About the Author: Major General (Ret) Scott Gration serves as the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the "Way Forward on Darfur and South Sudan Pittsburgh Summit." The event was organized by the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition and hosted by Carnegie Mellon University. I spoke at the main event on Saturday evening along with former President of the Save Darfur Coalition Jerry Fowler, Head of the Government of Southern Sudan Mission to the United States Ezekiel Gatkuoth, and Diaspora representatives. The theme of my remarks was “Goals of American Policy in Sudan: Problems and Prospects.” I spoke about what the United States Government is doing to end the violence in Darfur and fully implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. I spoke in detail about the preparations and concerns regarding the upcoming national elections as well as progress and challenges surrounding the Doha peace process for Darfur. More importantly, I listened to the thoughtful recommendations of the Diaspora participants.
Approximately 250 people attended the event, including 50 members of the Diaspora from both Darfur and South Sudan, and many activists and students. On Sunday morning, I attended a breakfast with conference participants where I had the pleasure of speaking informally with many members of the Diaspora and advocacy group community.
I found this event extremely valuable, and I would like to thank all the members of the Diaspora for their engagement and thoughtful questions and comments. Members of the Diaspora have a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise to offer, and I look forward to continuing to engage with them throughout my tenure as the Special Envoy to Sudan.
Thank you for your continued interest, Scott.