Statement by Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the International Conference for Sudan
Almost a year ago, the new Sudan reclaimed its place on the international stage. At the Berlin Partnership Conference, the international community came together to offer its support for Sudan’s historic transition.
Since then, Sudan has made further progress: The Juba Peace Agreement was a milestone. Important reforms are on the way. But after 30 years of autocratic rule and isolation, major obstacles remain on the road towards sustainable peace and economic recovery.
To keep the Sudanese success story on track, three aspects will be crucial:
First, the transition must be inclusive. The Sudanese people carried the revolution. They deserve both a material and a democratic peace dividend.
Establishing the Legislative Council will be a key element. And democratic elections must remain our common goal. We will support your efforts to prepare them, including through the UNITAMS mission led by Volker Perthes.
Second, the success of the transition will depend on Sudan’s economic recovery. I am glad to see that the Family Support Program – to which we have contributed 80 million euro – is reaching more and more families. Ultimately, though, private investments will make a real difference.
And German companies have shown a lot of interest in Sudan. This is encouraging. And I am glad that our French hosts are organising a Business Forum that will help unlock Sudan’s huge potential and create jobs.
Finally, the Sudanese Government needs the financial leeway to implement political and economic reforms. Debt relief plays a central role in this, as well as Sudan’s implementation of the IMF Staff-Monitored Program. Germany will go beyond committing our share of up to 90 million euro related to the clearance of Sudan’s outstanding debt to the IMF. We are also ready to cancel Sudan’s bilateral debt with Germany that stands at 360 million euro, in accordance with the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative in the Paris Club and along with debt cancellations of all other official creditors.
I’m confident that you – Prime Minister Hamdok and General al-Burhan – together with your government will take this opportunity to lead your country and its people into a more democratic, peaceful and prosperous future! In doing so, Sudan could become a beacon of hope for the entire region and the world.