Press Releases

    22 November 2004

    Security Council Nairobi Meeting Welcomes End of Year Peace Pledge by Parties to Sudan Conflict

    Donors Reaffirm Commitments to Help Rebuild Sudan, but Challenge Parties to Stand by Promise to Reach Comprehensive Agreement by End of 2004

    (Received from a UN Information Officer.)

    NAIROBI, 19 November -- Encouraged by the commitment of the Government of the Sudan and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) who today signed a memorandum of understanding promising to reach a comprehensive peace agreement before the end of the year, the Security Council today declared its strong support for those efforts and reiterated its readiness to establish a United Nations peace support mission to help implement such an agreement.

    Concluding its two-day session in Nairobi, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1574 (2004), by which it also extended the mandate of the advance mission already operating in the Sudan until 10 March 2005.

    The Council also demanded that Government and rebel forces immediately cease all attacks, refrain from forcible relocation of civilians and cooperate with humanitarian relief efforts in accordance with earlier agreements and indicated it would monitor compliance and take action against any party failing to fulfil its commitments.

    Security Council President John Danforth of the United States, speaking in his national capacity, said pessimists might be tempted to dismiss the historic meeting as “just a photo-opportunity or another memorandum”, as atrocities continued. He told the Sudan’s Vice-President Ali Othman Taha and SPLM/A leader John Garang, who participated in the meeting, that it was up to them to prove the doubters wrong by delivering on their word. Mr. Danforth said that once the North-South peace agreement was in place, then the flow of support would increase, on the understanding that the parties were fulfilling their commitments.

    Speaking on behalf of donors, Norwegian Minister for International Development Hilde F. Johnson strongly condemned the continued killings and attacks on civilians taking place in Darfur. While her Government fully supported Security Council resolution 1574, Ms. Johnson said it was its belief that the political solution to Darfur lay in the completion of the peace negotiations facilitated by IGAD. The parties to the conflict had been fully engaged in the preparation for an international donors’ conference to be hosted by Norway and they all knew the rewards likely to result from signing a comprehensive peace agreement.

    Emyr Jones Parry, Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom, said his Government expected the parties to honour the commitment by 31 December by signing a comprehensive peace agreement. He stressed that principal responsibility for the Darfur crisis lay with the Sudan Government, although the rebels, too, had responsibility.


    The full text of resolution 1574 (2004) reads as follows:

    The Security Council,

    Recalling its resolutions 1547 (2004) of 11 June 2004, 1556 (2004) of 30 July 2004 and 1564 (2004) of 18 September 2004 and the statements of its President concerning Sudan,

    Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Sudan, and recalling the importance of the principles of good-neighbourliness, non-interference and regional co-operation,

    Reaffirming also its support for the Machakos Protocol of 20 July 2002 and subsequent agreements based on this protocol,

    Expressing its determination to help the people of Sudan to promote national reconciliation, lasting peace and stability, and to build a prosperous and united Sudan in which human rights are respected and the protection of all citizens is assured,

    Recalling that it welcomed the signature of the Declaration on 5 June 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya, in which the parties confirmed their agreement to the six protocols signed between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army, and reconfirmed their commitment to completing the remaining stages of negotiations,

    Commending again the work and continued support of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), in particular the Government of Kenya as Chair of the Sub-Committee on Sudan, in facilitating the peace talks in Nairobi, recognizing the efforts of the Civilian Protection Monitoring Team, the Joint Military Commission in the Nuba Mountains and the Verification and Monitoring Team supporting the peace process, and expressing its hope that IGAD will continue to play a vital role during the transitional period,

    Encouraging the parties to conclude speedily a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and stressing the need for the international community, once such an agreement has been signed and implementation begins, to provide assistance towards its implementation,

    Emphasizing that progress towards resolution of the conflict in Darfur would create conditions conducive for delivery of such assistance,

    Expressing its serious concern at the growing insecurity and violence in Darfur, the dire humanitarian situation, continued violations of human rights and repeated breaches of the ceasefire, and reiterating in this regard the obligation of all parties to implement the commitments, referred to in its previous resolutions on Sudan,

    Condemning all acts of violence and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by all parties, and emphasizing the need for perpetrators of all such crimes to be brought to justice without delay,

    Recalling in this regard that all parties, including the Sudanese rebel groups such as the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudanese Liberation Army, must respect human rights and international humanitarian law, and also recalling the primary responsibility of the Sudanese Government to protect its population within its territory and to maintain law and order, while respecting human rights,

