Speech delivered by Deputy Minister Marius Fransman on Economic and Social Council and the Peace building Commission Interactive Panel discussion "Promoting durable peace and sustainable development in Sudan and South Sudan" ECOSOC Chamber, New York
13 Jun 2011
The emergence of the new state, of South Sudan on 9 July, necessitates that we as the international community redouble our efforts in providing assistance in assisting the new state in meeting the immense challenges it is confronting. However, these challenges are not for Southern Sudan alone. As members of the international community we have a moral obligation to ensure that peace and stability prevail in both North and South Sudan.
We need to strengthen our peace building support and develop strategies that are context specific. The protracted conflict has left too many disparities in Southern Sudan and the scale and scope of the work required is daunting. Therefore, a unique approach that is cognisant of the needs on the ground is required.
In rendering our assistance we need to be mindful of this dynamic, so that we don’t create more challenges in our bid to assist. Importantly, our efforts should be coordinated to avoid duplication or lead to certain areas receiving more attention at the expense of other priority areas. Importantly, our assistance to South Sudan should be premised on the notion of promoting national ownership of all processes. In this regard, building national capacities and institutions to manage and implement these functions would be fundamental in ensuring its sustainability.
Furthermore, aside from the immediate challenges of resolving the post Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) outstanding issues of border demarcations, citizenship, and wealth sharing, South Sudan with the assistance of regional bodies and through bilateral cooperation will need to address a myriad of issues such as:
- Humanitarian support, which is required in order to address the issue of basic services
- The Government of South Sudan has to also address the issue of basic service delivery, as it is equated with peace dividends, if the people do not see the fruits of peace; conflict is thus easily made an option
- The diversification of the economy, there is an urgent need to invest in other non-oil sectors, as well as possible exploitation of the fertile agricultural land in order to stimulate economic activity
- Security will be an issue, firstly the need for the protection of civilians, as well DDR programmes have to be implemented
- Addressing the debt burden of Sudan, as it would unleash much needed resources for addressing the capacity and institution building needs in South
The needs of South Sudan are enormous, but we should be cautious of neglecting the needs of (North) Sudan in our peace building efforts. In addition to the economic challenges, it is important that peace in Darfur be established and we look forward to the commencement of the Darfur Political Process in this regard.
The revenue base of the North will be reduced significantly as a result of South’s secession on 9 July 2011. It would therefore be important that the international community provides the necessary assistance to the government in Khartoum to address the developmental challenges that it will be confronting.
Critical in this regard, would be the need to reduce the debt burden of the country for channeling the resources of the state to address its much needed development priorities. In this regard we recall the Solemn Declaration of Heads of State and Government of the African Union stating that, “Africa legitimately looks forward to the complete normalisation of relations between the international community and the Republic of Sudan, to ensure that all the peoples of Sudan can enjoy peace, dignity, democracy and development. In this respect, we call upon Sudan’s creditors around the world to expeditiously and comprehensively relieve the country’s external debt, ensuring that Sudan’s special circumstances receive special treatment.”
The South African government as part of our contribution to the post conflict reconstruction development programmes of the Sudan is involved in a capacity and institutional building project. The project has trained over 1 500 Government of Southern Sudan officials in various sectors of government at national, provincial and local levels. The project is aimed at capacitating government institutions in Southern Sudan, and in contributing to the strengthening of government institutions in Southern Sudan.
Furthermore, we embarked on trilateral cooperation with the Federal Republic of Germany for the training of Government of Southern Sudan officials in the fields of legal affairs, judiciary and correctional services. We have also partnered with the Government of Norway, in the training of police in Southern Sudan.
South Africa is also the Chair of the African Union Committee on Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development of the Sudan. Through this role, we have been engaging other role players in the Sudan, and have also been responsible for the engagement of other AU member states in the support of post conflict and reconstruction development programmes.
Africa has expressed continental “solidarity with the entire Sudanese people, and welcome equally North and South Sudan” which should be the beneficiaries of shared prosperity and continental unity. It is only in creating two viable, peaceful and prosperous states that this vision could be realised and in this regard the continued engagement of the international community in accompanying the two states would be essential.
I thank you for your attention.
Issued by: Department of International Relations and Cooperation
13 Jun 2011
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