Reports of the Secretary-General on the Sudan and South Sudan.
The Security Council decided today to extend the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) until 3 June 2023.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2636 (2022) (to be issued as document S/RES/2636(2022)), the Council also requested the Secretary-General to continue to report to the Council every 90 days on the implementation of the UNITAMS mandate.
James Kariuki of the United Kingdom, which sponsored the resolution, said the Council’s action will enable the Mission to provide support to Sudan at a time when the country faces an economic, humanitarian and security crisis. However, he said his delegation would have preferred the adoption of a substantive resolution in support of UNITAMS’ vital efforts in facilitating, alongside the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a Sudanese-led process to restore a civilian-led transition towards democracy.
Such a resolution, he went on to say, would have allowed for the updating of UNITAMS priorities to reflect Sudan’s own request for traditional support on issues such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; transitional justice, and civilian protection. Welcoming the recent lifting of the state of emergency, and the release of detainees, he called on Sudanese authorities to ensure that civilian and political freedoms are respected, and to end the excessive use of force against protestors.
Similarly, several members expressed regret that the Council was unable to agree on a substantive resolution.
Caít Moran of Ireland said there was a missed opportunity to substantively update the mandate to reflect the current reality in Sudan and more effectively frame the critical work that UNITAMS is carrying out to achieve its objectives.
Juan Ramón de la Fuente Ramírez of Mexico deplored that a substantive resolution was not put forward; the agreed-upon extension does not take into account the events of the past 12 months. He expressed his support for the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to create conditions for dialogue and the restoration of constitutional order.
Vassily Nebenzia of the Russian Federation, noting that the sponsor’s efforts allowed for consensus to be maintained within the Security Council, emphasized that the Sudanese themselves must agree upon the timelines, pace and parameters for their country’s transition period. Political and economic pressure from outside, even if based on good intentions, risks worsening an already complicated situation, he said, noting that most external players come to the region with their own interests, causing new spikes of instability.
Xing Jisheng of China said the disagreements among Sudanese parties on the specific modalities for achieving a political transition must be resolved through a Sudanese-led and Sudanese-owned political process. The international community should remain patient, create the space for the resolution of those differences and avoid taking sides. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the mission must support Sudan in exploring a development path that is in line with that country’s conditions.
Representatives of Norway, United States, France and Albania also spoke.
The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 10:23 a.m.