5040th Meeting (PM)
SECURITY COUNCIL DECLARES INTENTION TO CONSIDER SANCTIONS TO OBTAIN SUDAN’S
FULL COMPLIANCE WITH SECURITY, DISARMAMENT OBLIGATIONS ON DARFUR
Adopting Resolution 1564 (2004) by Vote of 11-0-4, Calls on Secretary-
General to Set Up Commission of Inquiry to Investigate Human Rights Violations
The Security Council today, concerned that the Government of the Sudan had not fully met its obligations to protect civilians in Darfur, declared that, should the Sudan fail to comply fully with resolution 1556 of 30 July or to cooperate with the expansion and extension of the African Union monitoring presence in Darfur, it would consider taking additional measures, including sanctions, to affect Sudan’s oil sector and the Government or its individual members.
Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and adopting resolution 1564 (2004) by a vote of 11 in favour to none against, with four abstentions (Algeria, China, Pakistan, Russian Federation), the Council also requested the Secretary-General to rapidly establish an international commission of inquiry, which would immediately investigate reports of human rights violations in Darfur, and determine whether acts of genocide had occurred there.
[By Council resolution 1556 (2004), the Sudanese Government had to show substantial, irreversible and verifiable progress towards ensuring security in Darfur, and immediately implement its commitments under the Joint Communiqué it had issued together with the United Nations on 3 July. The Government was also obligated to disarm the Janjaweed militia, as well as apprehend and bring to justice those who had carried out human rights violations and other atrocities.]
Last Thursday, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who was present at today’s meeting, had called for urgent action on Darfur, noting that it was the first time in the Council’s history that it had been seized under article 8 of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Article 8 of that instrument allows parties to the treaty to "call upon the competent organs of the United Nations" to take action under the Charter to prevent and suppress acts of genocide.
Speaking after the vote, the representative of the United States, who had co-sponsored the text along with Germany, Romania and the United Kingdom, said the Council acted today because the Sudanese Government had failed to fully comply with resolution 1556. The text reflected the wishes of delegations to recognize that the Government had met some of its obligations. But nobody should be under the illusion that the Government had done so voluntarily, he said. It had done so with great reluctance and long delays, under significant pressure from the international community.
Calling the crisis in Darfur “uniquely grave”, he said it constituted the largest humanitarian disaster in the world. Over 2.2 million people had been victimized in one way or another by the actions of the Sudanese Government.
Germany’s representative stressed that the resolution sought to achieve the cooperation of the Sudanese Government with an expanded African Union monitoring presence, and to support the Union’s role in resolving the crisis. In the coming weeks, the Council should keep the developments in the Sudan under close scrutiny. At the end of the month, the Secretary-General would report on the situation there, and the Council would decide on its future course of action. The goal was to save lives and hold all parties to their obligations. The Council must be prepared to do what best served that goal.
Several speakers commended the balanced nature of the text, with Spain’s representative saying that, while recognizing the positive steps taken by the country’s authorities, it also highlighted that much remained to be done to fully comply with the Council’s requirements.
Representatives of the countries that had abstained in the vote, however, expressed reservations about the text. The representative of the Russian Federation, for example, insisted that the threat of sanctions was far from the best method to ensure compliance, which should instead be sought through diplomatic means. Others added that the resolution did not sufficiently take into account the efforts of the Government to allow in humanitarian relief and to cooperate with the United Nations.
Describing the resolution adopted today as “a fatal blow”, Sudan’s representative said his Government had shown that it had honoured its commitments. He wondered why some delegations insisted on punishing his Government despite its cooperation. The entire world was directing its gaze at the Security Council to see whether it would be used for political purposes. The hastiness and pressure linked with the resolution was aimed at pleasing only the American Congress, which believed it was the sole conscience of the world.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Algeria, China, Pakistan, France, Benin, United Kingdom, Brazil, Chile, Romania and the Philippines.
The meeting was called to order at 3:35 p.m. and adjourned at 5:05 p.m.