    Stressing the importance of further progress towards resolving the crisis in Darfur, welcoming the vital and wide-ranging role being played by the African Union towards that end, and welcoming the Government of Sudan’s decision in favour of the expansion of the African Union Mission,

    Taking note of the Secretary-General’s reports of 28 September 2004 (S/2004/763) and 2 November 2004 (S/2004/881),

    Deeply concerned by the situation in Sudan and its implications for international peace and security and stability in the region,

    1. Declares its strong support for the efforts of the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army to reach a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, encourages the parties to redouble their efforts, welcomes the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in Nairobi on 19 November 2004 entitled “Declaration on the conclusion of IGAD negotiations on peace in the Sudan”, attached to this resolution, and the agreement that the six protocols referred to in the Nairobi Declaration of 5 June 2004 constitute and form the core Peace Agreement, and strongly endorses the parties’ commitment to reach a final comprehensive agreement by 31 December 2004 and expects that it will be fully and transparently implemented, with the appropriate international monitoring;

    2. Declares its commitment, upon conclusion of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, to assist the people of Sudan in their efforts to establish a peaceful, united and prosperous nation, on the understanding that the parties are fulfilling all their commitments, including those agreed in Abuja, Nigeria and N’djamena, Chad;

    3. Urges the Joint Assessment Mission of the United Nations, the World Bank and the parties, in association with other bilateral and multilateral donors, to continue their efforts to prepare for the rapid delivery of an assistance package for the reconstruction and economic development of Sudan, including official development assistance, possible debt relief and trade access, to be implemented once a Comprehensive Peace Agreement has been signed and its implementation begins;

    4. Welcomes the initiative of the Government of Norway to convene an international donors’ conference for the reconstruction and economic development of Sudan upon the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement;

    5. Welcomes the continued operations of the Joint Military Commission, the Civilian Protection Monitoring Team, and the Verification and Monitoring Team, in anticipation of the implementation of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the establishment of a United Nations peace support operation;

    6. Reiterates its readiness, upon the signature of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, to consider establishing a United Nations peace support operation to support the implementation of that agreement, and reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to submit to the Council, as soon as possible after the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, recommendations for the size, structure, mandate of such an operation, including also a timetable for its deployment;

    7. Welcomes the preparatory work already carried out by the United Nations Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS), established by its resolution 1547 (2004), endorses the proposals in the Secretary-General’s reports of 28 September 2004 and 2 November 2004 to increase its staffing, extends the mandate of UNAMIS by a further three months until 10 March 2005, and calls on the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army to commit to full co-operation with UNAMIS,

    8. Calls on all countries in the region to do their utmost to support actively the full and timely implementation of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement;

    9. Emphasizes that a Comprehensive Peace Agreement will contribute towards sustainable peace and stability throughout Sudan and to the efforts to address the crisis in Darfur, and underlines the need for a national and inclusive approach, including the role of women, towards reconciliation and peace-building;

    10. Underlines the importance of progress in peace talks in Abuja between the Government of Sudan and the Sudanese Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement towards resolving the crisis in Darfur, insists that all parties to the Abuja peace talks negotiate in good faith to reach agreement speedily, welcomes the signature of the Humanitarian and Security Protocols on 9 November 2004, urges the parties to implement these rapidly, and looks forward to the early signature of a Declaration of Principles with a view to a political settlement;

    11. Demands that Government and rebel forces and all other armed groups immediately cease all violence and attacks, including abduction, refrain from forcible relocation of civilians, co-operate with international humanitarian relief and monitoring efforts, ensure that their members comply with international humanitarian law, facilitate the safety and security of humanitarian staff, and reinforce throughout their ranks their agreements to allow unhindered access and passage by humanitarian agencies and those in their employ, in accordance with its resolution 1502 (2003) of 26 August 2003 on the access of humanitarian workers to populations in need and with the Abuja Protocols of 9 November 2004;

    12. In accordance with its previous resolutions on Sudan, decides to monitor compliance by the parties with their obligations in that regard and, subject to a further decision of the Council, to take appropriate action against any party failing to fulfil its commitments;

    13. Strongly supports the decisions of the African Union to increase its mission in Darfur to 3,320 personnel and to enhance its mandate to include the tasks listed in paragraph 6 of the African Union Peace and Security Council’s Communiqué of 20 October 2004, urges Member States to provide the required equipment, logistical, financial, material, and other necessary resources, and urges the Government of Sudan and all rebel groups in Darfur to co-operate fully with the African Union;

