Foreign Minister Maas on his participation in the Sudan conference
Foreign Minister Maas issued the following statement today (17 May) before departing for Paris to participate in the Sudan conference:
Throughout the region, great hopes have been pinned on the success of the peaceful revolution in the Sudan. Women and young people in particular brought an end to 30 years of autocratic rule when they took to the streets of their country in 2019. The political and economic reform process poses challenges, but provides an historic opportunity to achieve more peace, economic prospects and freedom for the people in the Sudan. Germany has stood shoulder to shoulder with them from the very beginning.
The Sudan conference held last year in Berlin saw the Sudan take a seat at the table with the international community once again after decades of isolation. Together with the EU, the United Nations and many others, we used the Berlin conference to mobilise political and financial support for the Sudan. The country has since made progress on various fronts, including the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement last October as well as far‑reaching economic reforms.
To ensure that the Sudan has a chance of succeeding on this difficult path, we want to use today’s conference in Paris to initiate a process of debt relief. Germany is ready to participate fully in this process, both in the clearing of the Sudan’s arrears to the IMF and by forgiving bilateral debt.
The conference on the Sudan organised by President Macron in Paris (17 to 18 May) is primarily dedicated to economic issues and debt relief for the country; it is also intended to generate interest in private-sector investment.
Today’s meeting in Paris follows the Partnership Conference held in Berlin in 2020, which paved the way for the Sudan to cooperate with the IMF and development banks. Over fifty participating states and international organisations attended. A total of 1.8 billion US dollars was pledged. This includes humanitarian assistance, COVID-19 measures, development cooperation and contributions to the Sudanese Government’s Family Support Programme, a welfare scheme which aims to mitigate the impact of the economic reforms and is partly financed by a World Bank trust fund.
The Sudan’s transitional government implemented important political and economic reforms last year. The key milestone was the signing of the Juba Peace Agreement, on 3 October 2020, between the Sudanese Government and a significant number of the armed groups.
In light of the country’s considerable debts (over 50 billion US dollars), the debt relief process under the HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) Initiative is essential to enable economic recovery and sustainable development.