The full text of resolution 1564 (2004) is as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its resolution 1556 (2004) of 30 July 2004, the statement of its President of 25 May 2004 (S/PRST/2004/18), its resolution 1547 (2004) of 11 June 2004 and resolution 1502 (2003) of 26 August 2003, and taking into account the Plan of Action agreed by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to Sudan and the Government of Sudan,
“Welcoming the Secretary-General’s report of 30 August 2004 (S/2004/703) and the progress achieved on humanitarian access, and expressing concern that paragraphs 59-67 indicate that the Government of Sudan has not fulfilled the entirety of its commitments under United Nations Security Council resolution 1556 (2004) and taking into account the need to foster and restore the confidence of vulnerable populations and to improve radically the overall security environment in Darfur; and welcoming the recommendations contained in the report, particularly those concerning the desirability of a substantially increased African Union Mission presence in the Darfur region of Sudan,
“Welcoming the leadership role and the engagement of the African Union in addressing the situation in Darfur,
“Welcoming the 6 September 2004 letter to the President of the Security Council from the President of the African Union, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, including his appeal for international support for the extension of the African Union Mission in Darfur,
“Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity, and independence of Sudan, as consistent with the Machakos Protocol of 20 July 2002 and subsequent agreements based on this Protocol as agreed to by the Government of Sudan,
“Recalling the Joint Communiqué of 3 July 2004 of the Government of Sudan and the United Nations Secretary-General, and recognizing the efforts undertaken by the Joint Implementation Mechanism (JIM) and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to advance the aims of the communiqué and the requirements of resolution 1556 (2004),
“Welcoming that the Government of Sudan has taken a number of steps to lift administrative obstructions to the delivery of humanitarian relief,which has resulted in access for an increased number of humanitarian personnel in Darfur as well as international human rights non-governmental institutions, and recognizing that the Government of Sudan has broadened its cooperation with United Nations humanitarian agencies and their partners,
“Urging the Government of Sudan and the rebel groups to facilitate this humanitarian relief by allowing unfettered access for humanitarian supplies and workers, including across Sudan’s borders with Chad and Libya by land and by air as may be required,
“Expressing grave concern at the lack of progress with regard to security and the protection of civilians, disarmament of the Janjaweed militias and identification and bringing to justice of the Janjaweed leaders responsible for human rights and international humanitarian law violations in Darfur,
“Recalling that the Sudanese Government bears the primary responsibility to protect its population within its territory, to respect human rights, and to maintain law and order, and that all parties are obliged to respect international humanitarian law,
“Stressing that the Sudanese rebel groups, particularly the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement, must also take all necessary steps to respect international humanitarian and human rights law,
“Emphasizing that the ultimate resolution of the crisis in Darfur must include the safe and voluntary return of internally displaced persons and refugees to their original homes, and noting in that regard the 21 August 2004 Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Sudan and the International Organization for Migration (IOM),
“Expressing its determination to do everything possible to end the suffering of the people of Darfur,
“Determining that the situation in Sudan constitutes a threat to international peace and security and to stability in the region,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter,
“1. Declares its grave concern that the Government of Sudan has not fully met itsobligations noted inresolution 1556 (2004) and the 3 July Joint Communiqué with the Secretary-General to improve, as expected by the Council, the security of the civilian population of Darfur in the face of continued depredations, and deplores the recent ceasefire violations by all parties, in particular the reports by the Cease FireCommission of Government of Sudan helicopter assaults and Janjaweed attacks on Yassin, Hashaba and Gallab villages on 26 August 2004;
“2. Welcomes and supports the intention of the African Union to enhance and augment its monitoring mission in the Darfur region of Sudan, and encourages the undertaking of proactive monitoring;
“3. Urges Member States to support the African Union in these efforts including by providing all equipment, logistical, financial, material, and other resources necessary to support the rapid expansion of the African Union Mission and by supporting the efforts of the African Union aimed at a peaceful conclusion of the crisis and the protection of the welfare of the people of Darfur, welcomes the Government of Sudan’s request to theAfrican Union to increase its monitoring presence in Darfur in its 9 September 2004 letter to the Security Council, and urges the Government of Sudan to take all steps necessary to follow through with this commitment and to cooperate fully with the African Union to ensure a secure and stable environment;