    14. Reiterates its call on Member States to provide urgent and generous contributions to the humanitarian efforts under way in Sudan and Chad;

    15. Calls on all parties to cooperate fully with the International Commission of Inquiry established by the Secretary General, as described in his letter of 4 October 2004 to the President of the Security Council (S/2004/812), the outcome of which will be communicated to the Security Council;

    16. Reiterates the importance of deploying more human rights monitors to Darfur;

    17. Requests the Secretary-General to keep it regularly informed of developments in Sudan, and to make any recommendations for action to ensure implementation of this resolution and its previous resolutions on Sudan;

    18. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

    Resolution Annex

    Declaration on the Conclusion of IGAD
    Negotiations on Peace in the Sudan

    Gigiri, Nairobi: Friday, 19 November 2004

    WHEREAS the Government of the Republic of the Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (the Parties) reconfirmed in the Nairobi Declaration of the 5th June, 2004 on the Final Phase of the IGAD led negotiations on Peace in the Sudan, their agreement on the six texts, including the Machakos Protocol, as well as the texts relating to Power Sharing, Wealth Sharing, Security Arrangements, and resolution of the Conflict in Southern Kordofan/Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, and Abyei Area;

    WHEREAS the Parties in a Joint Press Statement on 16 October 2004, “recommitted themselves to finalize and conclude the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in recognition that prompt completion on the Peace Process is essential for all the people of the Sudan as it will help in resolving all challenges facing the country”;

    ACKNOWLEDGING the progress made to date on the Security Arrangements and Ceasefire Details including the extensive work that has been accomplished in the Implementation Modalities annexes; and

    DECLARING that the conclusion of the IGAD-led initiative is central to a comprehensive Peace Agreement in the Sudan including the resolution of the Conflict in Darfur;

    NOW, HEREBY, THE PARTIES AFFIRM that the six Protocols referred to in the Nairobi Declaration of 5 June 2004, constitute and form the core Peace Agreement and, therefore, invite the United Nations Security Council in this, its Nairobi sitting, to pass a resolution endorsing the six Protocols.

    FURTHER, the parties declare their commitment to expeditiously complete Negotiations on the two annexes on Ceasefire Agreement and Implementation Modalities so as to conclude and sign the Comprehensive Peace Agreement no later than 31 December 2004.

    Summary of Statements

    A memorandum of understanding was signed at 10 a.m. by Yahya Hussein Babikar, for the Government of the Republic of the Sudan, and Commander Nhial Deng Nhial, for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). The signing was witnessed by Lieutenant General Lazaro K. Sumbeiywo (Rtd.), on behalf of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) envoys, as well as Jan Pronk, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, in the presence of the United Nations Security Council, chaired by John Danforth (United States).

    KERSTIN MULLER, Assistant Foreign Minister of Germany, encouraged the parties to come to a conclusion and sign a comprehensive peace agreement as soon as possible, at least before the end of the year.  Parties to the conflict must be reminded of their commitment to put an end to the war.  She noted that the security and humanitarian situation had deteriorated. Signatories of the Abuja agreement must be reminded that impunity would not be tolerated. Germany had noted with satisfaction that both conflicts in the Sudan had been addressed by the Security Council as reflected in resolution 1574 (2004). Acknowledging that the conflicts in the Sudan were very complex by themselves, she reminded parties to the conflict that progress achieved in one part of the Sudan would be lost if suffering in other parts were allowed to continue.  She concluded that the resolution in itself was a signal that the international community would not stand idle if human rights violations and atrocities in Darfur continued.

    ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) stated that the holding of the Security Council in Nairobi would give the Council a better understanding of Africa when it returns to Headquarters in New York. He noted that the resolution adopted was very positive and seemed to have been inspired by African wisdom.  Although the Security Council had shown great wisdom in the resolution by accommodating all the parties as much as feasible, it must remain stringently engaged in the matter. He noted with satisfaction that the resolution recognized the role of the African Union. The Security Council had done the right thing in sending a strong message to parties that had committed themselves to a comprehensive peace agreement by the end of the year.  He reminded the Council of the African Union’s triple mission: monitoring of the ceasefire; protection of civilians; and contribution to a lasting solution.

