UNMIS, UNDP and 5 other UN entities (UN Women, WHO, UNICEF, UNHCR and UNFPA), in collaboration with the Advisory Council for Human Rights, are holding a forum on 24-25 May 2011 at the Burj al-Fateh in support of constitution-making processes in Sudan. The forum is intended to draw attention to current thinking on constitution-making processes in countries that also experienced situations of transition. Participants have been drawn from government, civil society in their individual capacity. By involving a broad range of views in a constitutional process, the Government will not only benefit from a better text, but one that is more likely to reflect the needs and demands of the nation as a whole and therefore gain the respect and support of all Sudanese. UN entities and donor representatives will be attending the forum as observers.
To illustrate, the forum will examine and discuss three constitution-making processes:
• South Africa: Political parties, some of which were affiliated with civil society organizations, were at the centre of negotiations that led to South Africa’s most recent constitution. Throughout the transition period, the constitutional process was organized around multi-party negotiating forums; occasionally, parties engaged in bilateral talks in attempts to resolve differences. Presentation by Mr. Hassen Ebrahim (S. Africa)
• Malaysia: An examination of a constitution-making process in a State with a Islamic majority. Presentation by Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi
At the end of the conference, participants should reach some consensus on how to approach Sudanese constitution-making in a participatory manner appropriate to the Sudanese experience.
Closure of UNMIS
UNMIS wound up its operations on 9 July 2011 with the completion of the interim period agreed on by the Government of Sudan and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed on 9 January 2005.
The mission ended its six years of mandated operations the same day South Sudan declared independence, following a CPA-provided referendum on 9 January 2011 that voted overwhelmingly in favour of secession.
In support of the new nation, the Security Council established a successor mission to UNMIS – the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) – on 9 July for an initial period of one year, with the intention to renew for further periods as required.