Mr. President,


Like my colleagues, I would like to thank the Secretary-General for his briefing, but also all the United Nations staff on the ground and the Mission, which is in the process of withdrawing. I also welcome the presence and efforts of Special Envoy Lamamra.


Almost one year since the outbreak of the conflict, there is so much loss, destruction, suffering and trauma that Sudan is threatened in its very existence. As the fighting continues to rage without any sign of de-escalation, the cries of the Sudanese people are suffocated in a conflict that seems to have sunk into the "fog of global amnesia", as the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, put it.


Given the urgent need for action, I would like to reiterate three priorities:


First, protecting civilians. Every day we receive unspeakable reports of violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights. Horrifying accounts indicate that since the beginning of the conflict, women's bodies have been a despicable part of the battlefield. Ethnicity has once again become a matter of life and death. Many of these acts may constitute war crimes and other serious crimes under international law. Crimes that are taking place in a context of almost total impunity and lack of accountability. Moreover, telecommunications have been interrupted for weeks, which means that further atrocities are going unnoticed. We reiterate our urgent call on the SAF and the RSF to cease hostilities immediately, to respect their obligations under international law and to protect civilians. We also urge them to cooperate with human rights mechanisms, including the independent fact-finding mission, to obtain justice for the victims.


Second, improving the humanitarian situation. The figures describing the catastrophic situation are well known. I also refer to the joint statement delivered by Guyana on behalf of our two delegations on the rapidly deteriorating food security situation. At this stage, however, only 4% of the humanitarian response plan has been funded. Everything indicates that the situation will worsen further and that humanitarian needs will continue to increase. The decision by the Sudanese authorities in February to revoke the authorisation of cross-border humanitarian aid from Chad has only exacerbated the situation. We therefore welcome / note this week's announcement by the Sudanese authorities to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid from Chad and South Sudan as well as through humanitarian flights, and we urge that this be implemented swiftly. Cross-border delivery remains essential to reach more people. We continue to call on the parties to allow and facilitate safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access across borders and frontlines, and on the Sudanese authorities to reduce bureaucratic and administrative impediments. Moreover, we call for the respect and protection of humanitarian personnel, including local organisations and volunteers who are demonstrating exceptional resilience.


Third, a negotiated and lasting solution to the conflict. There are few signs that the parties are taking measures to stop the violence. We therefore reiterate the urgent call for a resumption of ceasefire negotiations and a credible and inclusive political process. In this respect, we welcome the efforts of civil actors to bring together diverse voices to develop common objectives for the future of the country. Time is running out to ensure complementarity between the diplomatic initiatives of regional and international actors in working towards a peaceful solution. Initiatives that we continue to support. Those who have influence over the parties to the conflict should play a significant role in bringing them back to the table. We fully support the UN Personal Envoy in his efforts to facilitate the achievement of this objective.


Mr. President,


We cannot remain silent in the face of such a human tragedy. This Council must assume its responsibility to protect the Sudanese people who desperately want to live in peace. I recall once again the remarks of Mayada Adil, the last civil society representative to brief the Council, who called on us to take urgent action on behalf of the people of Sudan. As Ramadan approaches, and echoing the Secretary-General's call today, we hope that this Council can send a strong signal to the parties by adopting a resolution calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities.


I thank you.


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