27 April 2007 The Group of Experts on Darfur established by the United Nations Human Rights Council last month announced plans today to meet with senior Sudanese Government officials next month to discuss how to introduce practical measures to improve the human rights situation in the war-torn region.
Wrapping up its first consultative meeting in Geneva, the seven-member group of independent experts said they would meet the Sudanese representatives in the Swiss city from 23 to 25 May.
“The meeting will identify practical steps to be taken as a matter of priority to implement the relevant resolutions of the UN human rights mechanisms with regards to Darfur,” according to a statement issued by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
“In addition, the meeting will assess the needs of the Sudan in order to ensure effective implementation of those steps.”
The Group of Experts on Darfur was created on 30 March in a Council resolution adopted by consensus, and it is expected to report to the next session in June on the results of its meeting later next month.
That meeting has been scheduled amid mounting international concern at the human rights situation inside Darfur, where more than 200,000 people have been killed and at least 2 million others forced to flee their homes since 2003 because of fighting between Government forces, allied Janjaweed militias and rebel groups. Numerous towns and villages have been torched and there have reports of deliberate targeting of civilians.
Sima Samar, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan, presides over the experts’ group. The other members are: the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for children and armed conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy; the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative on the situation of human rights defenders, Hina Jilani; the Secretary-General’s Representative on human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs), Walter Kälin; the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture, Manfred Nowak; and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Yakin Ertürk.