Concluding Conference in Khartoum, Sudan
On 12 May 2016, the Max Planck Foundation held a conference entitled "Strengthening the Constitutional Process in Sudan: Challenges and Opportunities". The conference marked the completion of the programme designed for supporting the commitments towards a constitutional process in Sudan ("Constitutional Support in Sudan: Trust Building Measures") which the Max Planck Foundation has been implementing in Sudan since 2014. The Max Planck Foundation had invited the leaders and executive chairpersons of the major political parties, interest groups, civil society organisations, Justices, Ambassadors and academics in Sudan to this high-level event alongside the participants of the previous workshops to present to them the conclusions of the overall programme. The eight workshop activities during the last 21 months had been addressed to an inclusive group of representatives from the major Sudanese political parties including representatives from the government and the opposition, the Sudanese regions as well as civil society. The project aimed at promoting and encouraging substantive discussions about the different options for the future constitutional order in Sudan between the different interest groups and across party political lines.
The Assistant of the President of the Republic of the Sudan, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, opened the high-level conference along with the Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Sudan, Tomáš Uličný, and the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sudan, Rolf Welberts. Both Ambassadors spoke about their engagement and support of the project as well as the project’s overall impact on the Sudanese process. Following, Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum, Managing Director of the Max Planck Foundation and head of the project, outlined the project’s programme and its outcomes to the inclusive forum. Furthermore, he invited the selected chairpersons and high-level representatives to share their views on the current challenges existing for an inclusive constitutional process in Sudan.
In this regard the forum expressed the current major needs of the Sudanese people, inter alia the claim for a new constitution representing each and every Sudanese and reflecting everyone’s identity. Beyond, sufficient civic education for civil society regarding the rights enshrined in the constitution was demanded. During the discussions, the Max Planck Foundation also received feedback on its work and the overall project’s achievements. The efforts of the Max Planck Foundation had been highly welcomed by the forum. Particularly this event had been requested to be repeated. This was of great importance as it gives the Foundation the opportunity to align its future activities to the needs of the Sudanese stakeholders. Beyond this specific programme, the Max Planck Foundation with the support of the European Union and the German Federal Foreign Office will continue its efforts to support the Sudanese people with additional capacity building activities.