U.S. to prioritise Sudan conflict at the 78th UN General Assembly

U.S. to prioritise Sudan conflict at the 78th UN General Assembly

By Pearl Matibe

United States Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Linda Thomas-Greenfield has told reporters on the 14th of September 2023, that her country will prioritise the Sudan conflict at the UN General Assembly which began its annual High Level Week.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said they want to shed light on the ongoing atrocities being perpetrated  by armed groups.

 “I went on this trip, on behalf of President Biden, to draw attention to the conflict in Sudan – to shed light on the ongoing atrocities being perpetrated by armed groups, and to meet with refugees in desperate need of humanitarian assistance,” said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield elaborating on the ramifications of war that she witnessed on her trip describing her experience as “really was a harrowing experience.” 

“My takeaway from this trip was this: the international community must do more to help the Sudanese people. As we speak, Sudan’s Humanitarian Response Plan for 2023 is less than 30 percent funded. And that is truly unacceptable. And Member States that can give more must give more. And they must give more now.”

At the UN General Assembly, the increasing ties—or not—of nation states are pronounced during the annual High-Level week, and so too, will be the unevenness of their engagements, negotiations, challenges, and achievements.

The General Debate starts on Tuesday, 19 September, continues until Saturday, 23 September, and ends on Tuesday, 26 September 2023, at the United Nations headquarters, where world leaders will be gathered in New York City.

According to the U.S Mission to the UN’s Office of Press and Public Diplomacy, while in Chad during the first week of September, the Ambassador announced additional humanitarian assistance for Sudan, in the amount of $163 million. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield also took the opportunity “to the border with Sudan to receive briefings from UN partners, including representatives from UNHCR, on the humanitarian response to populations fleeing the conflict in Sudan.” 

Her office also highlighted that she met “with Transitional President Mahamat Deby to discuss how the crisis in Sudan is affecting Chad and neighboring countries, and engage with members of civil society.”

According to the UN Security Council last week, “Since the outbreak of conflict in April, several regional and international stakeholders have led mediation efforts aimed at resolving the crisis but these have failed to gain traction.” 

Expressing U.S. intention to keep the Sudanese crises a key agenda item during the 78th UN General Assembly, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said, “I will continue to raise this issue in the Council and will continue to focus on this during High-Level Week.” 

Previewing what U.S. priorities will be during the 78th UN General Assembly, she said, “we will work to strengthen partnerships – including with countries we sometimes disagree with. We are advancing critical partnerships – bilaterally and through the multilateral system, including here at the United Nations. These partnerships will help us tackle global challenges and advance the Sustainable Development Goals – which is the world’s blueprint for a more just, more peaceful, and more prosperous future.” 

Additionally,  Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield said “we will continue to push for reforms to the multilateral system – reforms that will make international institutions more effective, inclusive, transparent, accountable, and fit for purpose in this century.” 

On Monday, 18 September—on the eve of his UN General Assembly address—along with U.S. First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, President Joseph Biden will participate in Democratic Party election campaign receptions in New York City. 

Last year, Sudan’s Transitional Government was represented at the 77th Session, by Abdel-Fattah Al Burhan Abdelrahman Al-Burhan. 

The UN headquarters is located on the eastern shore of Manhattan Island, on the banks of New York City’s East River, where it occupies at least 18-acres and from where the world looks upon it as “both a symbol of peace and a beacon of hope,” according to the UN.

Pearl Matibe is a Washington, DC-based White House Correspondent, and media commentator with expertise on U.S. foreign policy, and international security. You may follow her on Twitter: @PearlMatibe