Minister of State Kitt to Co-chair Special UN Meeting on Darfur, Sudan
The Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, Tom Kitt T.D., will co-chair a special meeting on Darfur scheduled to take place at the United Nations in Geneva on 3 June.
Minister of State Kitt today said:
“I will be attending the Geneva meeting next week to highlight the serious concern of the Government and the European Union at the appalling humanitarian situation in Darfur. I have already written this week to my counterparts within the EU about the situation in Darfur and I have placed the issue on the agenda of the EU Development Ministers meeting taking place in Dublin on 1 June. As EU Presidency, I want to bring a strong message from EU Ministers to the UN meeting on Darfur.”
Minister of State Kitt said that the EU message should focus on key issues of security and humanitarian access. The Government of Sudan must fully respect the humanitarian ceasefire agreement it signed on 8 April; it must also accept its responsibility for ensuring that the Janjaweed militias are disarmed and withdrawn immediately from Darfur – refugees will not return home until their security is assured.
Minister of State Kitt noted that progress towards peace is being made in Sudan overall and welcomed the fact that the Sudan Framework Peace Agreement was due to be signed today. He said that Government of Sudan should also commit itself to an all-inclusive political process that would restore peace and stability in Darfur and lay the basis for effective social and economic development.
Note for Editors:
A High Level Donor Alert and Consultation meeting on Darfur is to be convened in Geneva on 3 June 2004 and will be co-chaired by Minister of State Tom Kitt T.D., as well as the US and UN. The aim of the meeting is to alert donors to the urgent funding needs for Darfur in advance of the rainy season, secure immediate funding, brief donors on the situation on the ground, examine remaining constraints for the relief operation, deployment of the Ceasefire Commission and examine ways of enhancing donor coordination.
Funding of €750,000 has been allocated by Development Cooperation Ireland to the UN Consolidated Emergency Appeals for Darfur which was launched in April 2004. This funding will be dispersed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to UN and international NGOs who are most urgently in need of support. In 2003, Development Cooperation Ireland provided nearly €4 million in assistance to Sudan. Top