Canada Congratulates South Sudan on First Anniversary of Independence

July 9, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino today issued the following statement:

“One year ago, Canada welcomed the formal creation of South Sudan as an independent state—a momentous event for the people of South Sudan. Today, we celebrate the positive relationship between our two countries and the many links we share, including our commitment to building peace and prosperity across the continent.

“Canada remains concerned about the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, including the dire situation faced by those fleeing violence in Sudan. Canada also remains concerned about high rates of infant and maternal mortality and large portions of the population living in poverty. We are committed to assisting South Sudan address these issues and in its efforts to develop strong democratic institutions, address security concerns, and promote respect for human rights and the rule of law.

“We welcome initial efforts to implement the African Union road map endorsed by the UN Security Council, and we urge both parties to commit to the negotiation of outstanding bilateral issues.

“Together with our international partners, Canada will remain engaged in both Sudan and South Sudan to help ensure that both states remain viable and at peace internally and with each other. The recent extension for a second year of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, to which Canada provides military and police personnel, is a testament to this commitment.”

For more information about Canada’s engagement in Sudan and South Sudan, please visit Canada at work in Sudan and South Sudan.

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A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - Canada’s Engagement in Sudan and South Sudan

Canada’s engagement in Sudan and South Sudan focuses on helping to set the conditions for long-term peace, stability and prosperity in both countries.

Canada is a key player in a concerted international effort to foster a just and lasting peace within and between Sudan and South Sudan. Since 2006, Canada has contributed more than $900 million toward humanitarian assistance, development and peacebuilding to alleviate suffering, promote democracy and respect for human rights, build resilience, press for peace and help to achieve a peaceful, credible referendum in South Sudan. Canada’s contribution has had a tangible impact on the lives of the Sudanese and South Sudanese people, who are trying to rebuild after decades of conflict.

Building on the significant progress made to date, Canada’s whole-of-government efforts in the two countries continue to be guided by three priorities:

  • Aid: Canada provides life-saving humanitarian assistance and development support in Sudan and South Sudan.
  • Diplomacy: Canada actively participates in peace processes, multilateral initiatives and peacebuilding.
  • Security: Canada helps increase stability, security and prospects for lasting peace.

Canada will continue to work alongside international partners to consolidate peace and security, address humanitarian and development needs, and ensure the viability of both states.

Aid

Canada’s engagement in Sudan and South Sudan focuses on helping to build the conditions needed for long-term peace, stability and prosperity in both countries. As one of its three priorities in these two countries, Canada works to provide humanitarian assistance to meet the immediate basic needs of conflict-affected populations in Sudan and South Sudan, as well as to build resilience through development support focused on food security, and children and youth. In South Sudan, Canada is improving maternal, newborn and child health, and supporting the development of viable public institutions critical to the future stability and prosperity of the new nation.

Canada’s humanitarian and development programs are delivered through experienced multilateral partners such as the World Bank and United Nations agencies, as well as international and Canadian non-governmental organizations. For example, Canada is:

  • Improving access to basic services for children and youth;
  • Enhancing food security;
  • Reducing loss of life among vulnerable populations, and reducing child and maternal deaths; and
  • Strengthening the public-administration and financial-management capacity of the Government of South Sudan.

Progress

Despite ongoing challenges, real progress continues to be made:

  • In 2010, food assistance was provided to 11 million vulnerable people, and water and sanitation services were provided to 1 million displaced persons in the former united Sudan.
  • More than 6 million children in Sudan and 600,000 in South Sudan received basic integrated health services in 2010, and 176 health facilities were constructed or rehabilitated.
  • More than 500 schools were constructed or rehabilitated, and school supplies reached 2.2 million students across Sudan and South Sudan.
  • 160,000 children now have access to child-friendly environments, and 1,200 children and youth were released from armed forces or groups.
  • Food production increased in several South Sudanese communities through the provision of seeds and tools, and the clearing and restoration of non-arable land.
  • More than 300 institutions across the Government of South Sudan implemented a new electronic payroll system.

Diplomacy

Canada’s engagement in Sudan and South Sudan focuses on helping to set the conditions for long-term peace, stability and prosperity in both countries. As one of its three priorities in these two countries, Canada participates actively in peace processes, multilateral initiatives and peacebuilding.

Canada is part of a concerted international effort to ensure peace in, and between, Sudan and South Sudan. For example, Canada is:

  • Working with international partners to consolidate the gains made through the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and to press for the pacific resolution of outstanding disagreements between Sudan and South Sudan;
  • Supporting efforts to achieve sustainable peace in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile; and
  • Advocating that the governments of Sudan and South Sudan do their utmost to respect human rights and protect civilians within their respective territories, meet the humanitarian needs of conflict-affected populations and be accountable to citizens.

Progress

Despite the ongoing challenges, real progress continues to be made. Canada has:

  • Helped persuade leaders in Sudan and South Sudan to implement the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and abide by the results of the referendum on the independence of South Sudan;
  • Assisted with the deployment of international observers, the design and distribution of 2.2 million voter-education packages and the training of 200 journalists, more than 31,000 police officers and 75 judges to ensure voters were able to freely cast their ballots in the referendum;
  • Provided significant support to the Darfur peace process, which resulted in a preliminary agreement in July 2011; and
  • Provided support to the transitional and permanent constitutional processes in South Sudan.

Security

Canada’s engagement in Sudan and South Sudan focuses on helping to set the conditions for long-term peace, stability and prosperity in both countries. As one of its three priorities in these two countries, Canada is working to increase prospects for a just and lasting peace in both countries.

Canada plays a key role in African Union (AU) and UN peace operations and contributes to community-level security in both Sudan and South Sudan. For example, Canada is:

  • Enhancing the effectiveness of UN and AU peace operations in Sudan and South Sudan;
  • Increasing the capacity of the government of South Sudan, civil society and communities to better address community-level security concerns;
  • Reducing loss of life among conflict-affected populations; and,
  • Helping AU troops meet continental security needs.

Progress

Despite the ongoing challenges, real progress continues to be made:

  • Since 2006, Canada has deployed more than 550 police and military personnel in support of the following UN and AU peace operations:
    • United Nations Missions in Sudan (former UN mission): Support for the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including logistical and security preparations for the January 2011 referendum on southern Sudan’s secession. Training and mentoring of South Sudanese police officers and delivery of programs to improve community-level security and curtail ethnic and tribal violence.
    • African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID): Training and resource support has strengthened the mission’s capacity to plan, manage and conduct effective peace operations and to fulfill key aspects of its mandate, in particular with regard to the protection of civilians and security, and the freedom of movement of humanitarian workers. Canada has provided equipment and training to Formed Police Units of UNAMID troop-contributing countries.
  • Canada has provided training, equipment and infrastructure to enhance the capacity of South Sudan’s land commissions, airport authorities, justice, police, and prison sectors to safeguard the rule of law and strengthen the ability of the country’s nascent institutions to respond to criminal threats and potential terrorist activity.
  • Canada’s contribution to the clearing of hazardous mine and explosive remnants of war (ERW), along with support for mine risk education activities, has reduced the threats associated with ERW and strengthened the skills, knowledge and capacity of domestic demining organizations.