“4. Calls upon the Government of Sudan and the rebel groups, particularly the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement, to work together under the auspices of the African Union to reach a political solution in the negotiations currently being held in Abuja under the leadership of President Obasanjo, notes the progress made to date, urges the parties to the negotiations to sign and implement the humanitarian agreement immediately, and to conclude a protocol on security issues as soon as possible, and underscores and supports the role of the African Union in monitoring the implementation of all such agreements reached;
“5. Urges the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to conclude a comprehensive peace accord expeditiously as a critical step towards the development of a peaceful and prosperous Sudan;
“6. Affirms that internally displaced persons, refugees and other vulnerablepeoples should be allowed to returnto their homes voluntarily, in safety and with dignity, and only whenadequate assistance and security are in place;
“7. Reiterates its call for the Government of Sudan to end the climate of impunity in Darfur by identifying and bringing to justice all those responsible, including members of popular defence forces and Janjaweed militias, for the widespread human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, and insists that the Government of Sudan take all appropriate steps to stop all violence and atrocities;
“8. Calls on all Sudanese parties to take the necessary steps to ensure that violations reported by the Cease Fire Commission are addressed immediately and that those responsible for such violations are held accountable;
“9. Demands that the Government of Sudan submit to the African Union Mission for verification documentation, particularly the names of Janjaweed militiamen disarmed and names of those arrested for human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, with regard to its performance relative to resolution 1556 and the 8 April 2004 N’djamena ceasefire agreement;
“10. Demands all armed groups, including rebel forces, cease all violence, cooperate with international humanitarian relief and monitoring efforts and ensure that their members comply with international humanitarian law, and facilitate the safety and security of humanitarian staff;
“11. Reiterates its full support for the 8 April 2004 N’djamena ceasefire agreement, and in this regard urgesthe Government of Sudan to refrain fromconductingmilitary flights in and over the Darfur region in accordance with its commitments;
“12. Requests that the Secretary-General rapidlyestablish an international commission of inquiry in order immediately to investigate reports ofviolations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Darfurby all parties,to determine also whether or notacts ofgenocide have occurred, and to identify the perpetrators of such violations with a view to ensuring that those responsible are held accountable, calls on all parties to cooperate fully with such a commission, and further requests the Secretary-General, in conjunction with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to take appropriate steps to increase the number of human rights monitors deployed to Darfur;
“13. Calls on Member States to provide in an urgent manner generous and sustained contributions to the humanitarian efforts under way in Darfur and Chad to address the shortfall in response to continued United Nations appeals, emphasizes the need for Member States to fulfil their pledges forthwith, and welcomes the substantial contributions made to date;
“14. Declaresthat the Council, in the event the Government of Sudan fails to comply fully with resolution 1556 (2004) or this resolution, including, as determined by the Council after consultations with the African Union,failure to cooperate fully with the expansion and extension of the African Union monitoring mission in Darfur, shall consider taking additional measures as contemplated in Article 41 of the Charter of the United Nations, such as actions to affect Sudan’s petroleum sector and the Government of Sudan or individual members of the Government of Sudan, in order to take effective action to obtain such full compliance or full cooperation;
“15. Requests that, in the monthly reports pursuant to resolution 1556 (2004), the Secretary-General report to the Council on the progress or lack thereof by the Government of Sudan in complying with the Council’s demands in this resolution and the effort by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to conclude a comprehensive peace accord on an urgent basis;
“16. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”
Taking up the situation in the Sudan this afternoon, the Security Council was expected to focus on the implementation of its resolution 1556 (2004), in which it had made a requirement on that Government to show substantial, irreversible and verifiable progress towards ensuring security in Darfur. In particular, it demanded that the Government fulfil immediately all of the commitments it had made in the Joint Communiqué it had issued together with the United Nations on 3 July 2004, and carry out its commitments to disarm the Janjaweed militias, as well as apprehend and bring to justice those who had incited and carried out human rights violations and other atrocities.
