Canada supports South Sudan Referendum

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement welcoming the Sudanese National Assembly’s formation of the Commission of South Sudan Referendum. The Commission will oversee the landmark vote on the future status of South Sudan, called for in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which will be held in January 2011:

“Canada welcomes the formation of the Commission of South Sudan Referendum. This is a critical step in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and paves the way toward a referendum process that will be credible and transparent. We call on the Commission to conduct its work urgently, with due diligence and with the full collaboration of all partners in order to respect a very tight deadline. Canada strongly supports the CPA and remains committed to this process to ensure peace and stability.

“In the context of CPA implementation, Canada also looks forward to the nomination of the members of the Abyei Referendum Commission and to significant progress in the popular consultative processes in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

“At the same time, Canada is concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in Sudan and calls on the governments of Sudan and Southern Sudan to respect their international human rights obligations.”

Sudan is one of Canada’s foreign policy priorities. Canada has contributed over $760 million for peace, humanitarian assistance, development aid, security and peacebuilding in Sudan since 2006.

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