About the Author: Major General (Ret) Scott Gration currently serves as the President’s Special Envoy to Sudan.
Every year, representatives from around the world gather in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. It is a time for world leaders to coalesce around common challenges and common problems. It is a time for cooperation and dialog to address the most complex and vexing issues of our day, and it is an opportunity to galvanize international support during the times of crisis around the world.
Sudan is one of these issues, and now is one of those times. I am in New York now to continue ongoing discussions and to initiate new ones with representatives from countries across the globe. My main priorities while in New York are addressing CPA implementation and issues regarding Darfur. These are the two most critical issues facing Sudan. As I’ve said before—CPA is a priority, and Darfur is an urgency.
To give you a sense of the breadth, importance, and reach of the issue of Sudan, consider the range of some of the people we will be meeting with in New York this week: Chadian President Deby, Dutch Minister for International Development Koenders, Irish Foreign Minister Martin, Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit, and others. Additionally, we will be participating in trilateral meetings with Egypt and Norway; a meeting of the Special Envoys from partner nations; a meeting of the Sudan Troika (U.S., UK, and Norway); a meeting with senior officials from NGOs operational in Sudan; and other discussions.
While in New York, I am also speaking at an event hosted by Save Darfur to unveil an exhibition of photographs of Darfur called “Darfur/Darfur.” The exhibit is a series of photographs of Darfur and its people that shows the true suffering that the people of Darfur have had to undergo for far too long.
What do I hope to get out of these meetings and others at the UN?
First, I hope to galvanize international support for building peace and stability for Sudan. The United States has a critical role to play, but progress in Sudan requires the support and efforts of the wider international community.
Second, I hope to make real progress in securing support from our international partners on key initiatives regarding armed movement unification and CPA implementation. We need the support of our international partners if we are to make headway on either of these fronts.
It bears repeating, however, that it is the Government of Sudan, the Darfuri armed movements, the Government of Southern Sudan, and other Sudanese stakeholders who bear the final responsibility for bringing peace and stability to Sudan. The international community’s responsibility is to facilitate and to hold the parties in Sudan accountable for their actions.
Thank you for reading. We will be sure to let you know how these meetings go. Thanks again for your continued interest and support, Scott.
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