Minister Lenihan calls for urgent action on Darfur Report at UN Human Rights Council
“This is no time to be timid” - Minister Lenihan
Conor Lenihan TD, Minister of State for Irish Aid and Human Rights, today (Wednesday, 14 March) strongly urged the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to take urgent action on the findings of its high-level mission to Darfur.
Minister Lenihan told the Council that “the situation reported by the High-Level Mission remains a disgrace”. He urged the Council to act consensually in implementing the substantive recommendations addressed to it by the High-Level Mission. The mission, which reported this week, was mandated unanimously by the Human Rights Council in December.
Speaking ahead of his address to the Council, Minister Lenihan said:
“The High-Level Mission has done its work thoroughly, basing its conclusions on information and documentation from a number of reputable sources, including not least the African Union.
It addresses its action recommendations to this Council, to the Government of Sudan, to the armed rebel movements in Darfur and to the international community, including notably the United Nations Security Council.
This is no time to be timid. This Council should seize the opportunity to bolster its own credibility and that of the broad United Nations – which we all need and should uphold.”
Note to Editors:
The High Level Mission on the situation of human rights in Darfur had a mandate to assess the human rights situation in Darfur and the needs of Darfur in this regard.
The Mission report makes a number of recommendations including:
· The Human Rights Council should be outspoken in condemning the ongoing crisis and in calling for remedial action;
· The Government of Sudan should cooperate fully with the deployment of the proposed UN/AU peacekeeping/protection force, remove all obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian assistance and give full cooperation to the International Criminal Court;
· The Government of Sudan should end the targeting of civilians in Darfur and cease all support for Janjaweed/milita forces and proceed with the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of such forces;
· All armed rebel movements should observe and respect the requirements of international human rights and humanitarian law and cease all attacks against civilians and humanitarian targets; and
· The international community should adopt a unified approach to addressing Darfur and support the joint efforts of the UN and AU envoys.
The mission was led by Nobel Peace Laureate, Jody Williams. The members of the mission were refused visas to enter Sudan by the Government of Sudan. However, the mission drew up its report on the basis of meeting hundreds of people in Addis Ababa, N'Djamena, Abeche and the refugee camps of Eastern Chad, as well as by reviewing thousands of pages of documents and reports from relevant UN and African Union agencies, human rights and humanitarian relief agencies and NGOs active in the region.Top