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HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL DISCUSSES REPORT OF HIGH-LEVEL MISSION ON SITUATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN DARFUR
United Nations Office in Geneva
16 March 2007


The Human Rights Council this morning discussed the report of its high-level mission on the situation of human rights in Darfur as it started its debate on the follow-up to the decisions and resolutions adopted by the Council. Several delegates cite responsibility to protect.r
Ms. Williams said critical needs for improving the situation of human rights in Darfur were numerous... Every State had the responsibility to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. When a State was unable or unwilling to do so, it was the responsibility of the international community to take action to ensure effective protection.

LAZHAR SOUALEM (Algeria), speaking on behalf of the League of Arab States, that the League of Arab States was not commenting on the substance of document A/HCR/4/80 because it did not consider that the document had the requisite legitimacy In addition, the Council should take a position on the fact that the proper theme of the mission should not be to investigate with respect to Darfur the degree of application of the responsibility to protect principle; rather it should be the dual objective and reliable information assessing both the human rights situation in Darfur and the needs of Sudan.

TEHMINA JANJUA (Pakistan), speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said the OIC was unable to comment on the contents of the report on the human rights situation in Darfur, as doubts had been raised about its status: the report had not been written by the entire mission. One of the members was obliged to withdraw, and the Government had expressed concerns about another member. The mandate adopted for the mission by consensus at the fourth special session clearly stated that the mission was to assess the human rights situation in Darfur and the needs of the Sudan in this regard. At no place was the concept of the responsibility to protect reflected in the Councils decision. This concept, as the Member States of the Council knew, had multiple political and security dimensions, that went beyond the mandate given to the mission.

CHRISTOPHE GUILHOU (France) () The entire world knew that crimes among the worst had been orchestrated with the implication of the Sudanese authorities. Those who were largely responsible for these crimes had not been brought to justice, due to the climate of impunity which prevailed, and the refusal of the Government to cooperate with the International Criminal Court. It was the primary responsibility of the Government of Sudan to protect the civil population. The Government should agree to the deployment of an international force to Darfur according to the three-phase approach suggested by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Addis Ababa on 16 November 2006. The deployment of this force was urgent. Secondly, the Government of Sudan should fully cooperate with the Council and all United Nations mechanisms. The Council should ensure the implementation of the numerous recommendations that had been formulated by the different pertinent bodies and mechanisms for the protection of human rights since the beginning of the Darfur conflict in order to put an end to these violations.

NICHOLAS THORNE (United Kingdom) () The Government of Sudan stood accused of failing in its responsibility to protect its own people from abuse, attack, insecurity and displacement. Reliable attested reports from the African Union and now the mission demonstrated that attacks on civilians, including by aerial bombing, continued, that attacks on humanitarian workers by Governmental forces, militias, and rebels continued, and that widespread and systematic rape and forced displacement continued. Concern should centre upon the plight of innocent people, about which the Government of Sudan continued to remain in denial. To debate the procedural aspects of a report was to try to blind the Council to the reality of the situation on the ground in Darfur, and this was unacceptable.

TERRY CORMIER (Canada) () Canada applauded the decision to use responsibility to protect as a framework, but said that obstacles remained to peacekeepers. The report highlighted measures that the international community and the Council could take. Canada referred to the importance of a procedure to monitor and regulate violations with a capacity to visit the region and urged the founding of an independent National Human rights Commission in Sudan. ()
the basis of consensus.

Full text is available at:
http://www.unog.ch/80256EDD006B9C2E/(httpNewsByYear_en)/4911A014E231BEE8C12572A0004C7938?OpenDocument
 

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