UK explanation of vote delivered by Ambassador Barbara Woodward, UK Permanent Representative to the UN, following the Security Council adoption of resolution 2736 on El Fasher.

The adoption of this resolution sends a clear message: the Council demands that the Rapid Support Forces immediately stop the siege of El Fasher and that all sides step back from the brink.  An attack on the city would be catastrophic for the 1.5 million Sudanese civilians sheltering in the city.

We tabled this resolution to help secure a localised ceasefire around El Fasher – and create the wider conditions to support de-escalation across the country and ultimately, save lives.  Civilians need to be allowed to leave the city should they wish, and aid needs to get in.

President, the situation in Sudan is desperate and the humanitarian needs of Sudan’s population are severe, particularly across Darfur.  This resolution underlines the need for full, rapid, safe and unhindered cross-border and cross-line humanitarian access. 

It calls on the Sudanese authorities to increase cooperation with UN agencies and to urgently reopen the Adre border to help facilitate a significant scale-up of humanitarian assistance. And in this regard, the resolution urges the international community to increase their support and fulfil existing pledges.

The protection needs in Sudan are alarming. Through this resolution, we request that the Secretary-General provide recommendations on supporting the protection of civilians in Sudan, building on the existing good office’s work, and the vital mandate of his Personal Envoy on Sudan Mr. Lamamra.  Let me take this opportunity to underline the United Kingdom’s full backing of Mr. Lamamra’s mediation efforts and his work to help complement and coordinate regional efforts to restore peace.

President, this Council has sent a strong signal to the parties to the conflict today. This brutal and unjust conflict needs to end. Today’s resolution shows the Council remains committed to supporting efforts for peace in Sudan. We look forward to continuing to work across the UN, across the region and with Council members towards this goal. 

And in that regard, I close by thanking my colleagues, across the Council, for their engagement on this resolution.

Published 13 June 2024