1 September 2006
Security Council Expands Mandate of UN Mission in Sudan to Include Deployment to Darfur, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1706 (2006)
Invites Consent of Sudanese Government; Authorizes Use of "All Necessary Means" to Protect United Nations Personnel, Civilians under Threat of Physical Violence
NEW YORK, 31 August (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council decided this morning to expand the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) to include its deployment to Darfur, without prejudice to its existing mandate and operations, in order to support the early and effective implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement.
As it adopted resolution 1706 (2006) by a vote of 12 in favour with 3 abstentions (China, Qatar, Russian Federation), the Council invited the consent of the Sudanese Government of National Unity for that deployment, and called on Member States to ensure an expeditious deployment. It requested the Secretary-General to arrange the rapid deployment of additional capabilities to enable UNMIS to deploy in Darfur.
Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council authorized UNMIS to use all necessary means as it deemed within its capabilities: to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment; to ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, assessment and evaluation commission personnel; to prevent disruption of the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement by armed groups, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of the Sudan; to protect civilians under threat of physical violence; and to seize or collect arms or related material whose presence in Darfur was in violation of the Agreements and the measures imposed by resolution 1556, and to dispose of such arms and related material as appropriate.
The Council decided also that the mandate of UNMIS would be, among other things, to support implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement and the N'djamena Agreement on Humanitarian Cease-fire on the Conflict in Darfur, including by: monitoring and verifying the implementation by the parties to those agreements; observing and monitoring movement of armed groups and redeployment of forces in areas of UNMIS deployment by ground and aerial means; investigating violations of the Agreements and reporting them to the Cease-fire Commission; monitoring transborder activities of armed groups along the Sudanese borders with Chad and the Central African Republic; and ensuring an adequate human rights and gender presence, capacity and expertise within the Mission to carry out human rights promotion, civilian protection and monitoring activities, including particular attention to the needs of women and children.
In a related provision of the text, the Council decided further that the mandate of UNMIS in Darfur would also include assisting in international efforts to improve the security situation in the neighbouring regions along the borders between the Sudan and Chad and between the Sudan and the Central African Republic. It requested that the Secretary-General and the Governments of Chad and the Central African Republic conclude status-of-forces agreements as soon as possible, taking into consideration General Assembly resolution 58/82 on the scope of legal protection under the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel. Pending the conclusion of such an agreement with either country, the model status-of-forces agreement dated 9 October 1990 (document A/45/594) would apply provisionally with respect to UNMIS forces operating in that country.
The Council decided also that UNMIS would be strengthened by up to 17,300 military personnel and by an appropriate civilian component including up to 3,300 civilian police personnel and up to 16 Formed Police Units. It expressed its determination to keep the Mission's strength and structure under regular review, taking into account the evolution of the situation on the ground.
By further terms of the text, the Council requested the Secretary-General to consult jointly with the African Union, in close and continuing consultation with the parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement, including the Government of National Unity, on a plan and timetable for a transition from the African Mission in the Sudan to a United Nations operation in Darfur.
The resolution was co-sponsored by Argentina, Denmark, France, Ghana, Greece, Slovakia, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania and the United States.
In a statement after the vote, the representative of the United Kingdom said the tragedy in Darfur had gone on far too long and the transition to a United Nations operation was the only viable solution to the crisis. Based on conversations with Council members, even those countries that had abstained did not fundamentally disagree with the issues of the text -- it was more about the timing. The United Nations force remained the only vehicle to bring peace and stability to Darfur.
She said the Sudanese plan would be a military solution imposed by one of the parties to the conflict, in violation of the Peace Agreement itself. The resolution adopted today sent a clear message from the Council regarding the need for a well-equipped third party to ensure the protection of civilians. Not that the text did not attach importance to the consent of the Government of the Sudan, which bore the primary responsibility to protect its own citizens. The Council was appealing to the Government in the strongest possible terms to allow the United Nations to provide assistance. The Council wished to help the Sudan, not to threaten it; to assist, and not undermine the country.
Also speaking after the vote, the representative of the United States stressed the imperative need to stop the violence in Darfur, noting that every day of delay only extended the genocide. The strong Council resolution offered the best hope to end the tragedy in Darfur, and it was important to secure its immediate and full implementation. The United States expected the full cooperation and support of the Government of the Sudan for the new United Nations force.
Council President Nana Effah-Apenteng (Ghana), speaking in his national capacity, said that as many as 16 countries were already taking part in the African Union mission, and his country was proud to be one of them. Although the text adopted today was not a magic wand, its adoption was timely and gave the Sudan an opportunity be part of the solution to the Darfur crisis. On the other hand, however, the Government bore the responsibility to protect the victims of war in the Sudan, and for that reason, Ghana had reservations about explicit language in the text regarding the Government's agreement to the deployment of an international force.
