Summary: November 19, 2004: STATEMENT BY MARK ZELLENRATH, ADVISER, PERMANENT MISSION OF THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHERLANDS TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON BEHALF OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. SPECIAL POLITICAL MISSIONS: SUDAN (ITEM 108) - GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York)
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU. The Candidate Countries Bulgaria, Romania Turkey and Croatia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.
On various occasions, and in many different settings, the EU has expressed its grave concern regarding the situation in Sudan. The EU is fully committed to contribute to the solution of the conflicts in Sudan as a matter of great priority. As such, we have welcomed resolutions 1547 and 1556 of the Security Council, respectively establishing and extending the mandate for the United Nations advance team in Sudan. We also welcome the outcome of the deliberations by the Security Council that convened in Nairobi this morning.
We firmly believe that a Comprehensive Peace Agreement to end the North/South conflict will contribute towards peace and stability for the whole of Sudan, and could only have a positive impact on the Darfur crisis. Therefore, the work of the advance team is of great importance to the EU. Apart from the preparation of a UN peace support operation following the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement in Naivasha, its mandate now also covers contingency planning for the Darfur region and providing support to the African Union's mission in Durfur.
In order for the advance team to manage this increased mandate effectively, it is imperative that we provide it with the necessary resources. We accept the requested 19 additional positions for the core mandate of the mission, and, in the context of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, we also accept the 215 new positions for the Darfur component. We therefore support the proposals of the Secretary-General, as seconded by the ACABQ, to approve the budget for the advance team from the period from 11 September to 10 December in the amount of USD 21 million, of which USD 4 million will be met through unspent balances. The EU is ready to move expeditiously on this matter, and looks forward to the informal consultations.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.