Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, the Secretary-General's Special Representative to Sudan, said that next year will be a crucial time for the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in 2005 by the two sides of the north-south conflict.
"As far as possible, each and every Sudanese will need to make every effort, both individually and collectively, to contribute to the success of the CPA, which will be measured, above all, by the extent to which it brings about, consolidates and sustains peace," said Mr. Qazi.
Key milestones for the CPA are next year's national elections, the first multi-party democratic ballot for decades and a 2011 referendum that could result in the secession of southern Sudan.
"The political leadership will have a special and historical responsibility towards the Sudanese people and the welfare and quality of life for coming generations," said Mr. Qazi in his New Year's message.
"They will need to set aside all other considerations and work together for the security, for the rights, and for the development of the potential of their people," he added.
Mr. Qazi, who also heads the 10,000-strong UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), assured the people and Government of Sudan that the UN and international community are committed to supporting efforts peace and development efforts in any way possible.