11 July 2011Explanation of Vote by Sir Mark Lyall Grant, Permanent Representative of the UK Mission to the UN, following the adoption of resolution 1997
Thank you Mr. President,
It is with regret that we have, today, supported the adoption of Security Council resolution 1997 on the withdrawal of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).
Since its inception in support of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, UNMIS has worked to support the parties in fulfilling their commitments under the Agreement, and, where conflict has occurred, acted to protect civilians and assure the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need. We thank UNMIS and Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) Haile Menkerios, for their tireless efforts in this regard.
Sadly, UNMIS’ presence is still needed in Southern Kordofan State, where we continue to be deeply concerned by reports of ongoing violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. Civilians continue to suffer the impact of conflict, including aerial bombardment by Sudanese Armed Forces, and other abuses, reportedly including extra-judicial killings, forced displacement and arbitrary arrest and detentions. We unreservedly condemn the ongoing violence. In the absence of agreement on an extension we call on the Sudanese authorities to co-operate with UNMIS in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and the provisions of this resolution, as it winds down its operations, and to allow and support unfettered humanitarian access by humanitarian personnel to populations in need.
We further call on the Government of Sudan and the SPLM North to end hostilities, and agree a ceasefire, leading to new security arrangements. We reiterate the readiness of this Council, as set out in the resolution, which we have just adopted, both to continue current UN operations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States, and to assist the parties in implementation of new arrangements to be agreed between them. We recall the importance of completing the CPA-mandated Popular Consultations processes, by which the people of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile will express their views as to their future governance.