The Secretary-General’s report on the situation in the country (document S/2004/703) was presented to the Council on 2 September by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to the Sudan, Jan Pronk (for details, see Press Release SC/8180). According to that document, the Janjaweed militias have conducted a "scorched-earth policy" against Darfur's civilians since conflict began there early last year, when two rebel groups took up arms against the Government. While some progress had been achieved, “after 18 months of conflict and 30 days after the adoption of resolution 1556, the Government of the Sudan has not been able to resolve the crisis in Darfur and has not met some of the core commitments it has made”. In particular, the Government has not been able to stop attacks by militias against civilians or to disarm most of those militias.
Among laudable steps, the report lists improvement of security in some specific areas where internally displaced persons (IDPs) are concentrated; deployment of additional police; initial disarmament measures; and arrest of some individual offenders. However, it is still necessary to disarm all militias, including the Janjaweed, which were under the influence of the Government. Also, no concrete steps have been taken to bring to justice or even identify any of the militia leaders or the perpetrators of those attacks, allowing violations of human rights to continue in a climate of impunity.
The Secretary-General concludes that a substantially increased international presence in Darfur is required as quickly as possible. The plan the United Nations has presented to the African Union provides a blueprint for such a presence which could help improve the situation in critical respects: decrease the level of violence, and enhance the protection of the civilian population, particularly those who have been displaced.
The United Nations is participating as an observer and supporting the African Union mediation effort by providing experts and advisers to the mediator. At the same time, as political talks proceed, the parties should exercise maximum restraint on the ground and fully respect the Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement. This applies equally to the Government of the Sudan and the two rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
Among the latest developments in connection with the situation being discussed today is the arrival in the Sudan today of two senior United Nations human rights officials -– the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, and newly appointed Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Juan Mendez -– who were dispatched by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the strife-torn Darfur region to examine how civilians can be protected from continuing attacks by armed militias, speak to abuse victims and hold talks with local officials.
In his statement to the press last Thursday, the Secretary-General said their job was not to describe or characterize what was happening, but to see what more could be done to stop it and prevent further abuses. He also stressed the urgent need to take action on the situation in Darfur. “This is the first time in the Council’s history that it has ever been seized under article 8 of the Genocide Convention, and it seems to me inconceivable that it should fail to respond”, he said.
Action on Text
Speaking before the vote, ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said that his country had followed with attention and preoccupation the tragedy in Darfur. Algeria had lent its support to the efforts of the African Union in Darfur and was convinced that the Union was the most appropriate organ to find a solution to the problem there. Both the Secretary-General and his Special Representative had noted the significant progress that had been made by the Sudanese Government. In view of the headway that had been made, Algeria would have expected the Council to take note of the progress that had been achieved. It had also expected the Council to call on rebel groups to arrive at a fair and definitive solution to the crisis.
He did not expect, given that neither the Secretary-General nor his Special Representative had recommended it and because it did not seem necessary to substitute the spirit of cooperation with a spirit of confrontation, that the Council should once again wield the threat of sanctions against the Sudanese Government. The text of the resolution did not really do justice to the Sudanese Government, which had taken initiatives and actions to address some of the problems. It not only brought up the prospect of sanctions in the event of non-compliance with resolution 1556, but also in the event of non-cooperation with the African Union regarding the extension of the monitoring presence, even though the Sudanese Government itself had already demanded both an extension and strengthening of that presence. Algeria would have wished that the sponsors of the text had shown flexibility on the issue.
The Council then adopted resolution 1564 (2004) by a vote of 11 in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions (Algeria, China, Pakistan, Russian Federation).
Speaking after the vote, ANDREY DENISOV (Russian Federation) said that his delegation had been closely following the developments in Darfur and shared the assessment of the situation by the Secretary-General and his Special Representative. He noted that the Government of the Sudan had achieved certain progress in implementing its obligations under resolution 1556, particularly in the area of providing humanitarian access to internally displaced persons. Much remained to be done to normalize the situation in the country, however. In particular, it was necessary to ensure reliable protection of the civilian population in Darfur. While the main responsibility for that lay with the Sudanese Government, the rebel groups needed to meet their obligations as well.
