Statement by the President – International Conference on Sudan, May 17, 2021 – Sudan
On May 17, France organized in Paris a conference of heads of state and government, chaired by Emmanuel Macron, in favor of Sudan’s democratic transition.
The President of the Sovereignty Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok represented Sudan.
African Development Bank, African Union, League of Arab States, Canada, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, European Union, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, International Monetary Fund, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Rwanda, Russia, The Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Spain, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States and World Bank participated.
Participants hailed Sudan’s return to the community of nations after more than three decades of isolation. The courage and determination of the Sudanese people, and in particular of the youth and women, helped defeat an authoritarian regime and paved the way for a transition to democratic rule.
Considerable progress has been made in the exercise of fundamental freedoms since the signing of the constitutional declaration of August 17, 2019. The authorities’ commitment to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women opens up new possibilities for the respect and promotion of their rights. Efforts to continue reforming the security services will also contribute to full respect for human rights and the rule of law. Participants noted that the Sudanese people’s search for peace and reconciliation demands that their demand for justice be met.
The proper functioning of the transitional institutions is essential to prepare for free and transparent elections at the end of the transitional period so that a constitution guaranteeing equal rights for all Sudanese citizens can be drafted and a fully legitimate government. can be trained. Participants encouraged the transitional authorities to continue to work harmoniously to ensure a successful transition. It is essential that the Transitional Legislative Council, comprising a significant percentage of women, be formed quickly so that the transitional authorities can be fully established, thereby strengthening their legitimacy. Sudan’s successful transition can and must become a model for Africa and the world at a time when many countries face similar challenges.
The signing of the Juba Peace Agreement on October 3, 2020 was an important step in restoring peace, stability and security to all regions of Sudan. Much remains to be done, as the recent clashes in Darfur and other regions have shown. Movements that have not joined the peace process are invited to do so as soon as possible. Only a Sudan which offers all its citizens the same rights and the same opportunities can enable them to live in peace and security. The participants commended the efforts made in this regard by the Sudanese authorities, in particular in the implementation of the National Civil Protection Plan, and the assistance that UNITAMS in Sudan could provide them.
Participants are deeply concerned about the tensions in the region which threaten its stability and undermine development opportunities. It is important that everyone contributes through dialogue to the search for peaceful and mutually beneficial solutions. The participants expressed their firm conviction that an agreement could be found on the filling and management of the Renaissance dam so that it could benefit all the countries of the region.
Important progress has been made economically. An agreement with the International Monetary Fund has been concluded. Sudan has been removed from the list of sponsoring states of terrorism. Participants welcomed measures to remove subsidies in the energy sector and reunify exchange rates. They welcomed the commitment of the Sudanese authorities to continue the reform work which has already started. In the wake of the Partnership Conference with Sudan held in Berlin in 2020 during which the extent of support to partners in the transition process could be assessed and considerable funds could be raised for this purpose, partners have reaffirmed their determination to continue to give their full support to the transitional authorities in their efforts to create the conditions for sustainable development and ensure the prosperity of the Sudanese people. They also reaffirmed their solidarity with the Sudanese people who continue to face extremely difficult living conditions. They commended the efforts undertaken and accomplished to improve fiscal governance and transparency in the public sector, strengthen the fight against corruption and in-depth reform of the banking and monetary sectors. All these measures will help improve the business climate and are essential conditions for the development of a robust and sustainable economic model.
The participants learned about the projects presented by the Government to the Business Forum. They aroused the interest of investors in the opportunities offered by Sudan and took note of the commitments made by the government to support their investment projects.
With a 30-year history of mismanagement, Sudan has a considerable and unsustainable external debt. The participants reaffirmed their willingness to support Sudan’s debt settlement within the framework of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, an essential condition for allowing Sudan to regain access to the external financing necessary for its development.
To enable Sudan to meet the essential condition of its debt relief, namely the repayment of all its multilateral arrears, France announced that it would provide the $ 1.5 billion bridging loan to repay Sudan’s arrears owed to it. the International Monetary Fund. France’s announcement comes in addition to those related to the clearance of arrears to the World Bank and the African Development Bank
Moreover, thanks to these efforts of France, United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the Union European Union to clear Sudan’s multilateral arrears, the way is open for the re-engagement of international financial institutions. alongside the Sudanese authorities, who could receive nearly $ 2 billion in short-term donations.
In addition, participants heard assessments from international financial institutions regarding the Sudanese authorities’ commitment to reform, which is also an important condition for Sudan’s debt relief. They encourage the transitional government to continue implementing its reform program in order to fully meet this condition.
With the conditions for Sudan’s debt relief being met, France calls on all of Sudan’s bilateral creditors, whether or not they are members of the Paris Club, to participate in the process from June in a coordinated and equitable manner. Sudan debt relief. long-term. Regarding this process, France reiterates its commitment within the framework of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative to participate in the cancellation of Sudan’s bilateral debt.
The participants reaffirmed their willingness to continue supporting the efforts of the Sudanese authorities to enable a successful transition to a fully legitimate and inclusive civilian government that guarantees peace, freedom and justice for the Sudanese people.