During a two-day visit to Southern Sudan on 31 October and 1 November, Ashraf Jahangir Qazi, who also heads the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), underscored the critical importance of adhering to the historic accord for sustainable peace, stability, and development throughout the whole of the country.He also stressed the readiness of UNMIS to assist the two parties in achieving the objectives of the Agreement and in bringing its implementation process back on track, following a recent decision by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to suspend its participation in the Government of National Unity.While in Juba, Mr. Qazi met First Vice-President of the Sudan and President of Southern Sudan (GoSS) Salva Kiir Mayardit, Vice-President of the GoSS Riek Machar, and Speaker of the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly James Wani Igga.“I am grateful to His Excellency Mr. Salva Kiir for the thorough, frank, and clear views and ideas he shared with me on all issues discussed, in particular the implementation of the CPA, as well as on the role UNMIS could play to assist in expediting implementation of pending issues,” Mr. Qazi said. “I am looking forward to working closely with His Excellency Mr. Salva Kiir and with the leadership of the Government of National Unity and the GoSS to assist in ensuring that the objectives of the CPA are met.”Mr. Qazi also visited Bor, Jonglei State, and met with the Governor and senior officials of the State Government. He was briefed by Governor Philip Thon Leek on the situation in the State, including existing challenges in the areas of development and security, and on ways the UN could assist.While in Juba and Bor, the Special Representative met with UN staff and was briefed on the world body’s activities in Southern Sudan, including on achievements made and gaps to be met in support of the implementation of the CPA. Mr. Qazi emphasized the key role played by UN field staff, particularly the national staff, in carrying out diverse and complex tasks in support of the Agreement. “The CPA is the backbone of durable peace and development in Sudan and our top priority is to do our best, in close cooperation with the parties, to ensure its successful implementation.” Diplomatic activity on Sudan has intensified in recent weeks with the convening of talks in Libya on ending the Darfur conflict, spearheaded by the UN Special Envoy for Darfur, Jan Eliasson, and his African Union counterpart, Salim A. Salim. 3 November 2007The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sudan has stressed the vital need to successfully implement the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ending a 21-year civil war between the country’s north and south.

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