the signing of the CPA, Japan has extended assistance to Sudan in the amount of approximately 440 million dollars. For the referenda scheduled for early next year, we have disbursed approximately 8.17 million dollars in aid to support the procurement of voting materials and voter education programs, and are currently preparing to dispatch an observation team to monitor the Southern Sudan Referendum. Japan will spare no effort in providing cooperation aimed at the achievement of peace and stability in Sudan.
The Security Council's unanimous message at the ministerial level issued today carries high significance. Japan will continue its appeals to the Sudanese parties to realize that efforts to build mutual trust through a spirit of cooperation and partnership will form the true foundation for lasting peace and a bright future for Sudan. I would like to conclude by reiterating once again Japan's determination, as a long-standing and true friend of Africa, to continue its active support and engagement in the pursuit of peace and stability in Sudan.
I thank you, Mr. President.
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