Statement on food security risks in Sudan

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the briefing on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, food security risks in Sudan

Thank you very much Mr President,

I also want to extend my sincere thanks to the briefers today: to Ms. Wosornu, to Mr. Martina and to Mr. Skau for their really harrowing and sincere briefings. I also want to welcome the Representative of Sudan to today’s meeting.

In less than a month, the Council is confronted with another alarming update on the escalating crisis of acute food insecurity affecting millions.

The conflict in Sudan, now nearing its one-year mark, is a somber reminder of the fragility of peace. Lives lost, communities fragmented, the future of entire nation at stake.

Slovenia is profoundly alarmed by evidence and predictions presented by today’s briefers as well as OCHA’s white note highlighting hunger caused by conflict and the looming threat of famine. We fully support the recommendations provided in the white note.

Allow me to emphasize a few points:

First – The time is to speed up our efforts.

The Security Council issued a clear message to the parties in conflict for an immediate cessation of hostilities during Ramadan. We reiterate our call to the warring parties to silence their guns and cease hostilities.

We continue to support coordinated regional and broader diplomatic initiatives to end this conflict. We also call on all external actors to refrain from influencing the conflict through the provision of arms support and to comply with the arms embargo. The primary focus must remain on halting the violence and ensuring the protection of civilians.

Second – humanitarian response is a lifeline for millions of people and we thank France, along with Germany and the EU, for their leadership in the upcoming humanitarian conference for Sudan.

Ensuring that humanitarian aid can reach those in need without hindrance is imperative. This is especially critical in areas like Kharthoum, Darfur, Kordofan and Al Jazirah, with highest levels of acute food insecurity.

We again renew our call on all parties to enable and facilitate full, rapid, safe, unimpeded and much needed humanitarian access across borders and across conflict lines, including by providing immediate security guarantees.

We also call on all parties to take action and restore lifesaving networks and internet services critical for humanitarian operations and emergency services.  

Starvation of civilian population as a method of warfare is strictly prohibited on top of being simply brutal, heartless and inhumane. The UN Security Council has been united in its condemnation. We therefore call on all parties to the conflict to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law and cooperate fully with the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator (OCHA), United Nations agencies and other humanitarian actors in providing aid.

Third – Amidst this turmoil, the plight of the most vulnerable, including women, children, persons with disabilities, older persons and internally displaced persons, warrants our immediate attention. The alarming projections of severe acute malnutrition among children, as we heard today, are a stark reminder of the devastating toll on those whose voices are silenced in the conflict.

The detrimental nexus between health and malnutrition, particularly impacting children, pregnant women and new mothers, is undeniable. Ensuring rapid and broad-reaching humanitarian access to deliver food, critical medical resources, and safe water is urgent. 

In conclusion,

Sudan is facing a crisis that threatens the very fabric of its society. The food crisis is not just a statistic; behind the alarming numbers of people in need, victims of violence, and those killed, displaced, or assaulted, there are real individuals, each with their own life and aspirations. This is once again a struggle for survival with the profound repercussions on those who dream of peace including us in the Security Council.

Statements of the briefers that this is one of the worst humanitarian crisis in recent memory, that possibly the worst hunger crisis and over 200 000 children could possibly die of malnutrition are calling for our responsibility. Slovenia is ready to hear the cry of the briefers and the people of Sudan and to consider possible Council’s action.

Thank you.

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