Canada Welcomes Start of Sudan Voter Registration

(No. 370 - November 22, 2010 - 3:40 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement welcoming the start of voter registration for Southern Sudan’s self-determination referendum, a critical element of Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA):

“Canada is encouraged that voter registration began as scheduled on November 15 in Sudan for the Southern Sudan self-determination referendum to be held in January 2011. Although logistical and other challenges may still arise, we see this as an important and positive step toward holding a credible, peaceful referendum on the date agreed to.

“Canada calls on leaders from both North and South to respect all remaining elements of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Canada is committed to promoting a sustainable peace in Sudan through the implementation of all elements of the CPA, including the holding of credible referenda. We note, however, that preparations for the other referendum called for in the CPA, to be held simultaneously in the border region of Abyei, are well behind schedule.

“We reiterate the need for all outstanding issues, such as border demarcation, citizenship and wealth sharing, to be resolved through negotiations so that they do not themselves cause further violence and conflict.”

Sudan is one of Canada’s foreign-policy priorities. Canada has contributed over $800 million for peace, humanitarian assistance, development aid, security and peacebuilding in Sudan since 2006.

For more information on Canada’s engagement in Sudan, please consult Canada: Active in Sudan.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Jacques Labrie
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874