The meeting began at10:10 a.m. and ended at 11:05 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1706 (2006) reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its previous resolutions concerning the situation in the Sudan, in particular resolutions 1679 (2006) of 16 May 2006, 1665 (2006) of 29 March 2006, 1663 (2006) of 24 March 2006, 1593 (2005) of 31 March 2005, 1591 (2005) of 29 March 2005, 1590 (2005) of 24 March 2005, 1574 (2004) of 19 November 2004, 1564 (2004) of 18 September 2004 and 1556 (2004) of 30 July 2004 and the statements of its President concerning the Sudan,
"Recalling also its previous resolutions 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel, 1612 (2005) on children and armed conflict, and 1674 (2006) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, which reaffirms inter alia the provisions of paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 United Nations World Summit outcome document, as well as the report of its Mission to the Sudan and Chad from 4 to 10 June 2006,
"Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence, and territorial integrity of the Sudan, which would be unaffected by transition to a United Nations operation in Darfur, and to the cause of peace, expressing its determination to work with the Government of National Unity, in full respect of its sovereignty, to assist in tackling the various problems confronting the Sudan and that a United Nations operation in Darfur shall have, to the extent possible, a strong African participation and character,
"Welcoming the efforts of the African Union to find a solution to the crisis in Darfur, including through the success of the African Union-led Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on the Conflict in Darfur in Abuja, Nigeria, in particular the framework agreed between the parties for a resolution of the conflict in Darfur (the Darfur Peace Agreement), commending the efforts of the signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement, expressing its belief that the Agreement provides a basis for sustained security in Darfur, reiterating its welcome of the statement of 9 May 2006 by the representative of the Sudan at the United Nations Security Council Special Session on Darfur of the Government of National Unity's full commitment to implementing the Agreement, stressing the importance of launching, with the African Union, the Darfur-Darfur dialogue and consultation as soon as possible, and recognizing that international support for implementation of the Agreement is critically important to its success,
"Commending the efforts of the African Union for the successful deployment of the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS), as well as the efforts of Member States and regional and international organizations that have assisted it in its deployment, and AMIS' role in reducing large-scale organized violence in Darfur, recalling the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council of 10 March 2006, and its decision of 27 June 2006 as outlined in paragraph 10 of its Communiqué that the African Union is ready to review the mandate of AMIS in the event that the ongoing consultations between the Government of National Unity and the United Nations conclude on an agreement for a transition to a United Nations peacekeeping operation, stressing the need for AMIS to assist implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement until transition to the United Nations force in Darfur is completed, welcoming the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council of 27 June 2006 on strengthening AMIS' mandate and tasks, including on the protection of civilians, and considering that AMIS needs urgent reinforcing,
"Reaffirming its concern that the ongoing violence in Darfur might further negatively affect the rest of the Sudan as well as the region, in particular Chad and the Central African Republic, and stressing that regional security aspects must be addressed to achieve long lasting peace in Darfur,
"Remaining deeply concerned over the recent deterioration of relations between the Sudan and Chad, calling on the Governments of the two countries to abide by their obligations under the Tripoli Agreement of 8 February 2006 and the agreement between the Sudan and Chad signed in N'djamena on 26 July 2006 and to begin implementing the confidence-building measures which they have voluntarily agreed upon, welcoming the recent re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the Sudan and Chad, and calling upon all States in the region to cooperate in ensuring regional stability,
"Reiterating its strong condemnation of all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur, and calling upon the Government of National Unity to take urgent action to tackle gender-based violence in Darfur including action towards implementing its Action Plan to Combat Violence Against Women in Darfur with particular focus on the rescission of Form 8 and access to legal redress,
"Expressing its deep concern for the security of humanitarian aid workers and their access to populations in need, including refugees, internally displaced persons and other war-affected populations, and calling upon all parties, in particular the Government of National Unity, to ensure, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, the full, safe and unhindered access of relief personnel to all those in need in Darfur as well as the delivery of humanitarian assistance, in particular to internally displaced persons and refugees,
"Taking note of the communiqués of 12 January, 10 March, 15 May and 27 June 2006 of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union regarding transition of AMIS to a United Nations operation,
"Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on Darfur dated 28 July 2006 (S/2006/591),
"Determining that the situation in the Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
"1. Decides, without prejudice to its existing mandate and operations as provided for in resolution 1590 (2005) and in order to support the early and effective implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, that UNMIS' mandate shall be expanded as specified in paragraphs 8, 9 and 12 below, that it shall deploy to Darfur, and therefore invites the consent of the Government of National Unity for this deployment, and urges Member States to provide the capability for an expeditious deployment;
