At the outset, I would like to thank Special Envoy Eliasson and Under Secretary-General Jean Marie Guehenno for their informative briefings. Our thanks go also to Ms. Ratsifandrihamanan for her presence and briefing the Council this morning. I am sure that these briefings have been very helpful for the council to consider that important matter at today ‘s Debate.
Against the backdrop of the recent disturbing violence that has taken place in various parts of the sub-region, my Delegation welcomes the recent positive developments with regard to Darfur and the Sudan. We commend the active and good-faith efforts made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Bashir of the Sudan on the sidelines of the AU Summit in Addis Ababa on 31 January 2008 towards facilitating UNAMID‘s deployment.
In this connection, Viet Nam welcomes the agreement reached between the Government of the Sudan and the UN on the initial draft of the Status-of-force Agreement (SOFA) and the announcement of the Sudanese government of its readiness to sign this agreement tomorrow. My country believes that this agreement will expedite the full deployment of UNAMID. This fruitful outcome of the talks has once again underlined the importance of dialogue, consultation and co-operation between the UN and AU and the Government of the Sudan.
At the same time, we cannot afford to ignore the fact that given the current lack of troops and supporting equipments, UNAMID can hardly ensure an effective discharge of its mandate. We therefore call on the international community and countries in a position to do so to make substantial contributions to UNAMID as requested by the UN, the AU and proposed by the Sudanese Government.
It is our hope that all the parties concerned will co-operate and work together to resolve the outstanding technical bottlenecks on the way of UNAMID‘s full deployment. In particular, we urge the rebel movements in Darfur to renounce violence, join the peace and political process, and co-operate with the UN and the AU in facilitating the deployment of UNAMID. We wish to stress that the parties concerned must build on the momentum created by the August 2007 Arusha peace talks under the auspices of the UN and the AU as well as the Sirte process launched by Libya in October last year, and actively respond to the good offices efforts under way by the UN and the AU.
My Delegation would like to reiterate Viet Nam 's strong support for the full deployment of UNAMID in conformity with the mandate provided by Resolution 1769. It is our conviction that a full and effective deployment of UNAMID in Darfur will help restore peace and stability not only in Darfur and the Sudan but also in other countries in this sub-region, namely Chad and the Central African Republic.
In parallel with the peacekeeping track and UNAMID deployment, the international community and regional countries must devote equal attention and contribution to pushing forward the political process in Darfur and Sudan with a view to finding a just and lasting solution to the Darfur conflict. We would like also to emphasize that the peace and political process in Darfur cannot be divorced from the North-South peace and political process in the Sudan, especially the implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Peace, stability and prosperity will only be achieved in Darfur and the Sudan should all parties concerned jointly address the root causes of the conflict by taking a comprehensive approach to security, political and socio-economic development, so as not to give biased priority to one issue at the expense of the others.
The Vietnamese Delegation fully shares the observation made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 5 February this year, and I quote “the deployment of UNAMID will only be as effective as the political process it is mandated to support”, end of quote. With this in mind, we feel encouraged by the positive developments such as the return of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) to the Government of National Unity last December, the signing by President Bashir of the National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Strategic Plan, and the return of over 2 million refugees and IDPs to South Sudan since the conclusion of the 2005 CPA. Once fully utilized, these efforts will make a huge contribution to the overall peace and political process in Darfur and the Sudan at large.
My Delegation also hails the ongoing efforts made by the Secretary-General's Personal Envoy, Mr. Jan Eliasson, as well as the AU Special Envoy for Darfur, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, especially during their visit to Sudan last January to help organize the talks between the Sudanese Government and rebel groups. We fully agree that their efforts should enjoy strong support from the Security Council and the United Nations.
Finally, I would like to conclude by reaffirming the Vietnamese Government ‘s unwavering support for the efforts made by the UN and African countries for the full and effective deployment of UNAMID in particular and in bringing about peaceful resolutions to conflicts in Africa in general.I thank you, Mr. President.