The U.N. moves on Darfur

Wednesday May 26, 2004 · Flavio Grassi

Despite hard lobbying by the Sudanese govenment to prevent it, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a “Presidential Statement” to highlight the situation in the Darfur region:

Noting that thousands of people had been killed in the Darfur region of the Sudan and that hundreds of thousands more were at risk of dying in the coming months, the Security Council tonight expressed its grave concern over the deteriorating situation there and strongly condemned those acts that jeopardized a peaceful solution to the crisis.
The Council also called on the international community to respond rapidly and effectively to the consolidated appeal for Dafur. It affirmed the need for the immediate appointment and appropriate accreditation of a permanent Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator to ensure daily coordinator, in order to address impediments to humanitarian access brought to the United Nations’ attention by the international aid community.

Only a first step, a Presidential Statement is not a legally binding Resolution, but an important one. Now Khartoum knows that Darfur is on the international agenda, and national governments are officially called to do their part before it’s too late. Everyone should act, but four countries have a special responsibility: United States, United Kingdom, Italy and Norway as observers of the peace process for Sudan must lean heavily on the Sudanese government to let aid organization do their job securely.

United Nations, Reuters