"2. Requests the Secretary-General to arrange the rapid deployment of additional capabilities for UNMIS, in order that it may deploy in Darfur, in accordance with the recommendation contained in his report dated 28 July 2006;
"3. Decides that UNMIS shall be strengthened by up to 17,300 military personnel and by an appropriate civilian component including up to 3,300 civilian police personnel and up to 16 Formed Police Units, and expresses its determination to keep UNMIS' strength and structure under regular review, taking into account the evolution of the situation on the ground and without prejudice to its current operations and mandate as provided for in resolution 1590 (2005);
"4. Expresses its intention to consider authorizing possible additional temporary reinforcements of the military component of UNMIS, at the request of the Secretary-General, within the limits of the troop levels recommended in paragraph 87 of his report dated 28 July 2006;
"5. Requests the Secretary-General to consult jointly with the African Union, in close and continuing consultation with the parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement, including the Government of National Unity, on a plan and timetable for transition from AMIS to a United Nations operation in Darfur; decides that those elements outlined in paragraphs 40 to 58 of the Secretary-General's report of 28 July 2006 shall begin to be deployed no later than 1 October 2006, that thereafter as part of the process of transition to a United Nations operation additional capabilities shall be deployed as soon as feasible and that UNMIS shall take over from AMIS responsibility for supporting the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement upon the expiration of AMIS' mandate but in any event no later than 31 December 2006;
"6. Notes that the Status of Forces Agreement for UNMIS with the Sudan, as outlined in resolution 1590 (2005), shall apply to UNMIS' operations throughout the Sudan, including in Darfur;
"7. Requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps to strengthen AMIS through the use of existing and additional United Nations resources with a view to transition to a United Nations operation in Darfur; and authorizes the Secretary-General during this transition to implement the longer-term support to AMIS outlined in the report of the Secretary-General of 28 July 2006, including provision of air assets, ground mobility package, training, engineering and logistics, mobile communications capacity and broad public information assistance;
"8. Decides that the mandate of UNMIS in Darfur shall be to support implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement of 5 May 2006 and the N'djamena Agreement on Humanitarian Cease-fire on the Conflict in Darfur ("the Agreements"), including by performing the following tasks:
(a) To monitor and verify the implementation by the parties of Chapter 3 ("Comprehensive Cease-fire and Final Security Arrangements") of the Darfur Peace Agreement and the N'djamena Agreement on Humanitarian Cease-fire on the Conflict in Darfur;
(b) To observe and monitor movement of armed groups and redeployment of forces in areas of UNMIS deployment by ground and aerial means in accordance with the Agreements;
(c) To investigate violations of the Agreements and to report violations to the Cease-fire Commission; as well as to cooperate and coordinate, together with other International Actors, with the Cease-fire Commission, the Joint Commission, and the Joint Humanitarian Facilitation and Monitoring Unit established pursuant to the Agreements including through provision of technical assistance and logistical support;
(d) To maintain, in particular, a presence in key areas, such as buffer zones established pursuant to the Darfur Peace Agreement, areas inside internally displaced persons camps and demilitarized zones around and inside internally displaced persons camps, in order to promote the re-establishment of confidence, to discourage violence, in particular by deterring use of force;
(e) To monitor transborder activities of armed groups along the Sudanese borders with Chad and the Central African Republic in particular through regular ground and aerial reconnaissance activities;
(f) To assist with development and implementation of a comprehensive and sustainable programme for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants and women and children associated with combatants, as called for in the Darfur Peace Agreement and in accordance with resolutions 1556 (2004) and 1564 (2004);
(g) To assist the parties, in cooperation with other international actors, in the preparations for and conduct of referendums provided for in the Darfur Peace Agreement;
(h) To assist the parties to the Agreements in promoting understanding of the peace accord and of the role of UNMIS, including by means of an effective public information campaign, targeted at all sectors of society, in coordination with the African Union;
(i) To cooperate closely with the Chairperson of the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation (DDDC), provide support and technical assistance to him, and coordinate other United Nations agencies' activities to this effect, as well as to assist the parties to the DDDC in addressing the need for an all-inclusive approach, including the role of women, towards reconciliation and peacebuilding;
(j) To assist the parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement, in coordination with bilateral and multilateral assistance programmes, in restructuring the police service in the Sudan, consistent with democratic policing, to develop a police training and evaluation programme, and to otherwise assist in the training of civilian police;
(k) To assist the parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement in promoting the rule of law, including an independent judiciary, and the protection of human rights of all people of the Sudan through a comprehensive and coordinated strategy with the aim of combating impunity and contributing to long-term peace and stability and to assist the parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement to develop and consolidate the national legal framework;