It was important to support the efforts of the African Union to monitor the implementation of resolution 1556 and agreements with the United Nations, he continued. Noting progress in the dialogue between the African Union and the Sudanese Government, he hoped that speedy results would be achieved in that regard. It was also necessary to support the negotiations between the parties to ensure a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Sudan. His Government had participated in the work on the resolution, but he was convinced that the threat of sanctions was far from being the best method of ensuring compliance. Instead, it was necessary to use diplomatic methods. The linkage between the possibility of sanctions and the success of the peace process was counterproductive. The sponsors of the resolution did not take those concerns into account, although the text had been improved following consultations. Thus, he had been unable to support the draft. However, Russia would continue to work to promote a speedy resolution of the crisis.
WANG GUANGYA (China) said that the Sudanese Government had shown sincerity in resolving the problem in Darfur. The Chinese delegation appreciated the enormous and invaluable effort that had been made by the African Union to help to find a lasting solution to the situation. China called on the international community to support the efforts of the African Union. The international community should make vigorous efforts to create a favourable environment for talks, so that a lasting solution could be found. Donor countries that had the capacity should offer all the support they could. The Council should ensure that the threat of sanctions would not be automatically invoked. China was against the use of sanctions, which it believing could complicate matters.
JOHN DANFORTH (United States) said that yesterday, President Bush had asked him to convey to the Council his strong views on the resolution adopted today. He believed that the situation in Darfur was a catastrophe and that the Council needed to address it on an urgent basis. He asked the international community to fulfil its commitments for humanitarian assistance to the people in Darfur. In the long run, success in the Sudan depended on a successful conclusion of the ongoing negotiations among the parties. Among the main goals of the resolution before the Council was the intention “to throw the full weight of the Council behind the African Union”. It called for the international community to fully support that organization and the efforts of its current Chairman, the President of Nigeria, which were essential for creating a peaceful and prosperous Sudan. It also called on the members of the international community to implement their commitments for humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese people.
The Council had acted on the draft today because the Government of the Sudan had failed to fully comply with resolution 1556, he said. Today’s text demanded that the Government meet, in practice, its verbal commitment to increase the number of African Union monitors in the country. If the Government did not cooperate fully, the Council would indeed have to consider sanctions and insist on the prosecution of the individuals responsible for the disaster. The text reflected the wishes of delegations to recognize that the Government had met some of its obligations. But nobody should be under the illusion that the Government had done so voluntarily. It had done so with great reluctance and long delays, under significant pressure from the international community.
The crisis in Darfur was the largest humanitarian disaster in the world today, he said. Over 2.2 million people had been victimized in one way or another by the actions of the Sudanese Government. The humanitarian crisis was likely to worsen in the coming weeks. It was important to remember that it was completely man-made and had been entirely avoidable, and fabricated by the Government, which had overreacted to the rebellion.
Since the Council had passed resolution 1556 on 30 July, the violence in Darfur had continued, he said. Special Representative Jan Pronk had reported that armed militias had continued to threaten civilians, and villages continued to be attacked, looted and destroyed. There were continued allegations of theft and sexual attacks. The Government had denied humanitarian access to some camps and refused to identify the perpetrators of the crimes by name. With more than 400 villages destroyed to date, international concern was well justified. Mr. Pronk’s conclusions were consistent with the results of a recent survey by the State Department of the United States. There were also reports of Government aircraft attacking villages, followed by attacks by the militias, which left behind nothing but devastation and death.
That evidence led the United States to the conclusion that the Government of the Sudan might be condoning genocide, he continued. He expected the Sudanese Government to increase its cooperation with the African Union and support its expanded presence in Darfur. The Government of the Sudan had promised to cooperate with the African Union. However, its previous promises had been made on paper, but not honoured in practice. Now, he expected the Government to follow up on its promises.