    EMYR JONES PARRY (United Kingdom) told the Council that his country expected the parties to honour their commitments by 31 December. He added that attacks and atrocities in Darfur must stop.  Stating that the United Kingdom was gravely concerned about the situation in Darfur, he indicated that the principal responsibility rested with the Government of the Sudan. But rebels too, had responsibilities. He explained that resolutions 1556 and 1564 were not diminished by the new resolution, 1574, adopted in Nairobi, adding that a third resolution this year on Sudan was justified because of the seriousness of the issue.  He indicated that the United Kingdom had supported both parties for a long time. He stressed that the Naivasha peace process was key to the prevailing situation in Darfur. Resolution 1574 supported the Naivasha process, but it was conditional on the good will of all parties.  He called on the Sudanese parties to choose the path of cooperation and peace, adding that the international community was ready to help.

    ANDREY DENISOV (Russian Federation) stated that the newly adopted resolution reflected the commitment of the international community to see an end to the Sudan conflict. He noted that the Government of the Sudan and the SPLM/A must move quickly in order to finalize the peace process.  That, in turn, would yield positive dividends for all. He said that the international community must provide resources to enable the Sudanese to finalize the process. He added that the African Union peacekeeping force must be supported to establish trust between the two sides in the conflict.  He concluded that all parties must abide by the conditions of the agreement.

    LAURO BAJA (Philippines) stated that the resolution was substantive and significant. By holding the meeting in Kenya, the Security Council showed that Africa matters and that it was interested in ending war in the continent’s biggest country. The value of the resolution would depend on full and transparent enforcement, he said.  He stressed that the parties should redeem their pledges and work towards building the momentum for peace in the Sudan, including in Darfur.

    WANG GUANGYA (China) declared that issues pertaining to Africa were of importance to his country and affected all. The 21-year-old conflict was the longest in Africa, with over 2 million killed and many more affected in the Horn of Africa. That North-South tragedy must be brought to an end. He highlighted the fact that the comprehensive peace agreement must be signed by the end of the year. It would have a huge positive influence for the whole of Africa. This peace signing was important, but the compliance with the comprehensive agreement was even more important, he noted.  He stated that international assistance must follow once the agreement was implemented.

    JUAN ANTONIO YANEZ-BARNUEVO (Spain) stated that the resolution was a well-balanced text.  The Council had spoken with one voice and was committed to the continent. The resolution was based on the Naivasha peace process, with support from IGAD, and he was happy to see such regional cooperation, while looking forward to seeing the agreement signed by the end of the year. He also noted that the resolution sufficiently addressed the Darfur situation, which remained tragic. He asked for a more responsible reaction from the parties, not excuses. He called for an end to violations and an end to forcing the return of internally displaced persons. The Council must stand ready to take additional steps. He hoped that the hopes aroused by the talks would not be dashed.

    MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) welcomed the initiative to have a unified and prosperous Sudan. He said that it was auspicious that the parties in the North-South conflict had agreed to reach a comprehensive peace by 31 December. The Sudanese leaders on both sides had the vision and goodwill to see to it that it was achieved. As the situation has deteriorated again, ceasefire violations had increased and more rebel groups had appeared. The danger of chaos looms. The international community must give the right messages.  The demands made of the parties by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Jan Pronk, had been realistic. The resolution reflected that balanced approach -- cooperation rather than caution.  He reiterated Pakistan’s close and fraternal relations with the Sudan and reinforced his country’s strong interest in the unity and territorial integrity of Sudan.

    MIHNEA MOTOC (Romania) stressed that the signing of the memorandum of understanding just witnessed was no small undertaking. The international community wanted the protagonists to take advantage of the window of opportunity to solve the North-South problem. Romania had strong links with the people of the Sudan and was keenly interested in helping the Sudanese to get long-lasting peace in a unitary country. The Security Council meeting in Nairobi came at the right time, because it was a chance not to be missed. While acknowledging that Vice-President Ali Othman Taha and Mr. Garang talked of the few obstacles still remaining -- although easy to overcome -- the parties had reached a seriously meaningful stage in the peace process. Romania supported the work of the International Commission of Inquiry and looked forward to its report. He thanked Norway for pledging to host an international donors’ conference once the peace process was finalized. The road ahead was not going to be easy, but a map now exists and the Sudanese would not be alone.

    JOEL ADECHI (Benin) believed urgent action must be taken in the Sudan.  Constructive dialogue between the Council and the parties was needed in the form of open and honest talks, which were fortunate enough to have been in Nairobi. Resolution 1574 required all parties to conclude the Naivasha peace process. He welcomed the signing of the memorandum of understanding and hailed a comprehensive agreement that would prompt all of the Sudan see their future in a new light.  He noted that the African Union had made a real difference and welcomed the strengthening of it.  He concluded that humanitarian and financial assistance was necessary from the international community.