(l) To ensure an adequate human rights and gender presence, capacity and expertise within UNMIS to carry out human rights promotion, civilian protection and monitoring activities that include particular attention to the needs of women and children;
"9. Decides further that the mandate of UNMIS in Darfur shall also include the following:
(a) To facilitate and coordinate in close cooperation with relevant United Nations agencies, within its capabilities and in its areas of deployment, the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons, and humanitarian assistance inter alia by helping to establish the necessary security conditions in Darfur;
(b) To contribute towards international efforts to protect, promote and monitor human rights in Darfur, as well as to coordinate international efforts towards the protection of civilians with particular attention to vulnerable groups including internally displaced persons, returning refugees, and women and children;
(c) To assist the parties to the Agreements, in cooperation with other international partners in the mine action sector, by providing humanitarian demining assistance, technical advice, and coordination, as well as mine awareness programmes targeted at all sectors of society;
(d) To assist in addressing regional security issues in close liaison with international efforts to improve the security situation in the neighbouring regions along the borders between the Sudan and Chad and between the Sudan and the Central African Republic, including through the establishment of a multi-dimensional presence consisting of political, humanitarian, military and civilian police liaison officers in key locations in Chad, including in internally displaced persons and refugee camps, and if necessary, in the Central African Republic, and to contribute to the implementation of the Agreement between the Sudan and Chad signed on 26 July 2006;
"10. Calls upon all Member States to ensure the free, unhindered and expeditious movement to the Sudan of all personnel, as well as equipment, provisions, supplies and other goods, including vehicles and spare parts, which are for the exclusive and official use of UNMIS in Darfur;
"11. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council regularly informed of the progress in implementing the Darfur Peace Agreement, respect for the ceasefire, and the implementation of the mandate of UNMIS in Darfur, and to report to the Council, as appropriate, on the steps taken to implement this resolution and any failure to comply with its demands;
"12. Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations:
(a) Decides that UNMIS is authorized to use all necessary means, in the areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities:
-- to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment, to ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, assessment and evaluation commission personnel, to prevent disruption of the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement by armed groups, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of the Sudan, to protect civilians under threat of physical violence,
-- in order to support early and effective implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, to prevent attacks and threats against civilians,
-- to seize or collect, as appropriate, arms or related material whose presence in Darfur is in violation of the Agreements and the measures imposed by paragraphs 7 and 8 of resolution 1556, and to dispose of such arms and related material as appropriate;
(b) Requests that the Secretary-General and the Governments of Chad and the Central African Republic conclude status-of-forces agreements as soon as possible, taking into consideration General Assembly resolution 58/82 on the scope of legal protection under the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, and decides that pending the conclusion of such an agreement with either country, the model status-of-forces agreement dated 9 October 1990 (A/45/594) shall apply provisionally with respect to UNMIS forces operating in that country;
"13. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the protection of civilians in refugee and internally displaced persons camps in Chad and on how to improve the security situation on the Chadian side of the border with Sudan;
"14. Calls upon the parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement to respect their commitments and implement the Agreement without delay, urges those parties that have not signed the Agreement to do so without delay and not to act in any way that would impede implementation of the Agreement, and reiterates its intention to take, including in response to a request by the African Union, strong and effective measures, such as an asset freeze or travel ban, against any individual or group that violates or attempts to block the implementation of the Agreement or commits human rights violations;
"15. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
Meeting to consider the deteriorating situation in Darfur, the Security Council was expected to vote on a draft resolution authorizing a United Nations force in the impoverished and strife-torn region, despite the fact that President Omar al-Bashir of the Sudan had presented his own plan (document S/2006/665) by which his Government would pacify Darfur with its own troops working in tandem with the African Union.
Speaking to the media recently, Council President Nana Effah-Apenteng of Ghana, which holds the 15-nation body's rotating presidency this month, said Council members consider the situation in Darfur to be so grave that a meeting is necessary. Darfur is roughly the size of France, and ongoing violence in the vast western region between the Sudanese Armed Forces, allied militias and rebel groups has killed nearly a quarter of a million people since 2003 and forced 2 million others from their homes.
For their discussions, Council members have before them the Secretary-General's report on Darfur (document S/2006/591), in which he says a United Nations peacekeeping force of as many as 18,600 troops may be needed in Darfur to ensure that all sides in the war-ravaged region comply with the recently signed peace agreement. The report also outlines three options for how an expanded United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) would operate in Darfur -- scheduled to begin next January -- if the Sudanese Government consents to an international force.
