29 September 2006
Security Council
SC/8845

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5543rd Meeting (PM)


SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS FOR ONE YEAR WORK OF EXPERT PANEL MONITORING ARMS EMBARGO


IN DARFUR, REQUESTS ADDITIONAL EXPERT, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1713 (2006)


Text Calls on Parties to Immediately Cease Offensive Actions, Violent Attacks;

Qatar, Joining Consensus, Reminds of Need for Panel’s Transparency, Impartiality


Deploring the ongoing violence, impunity, and consequent deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Darfur, the Security Council today extended for another year the mandate of the expert panel monitoring the arms embargo in that strife-torn region of western Sudan, and requested United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to expand the four-member team by one, to better enable it to carry out its mission.


Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council, by unanimously adopting resolution 1713 (2006), decided to extend until 29 September 2007, the mandate of the four-member Panel of Experts originally appointed pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005), and requested the Secretary-General to appoint a fifth member to the team.


The original resolution called on all States to take the necessary measures to prevent the sale or supply of weapons and military equipment to belligerents in the conflict in Darfur, where at least 400,000 people have been killed and some 2 million displaced since fighting broke out in early 2003 between rebels, the Sudanese Government and its allied militias.  Despite a May 2006 Peace Agreement signed by the Government and one rebel group, fighting in Darfur has intensified.  In recent weeks, senior United Nations officials in both New York and Geneva have warned that a man-made humanitarian catastrophe is looming.


Reiterating its deep concern about the security of civilians and humanitarian aid workers, and humanitarian access to populations in need, the Council called upon all parties in Darfur to cease offensive actions immediately and to refrain from further violent attacks.  It also urged those parties that have not signed the Darfur Peace Agreement to do so without delay and not to act in any way that would impede the implementation of the Agreement.  It further urged that those that have signed the Agreement implement their obligations without delay.


The Council gave the Panel 90 days to provide an interim report to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005), to monitor the arms embargo, and requested the Panel to provide, no later than 29 March 2007, a midterm briefing on its work, and a final report to the Council with its findings and recommendations no later than 30 days prior to termination of its mandate.


It also urged all States, relevant United Nations bodies, the African Union and other interested parties, to cooperate fully with the Committee and the Panel of Experts, in particular by supplying any information at their disposal on implementation of the measures imposed by resolutions 1591 (2005) and 1556 (2004).


Before the vote, Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser ( Qatar) said that, while his delegation was keen to participate in the Council’s decision, it would remind members that it had previously expressed its opinion on the working methods of the Expert Panel and that of the Sudan Sanctions Committee.  Qatar believed that the Panel should work in a concise, cautious and professional manner, with respect to the Sudan.  Qatar had expressed to the Council and the relevant Committee its concern, however, that the experts were making inappropriate and unfair accusations against high Sudanese Government officials, entities and individuals.


He said his delegation had also expressed concern that the Expert Panel was encroaching on the duties of some Sudanese officials, and was perhaps infringing Sudan’s State sovereignty by making certain pronouncements.  Rebel groups were impeding the Darfur peace process and disregarding the Government of national unity.  At the same time, the experts were working in a manner that could hardly be considered professional.  He reminded the Council that the Expert Panel should be independent and not open to persuasion.  He hoped that all such groups assisting sanctions committees in the future would work in an efficient and transparent manner, in order to ensure the credibility of the committees, themselves, as well as that of the wider Council.  He hoped such expert panels would adhere to the principles of respect for neutrality and transparency.


At the close of the meeting, Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece, which held the Council presidency for September, thanked the 15-nation body for its cooperation and hard work.


The meeting began at 4:48 p.m. and ended at 4:55 p.m.


Council Resolution


The full text of resolution 1713 (2006) reads, as follows:


The Security Council,


Recalling its previous resolutions concerning the situation in Sudan, in particular resolutions 1665 (2006) of 29 March 2006, 1651 (2005) of 21 December 2005, 1591 (2005) of 29 March 2005, and 1556 (2004) of 30 July 2004 and statements of its President concerning Sudan,


Stressing again its firm commitment to the cause of peace throughout Sudan, full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 9 January 2005, full implementation of the framework agreed between the parties for a resolution of the conflict in Darfur (the Darfur Peace Agreement), and an end to the violence and atrocities in Darfur,


Urgingthose parties that have not signed the Darfur Peace Agreement to do so without delay and not act in any way that would impede the implementation of the Agreement, and further urgingthat those that have signed that Agreement implement their obligations without delay,


Deploring the ongoing violence, impunity, and consequent deterioration of the humanitarian situation, and reiterating its deep concern about the security of civilians and humanitarian aid workers and about humanitarian access to populations in need, and calling upon all parties in Darfur to cease offensive actions immediately and to refrain from further violent attacks,


Commending the efforts of, and reiterating its full support for, the African Union, the Secretary-General, and the leaders of the region to promote peace and stability in Darfur,


Recalling the 25 July 2006 midterm briefing by the Panel of Experts appointed by the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 3 (b) of resolution 1591 (2005) and extended by resolutions 1651 (2005) and 1665 (2006), anticipating the receipt of the Panel’s final report presented on 31 August 2006 to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) and currently under consideration, and expressing its intent to study the Panel’s recommendations further and to consider appropriate next steps,


Emphasizing the need to respect the provisions of the Charter concerning privileges and immunities, and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, as applicable to United Nations operations and persons engaged in such operations,


Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Sudan, and recalling the importance of the principles of good neighbourliness, non-interference and cooperation in the relations among States in the region,


Determining that the situation in Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,


Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,


1.   Decides to extend until 29 September 2007 the mandate of the Panel of Experts originally appointed pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) and previously extended by resolutions 1651 (2005) and 1665 (2006), and requests the Secretary-General to appoint a fifth member to enable the Panel to better carry out its mission, and to take the necessary administrative measures;


“2.   Requests the Panel of Experts to provide no later than 29 March 2007 a midterm briefing on its work and no later than 90 days after adoption of this resolution an interim report to the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 3 (a) of resolution 1591 (2005), and a final report no later than 30 days prior to termination of its mandate to the Council with its findings and recommendations;


“3.   Urges all States, relevant United Nations bodies, the African Union and other interested parties, to cooperate fully with the Committee and the Panel of Experts, in particular by supplying any information at their disposal on implementation of the measures imposed by resolution 1591 (2005) and resolution 1556 (2004);


“4.   Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”


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