Remarks of SRSG Volker Perthes at the signing ceremony of the Framework Agreement

5 Dec 2022

Remarks of SRSG Volker Perthes at the signing ceremony of the Framework Agreement

President of the Sovereignty Council and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Al Burhan,

Vice-Chair of the Sovereignty Council and Commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Lt. General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo,

Members of the Sovereignty Council,

And most importantly, Signatories to this Framework Agreement,

Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Distinguished guests,

May peace be upon you.

I am delighted to be here with you today to witness the signing of a Political Framework Agreement between a broad range of political actors and the military institution in Sudan. This ceremony today is indeed a culmination of the sustained efforts of Sudanese stakeholders over the past year to find a solution to the political crisis and restore constitutional order, in clear line with the demands for a civilian-led transition towards elections and democracy.

I would like to commend the signatories for their courageous steps in reaching necessary and often difficult compromises. In particular, I applaud the military’s expressed commitment, last July, to exit the political scene. This commitment has created a new dynamic which is now reflected in the understanding about the transitional institutions. I also applaud the efforts of the civilian actors to establish broad-based consensus on the envisaged transitional constitutional arrangements and the role of the military.

The process leading to this agreement has been truly Sudanese-owned and Sudanese-led. The framework which you have been signing today would not have been reached without the determined efforts of a number of civil society actors and national figures who have been shuttling between different actors, given their advice, and encouraged compromise.

Let me also thank my partners in the Trilateral Mechanism - the African Union and IGAD and my colleagues at UNITAMS - who have spared no effort to encourage all sides to engage in dialogue and who have helped to bridge gaps where they existed.

It is my hope that the principles in the document will be translated into action. The transitional authorities need to respect and protect the rights and freedoms of all Sudanese, regardless of their ethnic, religious or political background. It is particularly encouraging to see that this Framework Agreement stipulates the need to protect women’s social, political and economic rights, and their representation with no less than 40 percent in the national government and legislative.

Let me also underscore the decisive role played by the young men and women on the streets all across Sudan. Without them, we would probably not be here in this moment. It is my hope that these young men and women will consider this Agreement as an important first step towards the restoration of civilian rule and the realization of the goals of the December revolution. I say this in deep recognition of the ultimate price which youth in this country have paid in their fight for freedom, peace and justice. I affirm that the United Nations stands with them in their demands for justice and accountability, and their freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

I’ll continue my speech in Arabic.

It is important that the second phase of this political process begins immediately to deal with the outstanding issues needed to complete a comprehensive political agreement, including justice and transitional justice, security sector reform and integration that lead to the formation of one united army, the future of the Dismantling Committee, the Juba Peace Agreement, and the East. This phase will require broad-based consultations with all key stakeholders including youth, women, families of martyrs, and civil and native society organizations, along with political parties and military institutions. It will also require continued efforts to reach out to key political forces that have not signed onto today’s Framework Agreement.

I hope that this Agreement will pave the way for the swift formation of a civilian government which can address the security, humanitarian and economic situation. The establishment of a credible government is critical in order to re-establish state authority and basic service delivery across the country, as well as to create the conditions necessary for the resumption of international support, including debt relief and debt cancellation.

Sudan needs also a recognized government necessary to launch a Sudanese-Sudanese dialogue aimed at addressing the foundational issues facing the country – including the identity of the state or the equitable wealth sharing – and pave the way for the completion of the peace process with the SPLM-N of Abdelaziz El Hilu and SLM of Abdul Wahid Al Nour.

Let me end here by once again commending all the Sudanese stakeholders here  and the courageous step you have taken to move past the differences and find a common solution in the interest of this country.  While this Framework agreement is not perfect, it does provide a good basis, a very good basis, to begin to restore civilian rule. I strongly encourage all other parties to join the political process and engage constructively in pursuit of this goal. 

I would also like to thank the international community for their continued support to Sudan and call on them, from here, to continue their preparations to resume international support for Sudan in a new transitional phase.

Thank you