I congratulate you for promoting this historic session on the recommendation for admission of a new Member State to the United Nations, the Republic of South Sudan.
I thank the Secretary-General for his briefing and extend my greetings to H.E. Mr Riek Machar, Vice-President of the Republic of South Sudan, as well as H.E. Mr. Ali Ahmed Karti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sudan.
In expressing its support for South Sudan’s application to UN membership, Brazil renews its historical and cultural bonds with Africa as well as its commitment to the Continent’s economic, social and political development. We look forward to the promotion of solid relations with the South Sudanese authorities and people, which we believe will yield benefits to both our nations. Brazil is ready to cooperate with South Sudan in areas that may contribute to its sustainable development.
An important step was taken with the visit by the Brazilian Vice-Minister for African Affairs, representing President Dilma Rousseff in the Independence Day ceremonies that took place in Juba on July 9th, and the establishment of diplomatic relations that very day. Our representative was honoured to have participated in a historic event that reflected the self-confidence of the South Sudanese people, as they celebrated the hard-earned opportunity for building a brighter future.
It is an honor for me to address the Security Council on an occasion for which the UN, including this Council, played a significant role. This accomplishment builds on a track record of involvement in the region, made of often creative and courageous undertakings: I recall, particularly, “Operation Lifeline Sudan”, which brought relief to many thousand of civilians in need. This operation, as Brazil understands it, is a lasting example of the concept of “responsibility to protect” put to use with a broader perspective, one that doesn’t necessarily involve military means.
Brazil presided over this Council in March 2005, when the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) was established to assist the parties to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. More recently, the Council held a session to welcome the peaceful conduct of the referendum in which the South Sudanese people chose to establish an independent State.
Today, we meet to celebrate the implementation of that decision. Tribute must be paid, first and foremost, to the two parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
The authorities and the peoples of the Republic of South Sudan and of the Republic of Sudan demonstrated political courage in working towards this moment. They proved wrong those who thought they could not work together for common goals. They remind this Council that it can discharge its responsibilities under the Charter through negotiated diplomatic solutions.
We must also recognize the leadership role played in the early negotiations by the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the central role played by the African Union throughout the process that led to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The African Union has given proof of its ability to engage actors on a complex, lenghty process, one that tested the resilience of its institutions. We believe that the AU is an example of political integration that offers important lessons to other areas of the world; in South America, attention is certainly being paid to the African example by members of UNASUR.
Many other international actors, including NGOs, deserve credit for their contribution to the successful implementation of the referendum and the transition to an independent South Sudan.
As we celebrate South Sudan’s independence, we must not forget the many challenges that still lie ahead. Brazil strongly encourages the leaders to settle their remaining differences through peaceful means and to put their long-term interests ahead of other considerations.
We encourage the Parties to redouble their efforts to reach agreements on all outstanding issues, particularly on the final status of Abyei, on settling the North-South border, on wealth-sharing arrangements and on the immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities in South Kordofan.
Brazil believes that the vision of a democratically transformed Sudan can continue to inspire both countries. The leaders of South Sudan, who have endured a long struggle for autonomy, will certainly see the importance of ensuring that this achievement translates itself into improved living conditions for all South-Sudanese.
This perspective should also apply to the situation in Darfur. We welcome the Doha Draft Document for Peace in Darfur and its endorsement by the All Darfur Stakeholders Conference as positive steps. We commend the Government of Qatar and the AU-UN Joint Mediation Team for their efforts and will continue to support the parties in this process.
As the Security Council stated last February, security and development are closely interlinked, and mutually reinforcing for attaining durable peace.
As both Sudan and South Sudan continue to face the challenges of nation-building, the international community should increase its support to both Juba and Khartoum.
We are glad to note that ECOSOC and the Peacebuilding Commission have started to consider how best to assist the Sudanese people. We are also pleased that Resolution 1996, which established the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), envisages the kind of coherent and integrated support to post-conflict countries called for in Presidential Statement 4 of 11th February last, adopted under Brazilian Presidency.
Brazil encourages those that have not yet done so to take steps to normalize economic relations with the Sudanese. We support calls for debt relief. We also urge all development partners to step up bilateral and multilateral support. In the context of the IBSA group, Brazil, India and South Africa are negotiating three cooperation projects that that we believe will benefit the people of South Sudan; the three countries also intend to work, within the framework of the IBSA Fund, with Sudan.
As part of Brazil’s renewed engagement with the African Continent, our relations with the Republic of Sudan have intensified in the past few years. Bilateral cooperation projects and private partnerships, which aim at developing the country’s potential in the area of agriculture, are underway. In 2009, Sudan became the first country in its region to produce and export ethanol with Brazilian technology. Other promising projects involve cotton and soya.
We are convinced that agriculture can also play a pivotal role in the future of South Sudan. As we are all aware, the country has immense potential in terms of land, climate, and human resources. In our bilateral meetings, the authorities of South Sudan have indicated that agriculture will be a priority. Given the potential of both countries, efforts towards promoting rural development in Sudan and South Sudan can benefit the whole Northeast of Africa, where food security remains a challenge.
The independence of South Sudan is an event that evokes many of the traits in the African spirit which we have come to respect and admire: endurance, courage, patience. As the new nation embarks on a journey to build a free, democratic and peaceful home for its deserving people, South Sudan will need the active support of the United Nations and its individual members. Brazil looks forward to playing its part.
Thank you, Mr. President.