Remarks to the Security Council on Sudan/South Sudan Conflict

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
May 2, 2012

(As Delivered)

Ambassador Rice: Good afternoon. We’re going to have to raise this when my colleague from South Sudan speaks. [laughter] The United States is very pleased with the unanimous adoption by the Security Council of Resolution 2046, which endorses under Chapter VII and makes binding the requirements as well as the timelines embedded in the African Union Peace and Security Council’s decision of last week. We view this as a very important preventive measure to try to address what is an urgent and clear and present threat to international peace and security: the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan. The Council has made very clear that both parties are obliged to halt all forms of violence -- cross-border attacks, aerial bombardments, support to one another’s proxies, et cetera -- and to return promptly to the negotiating table to resolve the outstanding issues of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. And if either or both parties fail to do so, we have made clear as a Council that we are prepared to impose sanctions under Article 41 of the Charter.

The objective is not to impose sanctions, however. The objective is to bring a durable and lasting peace. And we and others on the Council and in the broader international community are committed to supporting the African Union and all ongoing efforts to bring the parties back to the table and to resolve these critical issues peacefully.

I’d like to make a couple comments on another development. This morning, as you may know, the 1718 Committee -- the North Korea Sanctions Committee -- has reached agreement on a new set of sanctions against North Korea as a consequence of their missile launch a few weeks ago and as we decided we would in the context of our presidential statement. These new sanctions include the designation of and the freezing of assets of three very significant North Korean entities very much involved in their illicit missile and nuclear programs. It also includes the updating of the missile technology control regime list and the nuclear suppliers group list, which we view as very important to tightening and keeping current the important regime against North Korea. And it also entails a new work plan for the Panel of Experts. Taken together, we view this as a strong and credible set of new sanctions by the 1718 Committee, and we’re pleased with that result as well.

I’m happy to take a few questions.

Reporter: Yeah, sure. On the resolution. In the chamber, Ambassador Churkin said that his understanding is that Chapter VII, Article 41 doesn’t apply in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. And outside, he said that’s because it’s an internal matter. Another ambassador that it makes this distinction between the paragraphs that are “decides” and the one that “strongly urges.” Do you see this distinction? Do you agree that somehow this resolution treats SPLM-North and those two areas differently than the North-South?

Ambassador Rice: Well, first of all the entire operative part is under Chapter VII, and there are, if I’m not mistaken off the top of my head, four “decides” paragraphs, including one -- paragraph three -- which relates to resolving the political issues that are at the root of the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile. And we view both Sudan -- the government of Sudan  -- and the SPLM-North as bound by OP 3 of the resolution. You’ll also notice in OP 6 -- where we talk about the potential for sanctions under Article 41 -- we list not only the government of Sudan and the government of South Sudan but the SPLM-North as potentially subject to measures should they not comply. So I think that answers the question. The Council took its time and was quite deliberate in negotiating and discussing and debating this resolution, and it has come forth with a clear and unanimous set of requirements on the parties and a clear statement of its intentions should the parties fail to comply.

Reporter: Could you give us the name of the entities for North Korea? And secondly, China seemed to have a lot of hesitations about eventually imposing sanctions.

Ambassador Rice: Well, we will put out -- the U.S. Mission will put out -- a fact sheet on the entities and the other actions taken by the 1718 Committee. We -- the most significant of the entities is the Green Pine Conglomerate, but the other two are very important as well. And we can give you all the facts subsequently.

Reporter: (Inaudible)

Ambassador Rice: You didn’t ask a question, you made a statement, Evelyn, so I didn’t know what to do with that.

Reporter: (Inaudible)

Ambassador Rice: No.

Reporter: Madame ambassador, it’s a question about Egypt. The situation there is deteriorating. There has been -- people are being killed, protesters are being killed today. The election -- do you think the election should still go on in this situation? And should the Security Council also discuss the situation in Egypt?

Ambassador Rice: This issue, as you know, is not directly on our agenda. Obviously -- speaking for the United States -- we’re very concerned about any outbreaks of violence inside of Egypt or in other countries of importance to the United States. We certainly think that all must combine their best efforts to create an environment conducive to the conduct of elections. We think it’s important that they go forward as planned, and we expect that they will.

Thank you.

Reporter: (inaudible)…the Palestinians have been talking to and telling people and also there are two -- a couple of high officials in the United Nations saying that they been informed the Palestinians intend to come to the General Assembly in May. If they do so, do you have any advice for them? Do you have any comment on this plan if they go ahead with it?

Ambassador Rice: Well, Talal, I really don’t think it wise to comment on a hypothetical. We’ve been in regular communication with the Palestinians. We think that the way to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is at the negotiating table, and that is why we have encouraged and supported the efforts of the Quartet. That is why we continue -- as the United States -- to exert our own best efforts to persuade the parties to address the issues that way. That is why we have welcomed the planned exchange of letters, which we hope will create an environment in which the two parties can come back to the table and address the underlying issues constructively. And I don’t want to speculate about what may come if that is not possible.

Thank you very much.