    HERALDO MUÑOZ (Chile) said that the Council should support the Sudan to see to it that peace was achieved in the Sudan before the end of the year. He said that would send a clear message to the world that there was an alternative to violence and that peace could be achieved through negotiations. He also noted that there was a clear linkage between the Naivasha peace process and the Darfur crisis and said that the two must be addressed in the same context. Both parties must abide by the agreements on Darfur to ensure that peace comes to the Sudan. He concluded that the Security Council must continue to support regional solutions.

    JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIERE (France) highlighted the fact that the exceptional nature of the meeting attested to the Council’s considering the Sudan as highly important.  He said that the signing of an agreement was within the grasp of all parties and they must move swiftly to implement it. The suffering of the Sudanese should not be prolonged and there should be no further delays. He attested that stability was also a problem, not just peace. A political settlement for Darfur was also needed as the more than 230,000 refugees in Chad had caused problems for the region. All obligations must be fulfilled. He said that violence against civilians is extremely worrying and must cease. Impunity could not be tolerated and prosecutions must be brought. The Council was ready to shoulder its responsibilities. The Sudanese parties would be held to account for their actions and the Council would be exacting in ensuring compliance.

    RONALDO SARDENBERG (Brazil) praised both the Kenyan Government and IGAD for their leadership role in the Sudan peace process. He said Kenya and IGAD had shown their commitment to an African ownership in steering the peace process. He noted that no matter how complex the situation was, the current generation of Sudanese leaders had the chance to grapple with history and seek a solution to their problems. However, he said that it was encouraging that regional countries remained firm in seeing to it that Sudan achieved stability. He also said that he would like to see a transitional government formed to be in a position to solve issues affecting the whole of the Sudan.  He noted that the dire humanitarian crisis in Darfur was likely to deteriorate if there were no commitment to human rights.  The international community must support the African Union force in the Sudan and he hoped the Secretary-General would keep the Security Council updated on the peace process.

    ISMAEL GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) stated that the results so far achieved by the Security Council were a good reward for the efforts by the President of the Council to seek peace in the Sudan.  Coming to Nairobi showed that the Security Council held IGAD countries in high esteem. He said that the Council should avoid a poorly equipped African Union force in Darfur, while there was a better-equipped United Nations force in southern Sudan.  He agreed with the Secretary-General that it was not possible to achieve much if the United Nations agencies did not have a well-coordinated mission.

    Council President JOHN DANFORTH (United States), speaking in his national capacity, stated that the only real measure of success of this historic meeting rests with the parties to the conflict in the Sudan. He recalled that this resolution was the fourth this year on the Sudan. He said pessimists might be tempted to dismiss the historic meeting “as just a photo-opportunity or another memorandum” as atrocities continued. He told Sudan’s Vice-President Ali Othman Taha and SPLM/A leader John Garang, who were present, that it was up to them to prove the doubters wrong by delivering on their word.

    He said that once the North-South peace agreement was in place then the flow of support would increase, on the understanding that the parties are fulfilling their commitments, including those agreed in Abuja and N’Djamena. There must be a peace agreement in place by 31 December. The Sudan must become a nation that respected human rights and replaced violence with dialogue and appealed to the parties to imagine and picture a prosperous Sudan with peace in Darfur. He stressed that justice must be brought to the people of Darfur. The violence and atrocities must end now, he declared, begging Sudanese leaders to heed those calls. Concluding that that dream of peace hinged on the parties signing that peace agreement in December 2004, he called on the parties to follow through with their promises and prove that they were people of their word.

    First Vice-President of the Sudan ALI OTHMAN TAHA said that the Sudan had tried to achieve peace from all quarters in the last 30 years. Finally, now, he was more convinced that the people of the Sudan would reap the dividends of peace. The imminent peace was not achieved through manoeuvres and posturing, but was as a result of digging by bare hands. The Government of the Sudan was committed to enforcing the peace protocols. The Naivasha peace process gave the best possible chance for peace to be achieved in the Sudan. He renewed his commitment to what was contained in the resolution and believed it has a positive message to push forward the quest for peace. He looked forward to the wider participation of the donor community at the donor conference in Norway. He thanked Ambassador Danforth for the role he had personally played in the search for peace in the Sudan for the past three years. He also thanked General Sumbeiywo and IGAD, as well as mediators.

