Joint NGO Statement on the Human Rights Situation in Darfur

Testimony at the UN

Joint NGO Statement on the Human Rights Situation in Darfur

Co-sponsored by:

UN Watch
Freedom House
The Transnational Radical Party
International Multiracial Shared Cultural Organization
France Libertés
Hope for Africa International
B’nai B’rith International
Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations (C.B.J.O.)
International Federation of Social Workers
Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas
European Union of Jewish Students
Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l’Homme
Women Environmental Program (WEP)
Coordination Française pour le Lobby Européen des Femmes (C.L.E.F.)
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
International Association for Religious Freedom
3 HO Foundation
Liberal International
Women’s Federation for World Peace International
Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisemitisme (LICRA)
International Alliance of Women
World Jewish Congress
Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic
International Federation of University Women
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
International Volunteerism Organization for Women Education and Development
Women’s International Zionist Organization
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
International Council of Jewish Women
American Psychological Association
International Council of Psychologists
Council for a Community of Democracies 


________________

Oral Statement
UN Human Rights Council
4th Special Session
December 13, 2006

Delivered by Leon Saltiel

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Thank you, Mr. President.

This is a joint statement on behalf of UN Watch, Freedom House, the Transnational Radical Party, and 28 other NGOs from around the world.

We welcome this special session and its support by so many Council members.  The human rights and humanitarian situation in Darfur is dire, and it merits this body’s serious and sustained attention.

We urge the Council to adopt a strong resolution.  This Council cannot send peacekeepers, but it can, and should, encourage the Sudanese Government to cooperate with the force the Security Council has authorized.  This Council also should remind the Government of Sudan that, although not the only party to the conflict, it has the primary responsibility to protect its population.

Since 2003, Darfur has been rife with death, destruction, and suffering.  Hundreds of thousands of victims have been raped, tortured, murdered.  Villages and livelihoods have been destroyed.  Millions are displaced.  Despite the signing of an agreement in May, these atrocities have not only continued, but escalated.

These facts have been amply documented by the Special Rapporteur on Sudan, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, and many others.  Nevertheless, Sudan and several other delegations have told this Council that these reports are based on misinformation.

In light of these claims, the draft resolutions rightly emphasize the Council’s need for “clear, accurate, and substantiated information” on the situation in Darfur.  We therefore support the immediate dispatch of an assessment mission by the Special Rapporteur, and we urge the Government of Sudan to cooperate fully with that mission.

We thank Secretary-General Annan for his leadership in urging the Council to convene this special session and to begin to address gross violations around the globe.  We hope that this session is just the beginning of the Council’s active engagement, not only on Darfur, but on all major human rights crises worldwide.

Thank you.

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