Prof. U. Joy Ogwu

Ambassador and Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations

New York, NY

9th February, 2011 

As Delivered

Let me to join others in thanking His Excellency President Mkapa, Special Representative of the Secretary-General Haile Menkerios and Ambassador Mahmoud Kane for their illuminating and inspiring statements today. Their invaluable input throughout this historic process has without a doubt contributed to the successful outcome of the South Sudan referendum. I would also like to welcome the representatives of the Governments of the Sudan and South Sudan and thank them indeed for their contributions to this meeting.

 On behalf of my Government, I want to welcome the final result of the South Sudan referendum, which represents the true and valid wish of the people of South Sudan, expressed in a free, fair and transparent process.

 In that connection, we want to once again commend President Omer Al-Bashir and First VicePresident Salva Kiir for leading the challenging process to a successful conclusion. Their statements of mutual support and timely acceptance of the outcome of the referendum, reaffirmed here today by their representatives, demonstrate their exemplary courage, leadership, goodwill and dedication to the peace process. The people of the Sudan and the United Nations Mission in the Sudan also deserve our commendation.

 The announcement and acceptance of the referendum results by all parties in the Sudan have paved the way for a new State to emerge through a peaceful process, and we look forward to welcoming South Sudan into the United Nations and African Union families in July. We hope that the parties in the Sudan will seize the current moment to pursue sincere negotiations on the remaining CPA and post referendum issues. It is possible, in our view, for both parties, inspired by the success of the referendum to work tirelessly between now and July to complete the key outstanding tasks under the CPA.

 We share the concerns expressed by Member States today over the status of Abyei. We believe that it is necessary to reach workable compromises on the Abyei question, the North-South border, popular consultations in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, and security arrangements between the North and South. Undoubtedly, the successful determination of these issues will engender a stable partnership between North and South Sudan in the long term.

 There is no doubt that South Sudan will face formidable challenges on the road to achieving a stable and effective Government. Indeed, the challenges of State-building will be exacerbated by the rising expectations of independence and statehood. The truth, however, is that attaining economic, political and social transformation is always an arduous process. The leaders of South Sudan must therefore stay focused on and remain committed to developing a transparent and inclusive political process that incorporates all segments, guarantees freedoms and protects all people, particularly women and children.

 We welcome in this regard First Vice-President Salva Kiir’s convening of a constitutional panel to review the South’s legal institutions. Nigeria recognizes that Southern Sudanese leaders cannot overcome the major challenges facing the territory on their own. Now more than ever, this Council and the international community must stand in solidarity with Southern Sudan. Our solidarity will indeed be put to the test in the quality and quantity of the assistance that we provide to the Government and people of South Sudan.

 This Friday’s Security Council debate on the interdependence between security and development will provide an opportunity for the Council to clarify its role in that regard. It is important for the Council to remain as united, resolute and committed as it has been in the past. We implore the African Union, the European Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on

Development, neighbouring countries and other bilateral partners to join hands in assisting Southern Sudan.

 On Darfur, we welcome Joint Chief Mediator Djibrill Bassolé’s extensive consultations within the Sudan and in the region. We also welcome the substantial progress in the Doha talks, and commend the Joint Chief Mediator for his perseverance and the Qatar Government for its enduring support. Once again, we urge the Justice and Equality Movement, the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdul Wahid and the Government of the Sudan to seize the opportunity to engage fully in the Doha talks without preconditions. Nigeria firmly believes that an internal political process is indispensable to inclusiveness and consensus-building in intercommunal relations in Darfur. We therefore welcome the prospect of an open and credible Darfur-based political process to support and strengthen the Doha talks.

 We would like to seize this opportunity to express once again our unalloyed support for the work of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) under the leadership of Mr. Ibrahim Gambari. I should note here that UNAMID is working in a challenging environment in Darfur.

 Nigeria takes this opportunity to reiterate its commitment to the Sudanese peace process. We believe that our collective support will be crucial as the people of the Sudan, in the North and the South alike, make the necessary adjustments and transform their fortunes.