United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (El Fasher)
Sudan: Statement by UNAMID Joint Special Representative at the Doha II Civil Society Conference
14 July 2010
Doha — The AU-UN Mission in Darfur's Joint Special Representative (JSR) Ibrahim Gambari is currently in Doha, Qatar, supporting the Joint Chief Mediator in the latest round of negotiations, which began yesterday. On 12 July, Professor Gambari addressed the representatives of Darfur's civil society organizations, who came together to discuss their contributions to the peace process.
His Excellency, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmad Ben Abdallah Al Mahmoud
His Excellency, the Joint Chief Mediator Djibril Bassolé,
Distinguished representatives of the international community,
Distinguished representatives of Darfur civil society organizations,
Members of the Press
Ladies and gentlemen,
1. I am very happy to be present today at this ceremony, which marks the formal opening of the second meeting of the representatives of the Darfur civil society organizations here in Doha. As head of UNAMID and one who is directly involved in peace support operation in Darfur, I am very much encouraged to see this great number of Darfuris coming together to discuss, coordinate positions and contribute inputs into the peace negotiations.
2. I therefore, must at this point, commend the commitment shown by the Darfur Civil Society and IDPs in the peace process. I recall the successful Doha I conference, at the end of which the landmark Civil Society Declaration was issued. Since then, through the work of many of you present here today, the Declaration has gained widespread popular support in Darfur and beyond. No less is expected out of this Doha II meeting. Therefore, as representatives of your respective societies and indeed of the entire people of Darfur, I enjoin you to set aside all considerations except those that will serve the best interests of your compatriots and your country; and to be focused and consistent in your deliberations. This is the only way for you to justify the confidence of those whom you represent; as well as the support that members of the international community - with Qatar in the forefront - have extended to you.
3. I wish to once again commend and congratulate the Joint Chief Mediator and the Qatari Government on their commitment in organizing these conferences, in coordination with UNAMID, thereby giving more and more Darfuris the opportunity to contribute to the collective search for peace in Darfur. I want to assure once again of UNAMID's continued support and assistance in your lead role in this endeavor and in other efforts to facilitate the achievement of a comprehensive and sustainable peace agreement as soon as possible.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
4. The search for durable peace in Darfur has gained momentum and has reached a critical stage. I therefore, wish to call on all who are holding out, particularly, the Justice and Equality Movement under Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, to join the process in the interest of peace and stability. In that regard, I strongly welcome the statement by the French Foreign Minister on 9 July announcing Abdul Wahid al Nur's support for the peace talks in Doha. I firmly believe that this decision will positively change the dynamics of the peace process; indeed, only through the active participation of all parties to the conflict will lasting peace and stability be possible in Darfur.
Distinguished representatives of the Darfuri civil society,
5. Your presence here in Doha can make a difference: It can be a catalyst for the parties, including the government and armed movements to speed up the peace process and reach an agreement that addresses the underlying problems in Darfur, sooner rather than later. I therefore, encourage all of you to make good use of this opportunity to convey to the parties present here in Doha, as well as those who continue to remain outside of this peace process, your needs and desires for lasting peace and prosperity in Darfur.
6. In this context, I welcome the continuing efforts to enhance cohesion among the representatives of Darfur civil society. Greater coordination and coherence amongst you is crucial for the conduct of the peace process and for the achievement of an all inclusive and comprehensive peace agreement.
I thank you very much for your attention.