MUNIR AKRAM (Pakistan) said that he had abstained on the vote on the resolution just adopted, noting that within a week of the Council’s adoption on 30 July of resolution 1556, the Government of the Sudan had announced that it had agreed to a plan of action with the Secretary General’s Special Representative. On 15 September, the Special Representative had reported on the areas in which the Sudan had fulfilled its commitments, and also identified areas where further action was required. The Sudanese Government was fully engaged with the African Union and that trend needed to be encouraged.
The original text submitted by the sponsors of the resolution failed to recognize the progress that had been achieved, he noted. Pakistan was glad that some of the proposals it had made had been included in the final text. His Government had, however, stated from the outset that it could not endorse the use or threat of use of sanctions, which it believed would be unhelpful in the situation. Considering the progress that had been achieved, he did not feel that it was appropriate to threaten sanctions only against the Government of the Sudan. Such an approach might be counterproductive.
GUNTER PLEUGER (Germany) welcomed the adoption of the text. Despite some progress on behalf of the Sudanese Government, the situation in Darfur was still dramatic. There was no verifiable progress in the disarmament of the militias and the prosecution of human rights violations. Neither was there any significant improvement in the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons. Today’s resolution again called on the Government of the Sudan to fulfil its responsibilities and implement resolution 1556. Germanyhad co-sponsored the draft, believing that it would help to maintain pressure on the Government without creating any “automaticity” in the application of sanctions.
The text also addressed the need to establish a commission of inquiry to end the culture of impunity and restore some measure of trust that justice would be done, he continued. Justice was a prerequisite for rebuilding the country and achieving reconciliation there. The main point of the resolution was to support the role of the African Union in resolving the crisis and achieving the cooperation of the Sudanese Government with an expanded African Union mission. He welcomed the willingness of the African Union to assume an even greater role in the Sudan.
The Sudanese Government, for its part, should demonstrate that it was prepared to take that offer, he said. The Government had already taken a step in expressing willingness to cooperate with the Union in its letters to the Council. Now it must prove its readiness in practice. In the coming weeks, the Council should keep the developments in the Sudan under close scrutiny. At the end of the month, the Secretary-General would report on the situation there, and the Council would decide on its future course of action. The goal was to save lives and hold all parties to their obligations. The Council must be prepared to do what best served that goal.
JEAN-MARC DE LA SABLIERE (France) said that he had voted in favour of the resolution and had always stated that the Council should pursue the single objective of saving human life. Although the Special Representative of the Secretary-General had reported some progress on the ground, the international community was still waiting for the Janjaweed militia to be disarmed and for the violators of human rights to be punished. The situation required unflagging determination. The Council must act with concern for efficiency in saving human lives. Very little could be done without strong pressure.
The role of the African Union in finding a solution to the situation was very essential, he stated. France would have wished for the resolution to secure an even higher number of votes. The resolution offered fresh hope to the civilian population of Darfur. It was his hope that the message from the resolution would be properly received and properly heeded by the Sudanese Government. No one should have any doubt that the Council would continue to act resolutely.
JOEL W. ADECHI (Benin) said that his delegation had voted in favour of the draft. Throughout the negotiations on the text, he had supported efforts to create consensus and regretted that the text had not been adopted unanimously. He also regretted that there was no reference to Chapter VIII of the Charter to highlight the cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations. The consensus would have been broader, he believed, had the sponsors not insisted on the inclusion of a threat of sanctions.
Members of the Council, he said, should remain committed to urging the Government of the Sudan to improve the security situation in the country and halt its attacks on the civilian population. He also supported the appeal for the disarmament of all militias, measures to facilitate voluntary return of internally displaced persons, and the lead role of the African Union, as well as the need to bring to justice the perpetrators of violations of human rights and humanitarian law. The text adopted by the Council also envisioned the establishment of an international commission of inquiry.
