UN Watch makes Sudan answer to world body over Darfur atrocities

President Bashir’s “Headache”

UN Human Rights Council, 7th Session
Agenda Item 3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic social and cultural rights, including the right to development

UN Watch Statement Delivered by Hillel Neuer, March 13, 2008

Thank you, Mr. President.

The nations represented here gather at a momentous time — the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In what manner can we pay tribute?

We can pay tribute by protecting the most fundamental of all human rights — the right to life.

Mr. President, nowhere is this right being violated more than in Darfur — as well as every other right guaranteed in the Declaration — and by no one more than the government of Sudan.

In Senegal there is now a critical summit underway to address Darfur. But yesterday U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and African, U.S. and European diplomats were kept waiting for hours with no sign of Sudan’s President Bashir. In a phone call to the president of Senegal, President Bashir said he “had a headache.”

Mr. President, who will tell the victims of Darfur that their suffering will be prolonged because the president said he “had a headache”?

As many as 400,000 people have been killed in Darfur. Another two and a half million have been driven from their homes and into danger. The threat of rape, torture, murder and malnutrition pursue the women and children of Darfur wherever they flee. World leaders must unite now to end the atrocities and establish a lasting peace in Darfur.

We urge this Council to take action:

To make ending the massive crimes in Darfur one of its top priorities;

To push for the fastest and fullest deployment of the peacekeeping force authorized by the U.N. Security Council in July;

To pressure contributing nations to fully and immediately meet their pledges of troops, funding, equipment, and logistical support;

To ensure the Sudanese government’s full participation in a just and inclusive peace process, and to overcome any attempts to obstruct or delay the protection of civilians or the peace process;

To increase humanitarian aid and ensure access for its safe delivery.

Mr. President, this Council must send a powerful message to Sudan that the killings, the burnings, the rape of its own citizens — all of this must end.

We ask Sudan: For how long will “headaches” and other excuses continue to afflict the lives of the men, women, and children of Darfur?

Mr. President, we need action.

If not from the highest forum of human rights, then from who?

If not now, when?

Thank you, Mr. President.

Sudan Responds: UN Watch “lives in a world of media
exaggeration on the subject of Darfur”

Statement by Sudanese Ambassador
Omer Dahab Fadol Mohamed

Thank you Mr. President.

I’d like to comment on the statement of United Nations Watch. I think the representative of this organization is continuing to live in a world of media exaggeration on the subject of Darfur, where the sufferings of people are exploited for an agenda which has nothing to do with Darfur.

The government knows that the armed rebellion is the primary party responsible for suffering in Darfur. The rebels have caused many people to leave their villages. The government of Sudan has done a lot of humanitarian work in order to reduce the sufferings of persons, and has allowed all necessary facilities. The government at the same time realizes that it is only a political solution which will put an end to all these sufferings.

Accordingly, the government has been working very hard to deal with the rebels. It signed the Abuja agreement with some of them. But certain others refuse because they were given support by countries giving shelter to them. These countries seem to be nevertheless expressing sympathy for people in Darfur.

The government, however, has continued to work for a solution that will restore peace and stability in that region, and calls upon the international community to assume its obligations against those who refuse solutions, and notes that countries give media coverage to this situation while refusing to sit down to work on a peaceful agreement to this situation.

Thank you.

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