    The leader of the SPLM/A, JOHN GARANG, congratulated everyone for resolution 1574 and for the memorandum of understanding. Signing the peace agreement at the end of the year and passing resolution 1574 would anchor the peace process, he said. It would create a momentum for peace, rather than war, and its message of greater unity was a good one to southern Sudan and the whole world. He commented that failure to meet a political settlement by 31 December would have serious consequences, more serious perhaps than sanctions and, therefore, pledged full commitment by SPLM/A, in order not to disappoint anyone. He said that the Sudan would need lots of assistance -- out of 48 years of independence, 39 years had witnessed war.  Agreements had been signed on security arrangements, disarming people and wealth sharing that were reflective of the diversity of the Sudan.  Failure to manage diversity had led to suffering. These six protocols for peace must be implemented and there must be tangible benefits. Reconstruction and development were vital.

    He appreciated the efforts of Norway on the donor conference, but urged donors to honour their pledges and release funds – otherwise, they were empty promises. Peace meant putting lives back together. “We will act as catalysts.” The Sudan had vast resources and vast ideas and all would be unlocked by the peace agreement. He welcomed all nations to share in the paradigm shift taking place in the politics, economics, and society of the Sudan.

    HILDE F. JOHNSON, Minister of International Development of Norway, spoke on behalf of donors, prior to the forthcoming plans for the international donor conference for the Sudan in Oslo. She stated that the Security Council meeting in Nairobi sent a strong message to the effect that that the world supported a Sudan without war and that all play a role in bringing peace to the Sudan.  However, the responsibility for peace lay primarily with Sudanese leaders. She shared the view that a peace agreement would not only bring an end to the long-lasting conflict between North and South that had cost many lives and had inflicted tremendous human suffering, but could also provide a political platform for addressing the underlying causes of the ongoing conflicts in the Sudan, including Darfur.  The Oslo conference must not be overshadowed by uncertainties regarding the Sudan’s debt burden.  She suggested that the solution must be broad in scope, and it must include non-Paris club members.

    SAMIR HOSNY, on behalf of the League of Arab States, indicated that the League was keen on promoting peace in the Sudan, which has always been an item on their agenda. The Arab League had been encouraging the SPLM/A to sign a peace agreement. Concentrated efforts on developing southern Sudan had led to pledges of funds, awaiting the final signing of the peace agreement. However, $200 million for developing infrastructure and other programmes had been given by the Arab League. The Arab Summit called on Arab credit funds to help ease the Sudan’s debt burden amounting to $65 billion, most owed to Arab States. As peace had become a real possibility, he called on parties to sign the peace agreement by the end of the year.

    KEITARO SATO (Japan) said on a recent visit to the Sudan, refugees and internally displaced persons he met were eager for a quick return to their homes. Japan had been watching with keen interest the negotiations aimed at achieving peace in the Sudan. Japan wanted the parties to end the war immediately. Development of Africa was viable if it had African ownership and partnership with development partners, and Japan looked at the IGAD initiative in that context. To resolve the Darfur crisis, all parties must immediately halt the violence and give full support to the African Union. The parties must redouble their efforts. Japan had been steadily providing assistance to victims in Darfur and eastern Chad. Security Council members must speak in one voice and demand peace in the Sudan.

    GEORGE ATKIN, the High Commissioner of Australia to Kenya, speaking on behalf of New Zealand and his country, said that the two Governments were gravely concerned about the ongoing conflicts in the Sudan and the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights conditions in Darfur. While supporting the Security Council’s efforts towards a comprehensive peace agreement, the devastating conflict in Darfur was glaring evidence of the risks of continued instability and that there was no time to waste.  He said the two Governments were appalled by reports of horrific atrocities against the civilian population. The parties to the conflict must prevent further attacks on civilians. The Governments supported the United Nations operations, African Union mission and assistance to the victims of the conflict.

    ADRIAAN KOOIJMANS (Netherlands), speaking on behalf of the European Union, paid tribute to IGAD and the African Union for their untiring efforts to bring peace to the Sudan. The European Union would stand ready to assist in the reconstruction and development of the Sudan only on the understanding that the parties sign and implement a comprehensive peace agreement and fulfil all their commitments, including those on Darfur. Four hundred million euros had been earmarked for the Sudan. He added that the Union continues to exert pressure on both sides. He added that it would take appropriate measures, including sanctions, against the Government of the Sudan and all other parties if no tangible progress was achieved with regard to their obligations under Security Council resolutions 1556 and 1564. He declared that the Union welcomed the Government’s agreement to the rapid expansion of the mission of the African Union, which the European Union and its member States had facilitated through a contribution of more than 100 million euros, in addition to an earlier contribution of 18 million euros. In 2004 over 320 million euros were given for humanitarian assistance.

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