In the report, he says that, after more than three years of a bitter and savage war in Darfur, which has been marked by abhorrent violence against innocent civilians that has "shocked the world", the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement in May 2006 has given hope that the parties may finally be prepared to lay down their weapons and start working together to build a new, peaceful and prosperous Darfur. But the Agreement still faces formidable challenges.
Of immediate concern is that two of the parties involved in the Abuja talks did not sign the Agreement, and that the Agreement has not yet received support from the internally displaced persons and those many others who have been so drastically affected by the conflict. There are still signs that implementation may be experiencing major delays and long-term structural difficulties. There has also been a disturbing escalation of clashes between those who support the Agreement and those who do not. "Tragically, it is the long-suffering civilians of Darfur who continue to bear the brunt of this fighting."
Despite the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council to extend the signing deadline to 31 May, and attempts to encourage more parties to the conflict to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Abdelwahid faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) remain outside the Agreement. On 7 June, those two factions issued a statement with two other movement leaders, reiterating their non-acceptance of the Agreement and calling on the signatories and other actors to revisit their positions.
On 8 June, however, some members of the Abdelwahid faction and JEM splinter groups signed a declaration of commitment, in which they expressed support for the Agreement, and agreed to be bound by its provisions and participate fully in its implementation. The Secretary-General adds that a number of other groups came together on 30 June 2006 at Asmara to form the National Redemption Front, an umbrella movement which opposes the Darfur Peace Agreement in its present form and demands adjustments.
The National Redemption Front's attack on Northern Kordofan on 3 July represents a worrying escalation of the conflict. The Secretary-General strongly condemns the continuing violence and urges all factions to join the peace process in earnest and without any further delay. In the meantime, the Ceasefire Commission envisaged by the Darfur Peace Agreement met twice in June, and the African Union convened the first meeting of the Joint Commission on 23 June in Addis Ababa. Both mechanisms, however, have been prevented from making progress by a lack of agreement on the inclusion of the non-signatories.
As a result of the ongoing violence throughout Darfur, in particular the recent clashes in Northern Darfur, access to populations in need is decreasing, the report says. At the same time, violence against humanitarians is at an all-time high, and the number of security incidents directed towards relief workers has been steadily rising since March. Carjacking and other forms of banditry on the roads have increased in all three Darfur states, while in the month of July alone six national humanitarian staff have been killed in the course of their work. If these problems are not addressed, the overall situation in Darfur could undergo a reversal.
Alternatively, there may be an attempt to implement the Agreement through force, including the forced return of internally displaced persons. If this should be allowed to happen, Darfur could descend into an even bloodier round of conflict that would be catastrophic for the people of the region. "No party should use the Darfur Peace Agreement as a pretext for more violence", he warns.
With all this in mind, the Secretary-General explains that any military force would have to be "large, agile and robust" as it seeks to bring peace and stability to the region. Depending on the required speed of deployment, levels of troop density and mobility, as well as risks accepted for civilians and United Nations personnel, he recommends to the Council three different options, depending on the force capacity and composition deemed necessary: option I -- 17,300 troops; option II -- 18,600 troops; and option III -- 15,300 troops.
The mission's main focus would be on protecting civilians, especially the vast population of internally displaced persons living in camps across Darfur's three states, and he warns that the region's harsh terrain and lack of usable roads, especially during the annual wet season, poses particular problems. A peacekeeping mission would also need a significant component of police, he says, especially in helping to manage internally displaced persons' camps. Up to 3,300 police officers would be necessary in the start-up phase, with more probably required later.
The Secretary-General urges Khartoum to accept a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur, arguing that peace in southern Sudan, where a separate, decades-long conflict ended only recently and UNMIS is now in place, will otherwise be placed in jeopardy. "Peace in the Sudan is indivisible. Peace cannot take root in one part of the country while another part remains chronically unstable and prone to extreme violence", the Secretary-General says. The noble ideals which the Government of the Sudan and the SLM/A enshrined in the Machakos Protocol of July 2002 cannot flourish in any country riven by war and insecurity.
Also before the Council was an addendum to the Secretary-General's report (document S/2006/591/Add.1) in which he says that, based on the preliminary estimates of requirements for the full deployment of military personnel and United Nations police, the financial implications of the short-term and longer-term support the Organization could offer to the African Mission in Sudan (AMIS) would amount to some $21.2 million and $53.7 million, respectively, for a four-month period. The financial implications of the expansion of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) into Darfur, corresponding to options I, II and III as set out in the report, are estimated at some $1.6 billion, $1.7 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively.
