Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 38th Parliament,
Volume 142, Issue 37

Thursday, February 17, 2005
The Honourable Daniel Hays, Speaker

Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association

Sudan—Celebration of Signing of Naivasha Agreement

Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, today we celebrated the January 9 signing of the Naivasha agreement, a comprehensive peace agreement ending the decades of civil war in southern Sudan, in a reception hosted by the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association. In our great halls of Parliament, we celebrated this milestone with parliamentarians and leaders of the Sudanese community. We were honoured by the presence of Archbishop Gervais, Prime Minister Paul Martin, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pierre Pettigrew and Ambassador Taha of Sudan.

Canada has welcomed the signing of the comprehensive peace agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. As Canada’s Special Envoy for Peace in Sudan, I was present to witness the signing ceremony in Kenya. This is only the first of many accomplishments that we must support to ensure that the people of Sudan have sustainable peace.

We hope the parties signing the agreement will reach out to all groups to make this peace broad-based and durable. The conflict in southern Sudan has brought death and misery to 2 million people. It is important that we all work hard to ensure that this peace is lasting. While the work of healing wounds in Sudan’s south begins, new wounds continue to be torn open in Darfur and the eastern regions. Peace in Sudan will not truly be complete until we are able to address the atrocities that occur every day in Darfur.

In a few weeks, I will be visiting Darfur in eastern Sudan to find ways in which we can encourage the parties to also arrive at a peace agreement so that at long last there will be peace in the whole of Sudan.

Sudan is now looking to the international community, including Canada, to assist them in maintaining their peace, regaining their security and assisting with construction.

Honourable senators, we must not shift our focus. We must continue to support the Sudanese people during this time of construction. Our work will be difficult, but Canada and Canadians know the benefit that a lasting peace will bring, and we must continue to work hard toward this goal.

Archbishop Gervais is in our gallery today to show support to the Sudanese people, and we very much appreciate his presence.

Honourable senators, I know that you would all want me to convey to the Sudanese people that together with them we will not forget the 2 million people who have died in the conflict. The best way to honour their memory is to work toward a continuing peace in Sudan.