New York – 1. The Sudan-South Sudan Consultative Forum (SSSCF), initially established as the Sudan Consultative Forum on 8 May 2010, held its fifth meeting at United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York, on 27 September 2012. The meeting was co-chaired by the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Jean Ping. The Chairperson-elect of the AU Commission, Madam Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was also present.
2. In addition to the AU and the UN, the following States and organizations participated in the meeting: (i) neighbouring countries of South Sudan and Sudan, namely Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda; (ii) Benin, as the Chair of the AU; (iii) the permanent members of the UN Security Council – UNSC (China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America), as well as South Africa and Togo as AU Member States on the UNSC; (iv) Norway and Qatar; (v) Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Turkey; (vi) IGAD (Secretariat and Chair), the League of Arab States (Secretariat and Chair), the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, African Development Bank and the World Bank.
3. The meeting was convened to review progress made on post-secession negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan following the adoption of the AU Roadmap on 24 April 2012, which was subsequently endorsed by the UNSC, through resolution 2046 of 2 May 2012.
4. Participants heard presentations from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan, Mr. Ali Ahmed Karti, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan, Mr. Nhial Deng Nhial. Participants also received a message from H.E. General Abdulsalami Abubakar on behalf of the African Union High-level implementation Panel (AUHIP), the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, and the Under-Secretary-General for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. These were followed by an interactive discussion.
5. Participants commended President Bashir of Sudan and President Kiir of South Sudan for the breakthrough achieved during the negotiations which ended today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In particular, they commended the two presidents for demonstrating constructive leadership and political will to reach agreements on: security, border issues (including demarcation), oil, the Status of Nationals of the Other State and other economic arrangements.
6. Participants praised the AUHIP for facilitating the resolution of the outstanding issues between the Parties. They acknowledged the contribution of the AU Border Programme to the on-going efforts. The Participants commended the work of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan for his support to the negotiation process. They further praised UNISFA and the other relevant peacekeeping operations for their support to the peace process between the two countries.
7. Participants commended the Parties for reaching agreement on the administrative and security map presented by the AUHIP in November 2011, necessary for the establishment of the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) and the activation of the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM). Participants also commended the Parties for reaching comprehensive agreements on the critical issue of oil and transitional financial arrangements which will enable the resumption of oil production and exports. The implementation of these agreements will alleviate the sharply deteriorating economic conditions in both countries. Participants further welcomed the Parties’ agreements on trade, banking, assets and liabilities, pensions and the joint approach to the international community, all of which which will greatly contribute to the economic viability of the two States.
8. Participants noted that the AUHIP has submitted a comprehensive proposal regarding the Final Status of Abyei, and strongly encouraged the Parties to continue negotiations on this issue, with a view to reaching agreement before the Peace and Security Council meets to consider the report of the AUHIP.
9. In the meantime, Participants encouraged the Parties to implement the remaining provisions of the 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area, including, inter alia, the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration, the Abyei Executive Council, the Abyei Police Service and the Intergovernmental Taskforce on Humanitarian Assistance.
10. Participants encouraged the parties to complete expeditiously the negotiations related to the disputed and claimed border areas.
11. Expressing grave concern regarding the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States of Sudan, participants welcomed the memoranda of understanding reached separately by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) with the UN, AU and League of Arab States, respectively, on 4 and 5 August 2012. They further called on the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-N to fully and faithfully implement the terms of the Memoranda in order to expedite the unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance, bearing in mind the urgency of the situation, in accordance with applicable international law, including applicable international humanitarian law and the accepted principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence in the provision of humanitarian assistance.
12. Participants welcomed the efforts of the AUHIP and the Chair of IGAD to assist the Parties to resolve the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States. They urged the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-N to engage in direct talks through the facilitation of the AUHIP and the Chair of IGAD, to urgently agree and implement a cessation of hostilities, which is necessary to ensure effective humanitarian access, and create a conducive environment for further progress on political and security issues.
13.Participants paid tribute to the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and thanked his successor, Hailemariam Desalegn, for carrying on his work.
14. Participants agreed to reconvene on the margins of the next AU Summit to review progress made in the implementation of the agreements and encouraged the African Union to continue supporting their implementation.