JOHN BOLTON (United States) said he was pleased that the Council had taken an important step in passing the resolution today. It was imperative to act to stop the violence in Darfur. Every day of delay only extended the genocide. He expected full cooperation and support of the Government of the Sudan for the new United Nations force. Failure to cooperate would undermine the Peace Agreement.
The resolution set the framework for an effective multidimensional international force, he continued, with African Union forces at its core. With the passage of the resolution, it would be possible to finalize the plans for the deployment of the international force. "We cannot afford to delay", he said. The strong Council resolution offered the best hope to end the tragedy in Darfur. Now, it was important to secure its immediate and full implementation.
KAREN PIERCE (United Kingdom) welcomed the adoption of the resolution, which her country had had the honour to introduce as one of the co-sponsors of the text. The tragedy in Darfur had gone on far too long. It was a great tragedy that the bright future offered by the Darfur Peace Agreement was not materializing and the violence had gotten worse and not better. She agreed with Mr. Bolton that the international community could not afford to delay any longer. Having done an extremely good job under difficult circumstances, the African Union's mission in Darfur was struggling to cope, and the Union had called for a transition to a United Nations force. The adoption of the resolution today showed that the United Nations was ready to shoulder its responsibility.
The transition to a United Nations operation was the only viable solution to the crisis, she continued. Based on the conversations with Council members, even the countries that had abstained did not have a fundamental disagreement with the issues of the text -- it was more about the timing. The United Nations force remained the best vehicle for the people of Darfur -- in fact, it was the only vehicle to bring peace and stability to the region.
As for the Sudanese plan, it could not provide a solution, she said. It would be a military solution imposed by one of the parties to the conflict, violating the Peace Agreement itself. The resolution adopted today sent a clear message from the Council regarding the need for a well-equipped third party to ensure protection of civilians. Not that the text did not attach importance to the agreement from the Government of the Sudan. The Council looked forward to the Government giving its acceptance soon, and it had sent a clear message that it wanted to receive that agreement. If the Government was genuinely concerned about the well-being of its citizens, it should give its agreement. In that connection, she underscored that the United Nations force would act in support of the Government and wanted to act cooperatively with it. It would not infringe on the country's sovereignty. The Council attached great importance to the continuation of the dialogue with the Government and wanted to bring it on board, and the resolution did not change that.
She added that the Council had sought to consult with the Government of the Sudan before adopting the text, but it chose not to attend the meeting last Monday. The United Kingdom had drafted the resolution to be as acceptable to the Sudan as possible. There was, for example, no reference to the International Criminal Court in the text. Although the resolution contained Chapter VII elements, it was not under Chapter VII in its entirety. The resolution also stated that the Council remained committed to the sovereignty and independence of the Sudan.
The United Kingdom would play its part in the efforts to find a solution to the crisis, she said. It had sent its special envoy to the Sudan last week, who had had to turn back after President Al-Bashir refused to meet with him. In that connection, she emphasized the responsibility of each State to protect its citizens and the responsibility of the United Nations to assist countries in that regard. She was pleased that today's text was the first Security Council resolution to make an explicit reference to that responsibility. It was the primary responsibility of the Sudan to protect its own citizens. The Council was appealing to the Government in the strongest possible terms to allow the United Nations to provide its assistance. The Council was here to help the Sudan and not to threaten it -- to assist, and not undermine the country.
WANG GUANGYA (China) said that the African Union, at the request of the Sudanese Government, had put in enormous efforts to help stabilize the situation in Darfur. China had all along highly commended and supported its endeavour. According to the African Union decision, after consulting and upon agreement by the Government of National Unity, the United Nations would take over AMIS function of carrying out the mission in the region. China was in favour of replacing AMIS with a United Nations operation. That was a good idea and a realistic option, and it would help to improve the situation on the ground, serving the interests of all parties. He, therefore, supported, with the consent of the Government of National Unity, the deployment of United Nations troops in Darfur as soon as feasible. He also agreed that the Security Council needed to make the necessary decision at an early date, so as to effectively fulfil the responsibilities set forth in the Charter and assist the Government of National Unity in achieving comprehensive and lasting peace and stability in Darfur.
The Darfur Peace Agreement had instilled new dynamics and offered new opportunities for resolving the Darfur issue, he said. Unfortunately, it had failed to yield peace so far. What was more alarming was that the security situation had deteriorated further, and AMIS was confronted with enormous difficulties. To ease the situation on the ground and difficulties faced by AMIS, the Secretary-General had put forward some good recommendations, and the League of Arab States had also expressed a willingness to finance AMIS. The Council should attach great importance to that, give full play to the initiatives of various regional organizations, help AMIS overcome its difficulties so it would be able to continue the peacekeeping mission and ease tension in Darfur in a timely and effective manner.
