Mr. Kio Amieyeofori

Minister/Political Coordinator

Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN

New York, NY

29th July 2011

As Delivered

Nigeria voted in favour of resolution 2003 (2011) because we believe in the indispensable role of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in the efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to Darfur and overall peace to the Sudan. We remain resolute in our conviction that the enduring partnership between the United Nations and the African Union (AU) in Darfur remains a solid foundation for preserving international peace and security.

 In the spirit of this partnership, we had hoped that the decision of the seventeenth AU Summit and the communiqué of the AU Peace and Security Council of 19 Judy 2011, stressing that the Darfur political process should constitute a priority in the new road map for Darfur and should be fully launched upon the positive outcome of the Doha process, would have been given due consideration.

 We are convinced that paragraph 7 of the resolution, specifying complicated enabling conditions that must be met, will constrain the inauguration of the Darfur political process. Indeed, making the launching of the Darfur political process contingent on the fulfilment of certain preconditions would be counterproductive. It could equip spoilers with the means to undermine the search for a comprehensive peace. It could also undermine the national ownership of the process.

 Nigeria’s view has consistently been that an internal political process is vital to inclusiveness and consensus-building in intercommunal relations in Darfur. As the Secretary- General notes in his latest report on UNAMID (S/2011/422), a Darfur peace process could also benefit from a Darfur-based internal dialogue and consultations that build popular support for local ownership and enhance the outcome of the Doha negotiation in the new road map.

 The elements that are enumerated in paragraph 7 are goals and not prerequisites. In our view, if we are serious about taking the critical first steps towards creating an enabling environment for the Darfur political process, then we should call for actions that are clearly feasible and can be easily implemented. That would be a more appropriate focus for the Council and the international community.

 We believe that the lifting of the emergency law in Darfur will greatly enhance the Darfur political process, as observed by the Joint Special Representative. It will serve as a critical confidencebuilding measure and be sufficient to kick-start the process.

 Finally, we believe that UNAMID has a critical role to play in ensuring a successful Darfur political process and in working closely with the Government of the Sudan to lift the state of emergency. We therefore discourage efforts to minimize its role or indeed to exclude UNAMID from the Darfur political process.