Mr. President,

I would like to start by thanking Assistant Secretary-General Martha Pobee for her briefing.

As she soberly mentioned, fighting continues to rage in Sudan with no sign of abatement. Far from the media attention, this conflict is taking a catastrophic toll on the civilian population, as others have said. As the Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan pointed out last week: this conflict has few equivalents in terms of the scale of the crisis or the depth of the misery.

In this respect, I would like to highlight three priorities for my country.

First, the protection of civilians. To this end, the fighting must stop immediately. We call on the SAF and RSF to seize every opportunity to commit to a ceasefire. The confidence-building measures adopted as part of the Statement of Commitments last week in Jeddah are a step in this direction. These measures are all the more important as hostilities between the two parties have intensified during the resumption of talks, particularly in Darfur. We are extremely concerned to receive once again, this time from the Ardamata district of El Geneina, alarming and credible reports of further ethnic massacres committed by the RSF and allied militias, mainly against the Masalit community. We condemn these acts in the strongest possible terms. Two days ago, the Secretary-General's Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide again warned us of the growing risk of genocide and other atrocity crimes. We simply cannot ignore these warning signs. Respect for international humanitarian law and human rights is not optional, but imperative. We demand independent investigations and justice for the victims.

Second, improving the humanitarian situation. We welcome the launch this week of the Humanitarian Forum which was envisaged at the last round of negotiations in Jeddah. We call on the parties to keep these promises and to take immediate and concrete steps to reduce access constraints and bureaucratic obstacles. We would also like to thank the countries in the region once again for welcoming people fleeing the conflict, keeping their borders open and facilitating cross-border humanitarian operations. The Assistant Secretary-General said so, this conflict has caused the world's largest displacement crisis, and humanitarian needs are reaching unprecedented levels. Switzerland remains committed to the humanitarian response. Last week, we provided the World Food Programme in Egypt with a total of an additional 1.4 million dollars so that Sudanese people can continue to receive vital assistance.

Third, efforts to find a negotiated and lasting solution to this conflict. We know that no military solution will be accepted by the Sudanese people. Switzerland reiterates its call for a return to a credible and inclusive political process. In this context, we welcome the efforts currently being made by civilian actors to bring together diverse voices, united against the war, to set common objectives for the country's future. I also welcome the various diplomatic initiatives put forward by regional and international players to work towards a peaceful solution. These efforts must be closely coordinated and complementary in order to achieve lasting results. I would remind you that Mayada Adil, the representative of civil society, asked the Council in September on behalf of Sudanese women that their political participation in these processes be considered a priority. We would like to emphasize this point.

Mr. President,

Given the gravity of the situation in the country and in the region, this Council must assume its responsibility to advance peace and security and protect the Sudanese people who desperately want to live in peace. We believe that a political UN presence in Sudan is essential to support diplomatic efforts in this regard. We welcome the Secretary-General's letter announcing an independent strategic review of UNITAMS, led by Ian Martin, and hope that its recommendations will provide the Council with concrete options for a viable and context-sensitive configuration. We will engage constructively in the discussions ahead.

I thank you.