To address the crisis, it was necessary to bear in mind both the sense of urgency and the sober assessment of the complexity of the situation, he continued. It was also necessary to demonstrate both firm determination and corresponding patience, as well as an effective approach. A transition to a United Nations mission was a good and pragmatic option, but the mission could only be deployed when the consent of the Government was obtained. That was the understanding and decision of the African Union and the Security Council, respectively. In order to clear doubts and deepen mutual understanding, the Secretary-General had proposed holding a direct high-level dialogue at the Council among the parties involved. While it was hopeful to conduct such dialogue in early September, his delegation deemed it necessary for the Council to put the draft to the vote in a hurry, to help create a good atmosphere among the stakeholders and a conducive environment for smooth implementation of the resolution. Under the current circumstances, to push the adoption by the Council would not help stop further deterioration of the situation in Darfur. On the contrary, it could trigger further misunderstanding and confrontation.
He said that China accepted almost all the contents of the resolution, but it had consistently urged the co-sponsors to clearly put in "with the consent of the Government of National Unity" -- a fixed and standardized term on deploying United Nations missions. It had also urged the co-sponsors to carefully reconsider the timing of the vote. Regrettably, the co-sponsors had failed to earnestly heed China's sincere efforts. Under those circumstances, China had abstained in the vote.
KENZO OSHIMA (Japan) said that in voting in favour of the resolution, his country regretted that Council members had not had the opportunity to consider fully and in time its financial implications since a huge financial commitment was required of Member States. Also, it was extremely important to ensure the consent of the Government of Sudan and the continued engagement of the Sudanese authorities. The Sudanese plan for restoring stability and protecting civilians was a welcome start and should be further explored and clarified.
Japan appealed to the Sudan to cooperate with the United Nations and to the non-signatory parties to the conflict to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement and end the conflict in order to bring calm and prosperity to the people of the region. He said it was essential to take a firm but non-confrontational approach while seeking mutual understanding. Japan hoped that the proposed meeting between Sudanese and United Nations officials would materialize and yield concrete results.
JAMAL NASSER AL-BADER (Qatar) said the Council should have given due regard to the numerous aspects and underlying solid principles of international practice before taking up a resolution that would have a bearing on the sovereignty of the Sudan. It should have made more efforts in the political arena to prepare the ground for the Sudan's voluntary consent to the expansion of the United Nations Mission, the increase in the strength of its forces and their deployment to Darfur, a region that had undergone many positive developments since the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement in May.
He said the Government of the Sudan had submitted a multifaceted plan to address the situation in Darfur but, regrettably, the Council had not responded to it or submitted any explicit proposals by way of amendments despite the fact that the plan included many positive aspects deemed so by the relevant department of the United Nations Secretariat. Nor had enough efforts been invested to engage the Sudan instead of pressuring it into approving the draft resolution.
Qatar would have preferred to support AMIS financially and logistically so as to enable it to complete its mandate, he said, noting that support for the African mission had often collided with repeated calls to end its deployment and replace it with international forces. In addition, Qatar would have hoped that the normalization of relations between the Sudan and Chad would have been deemed a step forward, but statements made by certain quarters continued to describe the situation as plummeting into further deterioration. The resolution's co-sponsors had a political point of view requiring its speedy adoption and, in light of that, Qatar had been unable to support the text given its repercussions and the modalities of its implementation in the prevailing political atmosphere.
OLIVIER LACROIX (France) welcomed the adoption of the text and said that the Council needed to respond to the African Union's request, particularly given the urgency of the situation in Darfur. In recent months, the violence had not only continued, but increased. Many millions depended on international assistance to survive. Many humanitarian operations were also threatened by continued violence. The Abuja accord had been undermined by the refusal of many parties to support it and the continued violence. The African Union mission was encountering difficulties. The Union should enjoy full United Nations support.
The resolution adopted today planned for a large-scale effort by the United Nations and represented a great challenge for the United Nations. All Member States should collectively ensure its success. The implementation of the resolution required continued consultations with the Government of the Sudan, whose cooperation was vital. The resolution had no other aim but to bring support to one of its members -- the Sudan. Also needed was continued cooperation with the African Union as the United Nations operation in Darfur, as set out in the resolution, would have an important African contribution. It was also important to continue to deal with the crisis in its regional aspect, taking into account the role of Chad and the Central African Republic. The cooperation demonstrated in the adoption of the resolution should also prevail in its implementation.
ADAMANTIOS VASSILAKIS (Greece) said that the text, which contained language on the protection of civilians and humanitarian workers, was not the end of the road but a significant step in the right direction towards a new beginning. It offered the Government of the Sudan an opportunity to cooperate with the international community and should be seen as a means to enhance its engagement with the Security Council. Greece would be helpful in directing the smooth implementation of the resolution.