He believed the international community was well equipped to find a solution to the humanitarian crisis and halt it. The draft adopted by the Council demonstrated the renewed commitment of the international community to restore dignity to the millions that had been denied it and to protect their faith in human rights. He supported the appeal to the Sudanese Government to cooperate fully with the African Union and to accept an enhanced presence of monitors in the country.
EMYR JONES PARRY (United Kingdom) said that the situation in Darfur remained extremely serious, with about 8,000 deaths every month. That situation had widespread security implications for the entire region. The text adopted by the Council acknowledged that there had been some progress by the Government of the Sudan. He believed that it was the pressure of the international community that had been responsible for that progress. The rebels must also cooperate. They, too, had a responsibility to ensure that they did not violate international humanitarian law. There should not be any interpretation of the new resolution as giving cover to the rebels.
There had been many credible reports of widespread violation of international humanitarian law in Darfur, he added. Those responsible for such violations should be brought to justice. Ultimate responsibility lay with both the Sudanese Government and the rebels. Only a political settlement could bring sustained peace to the Sudan.
RONALDO MOTA SARDENBERG (Brazil) said that he had voted in favour of the draft on the understanding that it could save lives. Resolution 1556 was the first in a series of decisions to be taken by the Council to alleviate the suffering of the people in Darfur and to put an end to the disaster there. The text insisted on clear further actions by the Sudanese Government to extend protection and security to the civilian population and to reign in the militias. It also reflected the need to allow the return of refugees and internally displaced persons and to undertake humanitarian efforts to assist the population.
Although the text welcomed the steps taken by the Government to increase access for humanitarian relief, it could have acknowledged other positive steps, as outlined by the Secretary-General and his Special Representative in their reports to the Council, especially the beginning of the disarmament process and the improvement of the IDP situation in certain areas. The text also recognized the role of the African Union and welcomed its clear engagement. However, the Council should have gone further by basing its action on Chapter VIII of the Charter. Such a provision would be both timely and appropriate, providing a steady basis for strengthening the budding cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union in that particular instance.
He believed that in its excessive use of Chapter VII, the Council ran the risk of misleading all parties, including international public opinion, which might be led to think that peaceful resolution and diplomatic measures were not among the steps nurtured by the Council. Regarding the commission of inquiry, he added that its major goal was to stop gross violations of human rights. It would make possible precise investigation of recent violations. Finally, he shared the interpretation of those who believed that there should be no automatic application of sanctions and that the Council was not prejudging its future actions.
HERALDO MUÑOZ (Chile) said that he had voted in favour of the resolution in order to send a clear political message. While he duly appreciated that the Sudanese Government had complied with some of its obligations, certain others were still outstanding and unfulfilled. Those included the disarming of the Janjaweed militia. The resolution adopted by the Council gave firm backing to the African Union and to the role of its monitoring presence. That was compatible with the regional approach that had been favoured by the Council. He wanted to see the commitments made by the Sudanese Government fulfilled in order to save lives. Sanctions were a tool, which should be considered by the Council only if the conditions set out were not met. The resolution was consistent with what the Council had adopted in the recent past.
MIHNEA IOAN MOTOC (Romania) said that he had voted in favour of the resolution, which was consistent with resolution 1556 -– the text that had determined the policy course on the Sudan. Today’s text sought to achieve balance between giving credit where it was due and providing continued energetic encouragement to the Government to deliver on its commitments, with the sense of urgency imposed by the unfolding drama. The resolution was balanced when recognizing the rebels’ share of responsibility and the need to address the full specter of challenges before the country.
In addition, while contemplating sanctions, the text did not prescribe them automatically, he continued. The resolution also recognized regional ownership of the issue, and encouraged and supported further contributions of the African Union. It adequately reflected the architecture of cooperation to address the situation in conjunction with the African Union, the European Union and many individual nations. That approach was important to Romania.
In the twenty-first century, the international community and the Security Council should not confine themselves to a purely political view of the plight of civilians targeted by violence. There should be no hesitation for the Council to undertake its obligation to “ring an alarm bell and urge proper consideration of such acts in appropriate venues”. In its future consideration of the matter, the Council should strive to speak with a unified voice. He supported the resolution as an important act of the Council in the discharge of its responsibilities under the Charter. It would not only make a difference for the people on the ground, but also help the Council to pass the major credibility test it was facing.
