REMARKS DELIVERED AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL DEBATE PERTAINING TO THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN SUDAN

20.03.2009

Thank you Mr. President



We thank the Secretariat for their interim briefing on the humanitarian situation in Darfur. Like all members of the Council and the international community, Turkey is concerned about the humanitarian situation in this troubled region.



Due to circumstances not of their own making, millions of innocent people have been displaced in Darfur and are in constant need of humanitarian aid, in almost every conceivable form. This is a huge undertaking and one that must continue unhindered as delays and disruptions in the effective flow of humanitarian aid can potentially have very serious consequences.



This is why Turkey believes that we must all continue to urge the Sudanese Government to reinstate the licenses of the NGOs in question. We very much hope that this could be possible without delay. For, the present situation is extremely grave and cannot wait.



Meanwhile, as we have discussed during the last consultation, the Secretariat must have developed a plan that addresses the critical question of how the gap that has been created by the decision of the Sudanese Government can be filled in the short term. In this regard, we look forward to receiving a comprehensive briefing from the Secretariat, with more precise information and recommendations, once the joint assessment that is ongoing between the UN and the Sudanese authorities is completed. Turkey believes that the Council will be in a better position to appraise the evolving humanitarian situation in Darfur once all the information from the Secretariat team on the ground has been received and analyzed.



Turkey places great emphasis on the humanitarian dimension of the Darfur crisis. For its part, Turkey extends significant bilateral and multilateral humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people and we will continue to do so. We will also continue to support UNAMID and UNMIS in every way we can.



Mr. President,



We must also accept that the humanitarian situation cannot realistically be decoupled from political and regional realities.



As we have said on a number of occasions, the Council must be able to take a holistic and strategic approach on this very sensitive issue. We have to be able to address all the dynamics that are in play. As such, we look forward to our meeting with Joint Chief Negotiator Mr. Bassole next week."



Thank you.