PETER BURIAN (Slovakia) said his country was one of the co-sponsors of the resolution and remained convinced that the situation in Darfur required quick and robust international action to protect civilians. The Security Council had a moral duty and responsibility to act. The resolution was a basis for addressing the deterioration of the situation, including through the strengthening of the African mission and its subsequent transformation into a United Nations operation. The Government of the Sudan was expected to comply with the resolution's provisions and to implement it in the best interests of the Sudanese people.
VITALY I. CHURKIN (Russian Federation) said that, during the negotiations on the text, his delegation had done everything possible to reach a peaceful and diplomatic settlement of the crisis. It was important for the resolution to clearly state an imperative need for the Sudanese Government's agreement to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur in accordance with decisions of the Security Council and the African Union. Such an agreement had still not been received and, for that reason, it was necessary to continue a constructive dialogue with the Government. A good opportunity for such dialogue would be provided by the Council's formal meeting at the beginning of September, with the participation of the Sudanese authorities, the African Union, the League of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
It was important for the Security Council to support the Secretary-General's plan for a staged transition from the African Union mission to the United Nations force, he continued. First of all, it was necessary to ensure the Mission's strengthening and then the deployment of United Nations peacekeepers before the end of the year, but with the agreement of the Government of the Sudan. Until that agreement was received, his delegation had decided to abstain in the voting, although it did not object to the content of the resolution. He supported a mission on the basis of the Abuja accord.
AUGUSTINE P. MAHIGA (United Republic of Tanzania) said that his country welcomed and supported the resolution, as it had always believed that, because of its ramifications for international peace and security, the crisis in the Sudan was not only a concern of the Sudan and Africa, but of the international community as a whole. The Security Council should be actively seized with a search for a peaceful solution to that crisis. The African Union had taken more than its fair share of the responsibility in the search for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. It had discharged its obligations superbly, but by its own admission, it was overwhelmed by the magnitude and complexity of the task.
It was right and proper that the rest of the international community should assume a joint responsibility for helping the Sudan resolve a long-running crisis in Darfur, he said, and today's resolution heeded an appeal from Africa through the African Union. The Security Council should send a message of solidarity to the Government of the Sudan, as the sole aim of the resolution was to resolve the crisis and strengthen the sovereignty and territorial integrity of that country. It should be implemented with full cooperation from the Sudan. The Council should continue its consultations with the Government of the Sudan, which should become part of the tripartite partnership with the United Nations and the African Union.
CESAR MAYORAL (Argentina) said his country had co-sponsored and voted in favour of the resolution because of the need to protect civilian populations. The Security Council had an undeniable responsibility to protect vulnerable groups, particularly women and children who were the most defenceless. Hopefully, the Government of the Sudan would give the required understanding and support so that the expanded UNMIS could deploy in Darfur. Argentina called upon those parties that had not signed the Darfur Peace Agreement rapidly to join it so as to ensure that the Sudan enjoyed long and lasting peace because the conflict was affecting the entire region.
LARS FAABORG-ANDERSEN (Denmark) said his country had co-sponsored and voted in favour of the resolution because the situation in Darfur was deteriorating. With people dying every day, the Council had a responsibility to protect them. The comprehensive dual-track approach to the conflict gave the Council a sound basis on which to plan. Nobody could deploy without the consent of the Sudanese Government and there was absolutely nothing in the text that precluded that. However, the fact that the Government had not yet given its consent could not be a reason not to adopt the text, which would have meant not making efforts to save lives in Darfur.
Speaking in his national capacity, the President of the Council, NANA EFFAH-APENTENG (Ghana), said he took pride in the adoption of the resolution. The United Nations Mission in the Sudan now had a mandate to make a positive difference in the lives of the people of Darfur. As many as 16 African countries were already participating in the African Union mission, and his country was proud to take part in it.
Although the text adopted today was not a magic wand, its passage was timely and gave the Sudan an opportunity to take part in the resolution of the crisis, he continued. It still left open the door for effective cooperation between the Government, the United Nations, the African Union and other actors. On the other hand, if the Government of the Sudan failed to cooperate, it would be in clear breach of the Darfur Peace Agreement and relevant resolutions of the Security Council. Today's vote also reaffirmed one of the principles of the African Union, which recognized the Union's right to intervene in the affairs of a member State if it failed to protect its own citizens. The Government had the responsibility to protect the victims of war in the Sudan, and for that reason, his delegation had had reservations about the inclusion of explicit language in the text for the Government to give its agreement to the deployment of an international force.
In conclusion, he once again called on the Government to heed the voices of the international community.
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