“Departure of these key senior United Nations officials would constitute a serious loss for the humanitarian and development community in Sudan at a time when humanitarian needs are growing and the country faces significant development challenges,” Mr. Ban said in a note issued to reporters. UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC), Ali Al-Za’tari, and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director Yvonne Helle were ordered late last week to leave the Sudan by 2 January. Since then, the Sudanese Government has agreed to extend the deadline for the RC/HC’s departure from 2 January until the end of the month. The UN continues to engage the Government at several levels to obtain a reversal of its decision. “It is essential that the United Nations can continue to carry out its crucial duties in the country,” Mr. Ban said, reiterating UN commitment to a productive and fruitful working relationship with the Government of Sudan for the benefit of its people, on the basis of respect of sovereignty. To that end, the UN counts on the full cooperation of the Sudanese Government in enabling all UN entities and their leadership to carry out their work.