LAURO L. BAJA (Philippines) said that he had voted for the resolution, which sent a signal to the parties in the Sudan that they must save lives, save dignity and protect properties there. He believed that the State had a responsibility to protect its citizens. If it was unable or unwilling to provide such protection, then the international community should step in and do so. The present resolution showed that the Security Council would act. His country endorsed the course of action taken by the Council.
Speaking in his national capacity, Council President JUAN ANTONIO YAÑEZ-BARNUEVO (Spain) said that the resolution adopted today represented an effort to end the conflict and to put an end to impunity. It was a balanced text, which, while recognizing the positive steps taken by the country’s authorities, also highlighted that much remained to be done to fully comply with the Council’s requirements. In particular, there were still no sufficient indications today that effective measures had been taken to disarm the militias or to stop attacks on the civilian population. Darfur was still witnessing serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law.
The Council had to take up its responsibilities to address the situation, he stressed. The Government of the Sudan had stepped up its cooperation with the African Union, and the resolution reinforced the leadership role of that organization. That role should be supported by the international community and international organizations, when requested by the Union. He hoped that the Government’s promises would be fulfilled speedily. Possible repercussions of the conflict on a regional scale and the threat to international peace and security required the international community to work together.
He highlighted the call to set up an international commission of inquiry that would elucidate the facts on the ground and take steps towards ending the impunity of those guilty of atrocities. It was important to work in good faith to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict. He stressed the importance of seeking a successful conclusion of the ongoing negotiations and expressed hope that, as indicated in its letters to the Council, the Sudanese Government would fully cooperate with the Secretary-General, his Special Representative, the African Union and the international commission of inquiry, once it had been established. The Council should be in the position to take appropriate decisions in the future, without any automaticity or pre-judgement of its actions.
ELFATIH MOHAMED AHMED ERWA (Sudan) described the resolution adopted by the Council as a fatal blow and said that his Government had shown that it had honoured its commitments. The testimony of that commitment had been in the statements of the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, which highlighted the achievements and pointed out areas needing more action. Despite the injustice of the resolution, his Government would continue to honour its commitments. He wondered whether the threat of sanctions would only complicate matters, as well as why some delegations insisted on punishing his Government despite its cooperation.
The entire world was directing its gaze at the Security Council to see whether it would be used to for political purposes, he continued. The result sought by the resolution might have been achieved by delay rather than an unfair text, only aimed at achieving political aims. The resolution totally ran counter to the report of the Secretary-General and to the briefing of his Special Representative. It discouraged the people in Darfur rather that encouraging them to maintain cooperation with the Government. His Government had spoken repeatedly about any negative signals from the Council, which might impact the situation. He noted that negative signals had led to the failure of the negotiations in Abuja.
He said that the hastiness and pressure linked with the resolution was aimed at pleasing only the American Congress, which believed it was the sole conscience of the world. He was surprised by the position of that State, which had continued to do injustice in other countries, including Iraq. The adoption of the resolution had torpedoed all negotiations and hampered the African Union’s efforts, spearheaded by President Olusegun Obasanjo. He hoped the Council would be honest with itself when it claimed to support the efforts of the African Union.
Exercising his right of reply, Mr. DANFORTH (United States) said that, unfortunately, the representative of the Sudan had strayed from the point of today’s deliberations, making an unseemly attack on the United States. The Council had met to protect the people of Darfur, who had been suffering as a result of a terrible tragedy. The Council focused on the armed attacks by militias and by the Government of the Sudan, even after the Government had signed the Ceasefire Agreement and issued the Joint Communiqué with the Secretary-General, by which it undertook to disarm the militias. Even after the adoption of resolution 1556, attacks continued, often involving Government helicopters, which shot at civilian villages. That was the issue before the Council. It had nothing to do with the attack on the United States just launched by Sudan’s representative.
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