Press Releases

    SG/SM/9812
    AFR/1137
    12 April 2005

    Citing “Massive Shortfalls in Funding”, Secretary-General Appeals for $2.6 Billion for South Sudan

    NEW YORK, 11 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of the statement by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the Sudan Donors’ Conference in Oslo today:

    Let me first offer a special welcome to Vice-President Ali Osman Taha and to Dr. Garang, the two men who negotiated so hard, with the support of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and other countries, the Naivasha Agreement.

    We meet at a time of hope for the people of Sudan.  After so many years of conflict, we meet to reassure the parties that they are not alone in their efforts to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

    We meet to demonstrate international support for the process envisaged in the Agreement -- a process that we hope will culminate in peace, security, and prosperity for the Sudanese.

    We meet to congratulate the parties on taking this long-awaited step forward, but also to remind them of their ultimate responsibility towards their people.

    And we meet to remember the grim historical backdrop to this meeting:  a mosaic of lost lives, broken promises and despair, in which at least 2 million people have been killed, 4 million more have been uprooted from their homes, and more than 600,000 have been forced to take refuge in neighbouring countries.

    We know that in other parts of the world, hopes generated in the immediate aftermath of conflict have too often been dashed by simmering hatreds, opportunism, half-hearted decisions and good intentions gone awry.

    Over the past three decades, no fewer than half of all post-conflict situations have reverted to war within five years of the signing of a peace agreement.

    We meet because we know that overcoming the many obstacles ahead in Sudan will require the full and sincere commitment of the parties, as well as the enduring support of the international community -- political, moral and financial.

    Today, our thanks and congratulations go to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, led by the Kenyan Government and Chief Mediator General Lazarus Sumbweiyo.  We thank the international observers, in particular the Troika.  Let me say a special thank you to Norway, which hosts this important conference.

    But in the final analysis, this peace was achieved by the parties.  The Comprehensive Peace Agreement is the product of their determination and courage to resolve their differences through compromise, rather than violence and arms.  They now have a profound obligation to work together to create a political climate of inclusion, where the full range of Sudanese voices are heard, and where the peace dividend is justly distributed.

    We look to the parties to cooperate fully with the newly established United Nations operation in Sudan.  I should stress here the importance of all the elements of our operation -- from military and civilian police aspects to civil affairs and human rights.

    The parties face this obligation in the shadow of Darfur.  The situation there remains extremely grave, with continuing abuse of the civilian population and attacks against humanitarian workers.  The Security Council has imposed sanctions targeting those identified as threatening peace in Darfur, and referred the situation in Darfur to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.  These measures are not aimed at the people, nor their Government, nor Islam -- as some are attempting to allege.  Rather, they target individuals responsible for heinous crimes that neither the people of Sudan nor the rest of the world will tolerate.

    The only route to peace in Darfur is a political settlement, and progress is needed urgently in Abuja.  The Comprehensive Peace Agreement can serve as the basis and catalyst for lasting peace in Darfur and throughout Sudan.  I urge the Government, the SLM and the JEM, with the support of the SPLM, to work urgently to resume negotiations and conclude a lasting agreement.

    Equally urgently, the African Union Mission in Darfur must be strengthened by African leaders and the donor community.  I am also working with Chairperson Konaré and Member States towards practical action that can fundamentally improve the situation on the ground

    Darfur must not become an excuse for hesitant or piecemeal support for the recovery of the rest of Sudan -- any more than sustaining the peace in the south can be an excuse for failing to rescue the people of Darfur.  The stakes are too high for us not to seize this opportunity.  I urge Member States to bear in mind past experience.

    Indeed, if experience has taught us anything, it is that successful post-conflict recovery requires immediate, tangible and well planned investment for the long term.  How can the people of south Sudan be partners for peace when children born there have a 25 per cent chance of dying before they reach the age of five?  When these same children have only a 25 per cent chance of reaching the age of sixty-five?  When only 20 per cent of children go to primary school?

    And what about the marginalized, disaffected and destitute in the north?  Their plight is also stark -- and their stake in peace as great.

    The “Framework for Sustained Peace, Development and Poverty Eradication”, which you have before you today, paints a clear picture of what is needed.  Above all, our plans must be dovetailed with the implementation of the peace agreement.

    The Joint Assessment Mission, which formed the basis of the Framework document, was a model of collaboration between the parties and cooperation with the international community.  Together, we have identified a requirement for $2.6 billion in external support for the first two and a half years of the Interim Period.  And as we hear the Prime Minister say, those with capacity must give -- and give generously.  Actually he used the word “pledge”.  Pledge -- and pledge generously.  Pledges are good, but cash is better.  We must remain unified in taking the next step, by giving the parties what they need to help communities recover and to consolidate peace.

    At the same time, there are massive shortfalls in funding for the UN appeal covering this year -- an appeal that was launched almost five months ago.  We still need about $1 billion just to meet the most immediate needs, and with the rainy season approaching, time is running out.  How can we expect people in Darfur, in the South and the East to have hope for peace and development, if their very survival is under daily threat?

    The late response to our appeal is already affecting millions who depend on our support.  In Darfur, food rations for hundreds of thousands of displaced are being cut.  In the South, we will run out of food for 2 million people within a matter of weeks.  Other critical sectors like water and health are even worse off.  And there is far too little capacity to assist those returning to the South, with the bare minimum to survive.

    I urge you to close all these funding gaps for 2005 now, with firm commitments and cash contributions, not with pledges that may not be realized until it is too late for us to save lives.  If ever there was a time for donors to get off the fence, it is surely today.

    We know that, all too often, the greatest threat to renewed conflict is posed by soldiers who are not disarmed and given alternative economic livelihoods.  Experience has shown, time and again, that we need to make a decisive effort to reintegrate ex-combatants into society -- an effort that recognizes the fundamental human need for dignity and self-respect.  This must involve immediate support as soon as ex-combatants give up their arms, and concrete measures to guarantee them secure livelihoods, as well as a better future.

    True reform of the security sector requires such a broad approach.  The end-result must be a viable army and police force, as well as judicial institutions that serve the interest of the people in accordance with international standards.  Without these prerequisites for peace, post-conflict rebuilding has time and time again proved its fragility.

    I urge those Member States that have been faithfully supporting negotiations for many years to invest generously in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, as well as genuine security sector reform, and to show leadership in other areas.  As I stated in my recent report “In Larger Freedom”, the world must advance the causes of security, development and human rights together.  Otherwise, none will succeed.

    I am pleased that the plan before us today rests on a true partnership between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM, working together with each other and their international partners.

    Now, I look to all of you to help ensure that the peace nascent in parts of Sudan can take hold in the country as a whole.

    All the people of Sudan want clean water, food for their families, schools for their children, proper health care, and the prospect of development.  They have earned this peace.  We should not fail them.

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