UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (R) attends a virtual high-level side event on Sudan at the UN headquarters in New York, on Sept. 30, 2021. Guterres on Thursday called for international support to consolidate peace and promote reforms in Sudan. (Eskinder Debebe/UN Photo/Handout via Xinhua)
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for international support to consolidate peace and promote reforms in Sudan.
Sudan has reached important milestones. Despite the challenges, democratic governance and peacemaking efforts have advanced, he told a high-level side event on Sudan.
The Juba Peace Agreement, signed almost a year ago, paves the way for ending Sudan's long-standing and devastating conflicts. As part of the nationally owned peace process, important work is under way to implement the agreement and to reach a deal with non-signatory armed movements. Sudan has also undertaken ambitious economic reforms, culminating in the decision point of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative. This will allow a measure of relief from Sudan's unsustainable debt burden and free up much-needed resources from the international financial institutions, he said.
The international community must do everything possible to help advance these and other efforts, said Guterres.
Last June, the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan was created to provide a new basis for the world body's support. Today, the mission, the UN Country Team, and the entire UN family remain fully committed to the success of Sudan's political transition, socio-economic recovery and the achievement of sustainable peace and inclusive development, he said.
Looking ahead, vital institutions such as the transitional legislative council will be crucial. The drafting of a constitution and setting the path for elections represent significant opportunities for further progress. Women's inclusion and meaningful participation will benefit the future of all Sudanese, he said.
Sudan continues to confront complex security challenges. The attempted coup last week is a reminder of persistent threats. It underscores the importance of undertaking all efforts to protect civilians, strengthen human rights, and provide safety and security for all, he said.
More than 13 million people in Sudan need humanitarian assistance, he noted.
The transitional government's commitment to extend critical assistance efficiently and equitably is commendable. Greater investment will be essential to help people transition to more sustainable livelihoods, expanding basic services and social protection. And, for that, the support of the international community is essential, he said.
He encouraged Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who was attending the high-level side event, to stay the course and continue working with partners in steering Sudan on a successful road ahead. He also encouraged the international community to do its part and support Hamdok and the Sudanese people every step of the way.
The virtual side event was hosted by the UN chief and Norway on the margins of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly. Enditem