The following statement was issued on 9 January by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended more than 20 years of civil war in Sudan. During the past five years, considerable progress has been made in the implementation of the CPA and the strengthening of the relationship between the two parties to the Agreement. However, the final year of the CPA will be an extremely challenging one, especially as the parties prepare for elections and the exercise of the right of self-determination for Southern Sudan.
These challenges require the parties urgently to establish the necessary legal, political and institutional framework for the conduct of free, fair and credible elections, referenda and popular consultations. It is also important that they engage now in substantive discussions on post-referendum arrangements, regardless of the outcome of the referendum. There must be renewed efforts to strengthen basic services throughout Sudan and to improve protection for all Sudanese through continued improvements in the areas of human rights, humanitarian recovery, rule of law and development.
More fundamentally, the parties must work towards reconciliation. The people of Sudan have witnessed the horrible consequences of war and have waited more than 20 years for the benefits of peace. If the CPA is to deliver this peace, it will require a substantially increased commitment by the parties, with the support of the international community.
In this context, support for the successful implementation of the CPA is one of the top United Nations priorities for this year. The United Nations will work closely with all national, regional and international stakeholders to help the parties meet the final benchmarks of the Peace Agreement.
For information media - not an official record