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UN EXPERT GROUP CALLS FOR SPECIFIC STEPS TO IMPROVE HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION IN DARFUR


13 June 2007

Group Welcomes Commitment Made by Government of Sudan to Improve Conditions in Darfur

A group of United Nations human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address the human rights situation in Darfur announced today that the Government of Sudan has expressed its commitment to implement, in the short and medium terms, a number of recommendations issued by UN human rights organs.

In a statement delivered to the Council, and in a report released today, the UN experts welcomed the expressed commitment of the Government of the Sudan to work with the Council and the United Nations in order to implement pre-existing human rights recommendations.

The group warned, however, that “While the commitments of the Government and its initiatives are important, it is improvement in the human rights situation on the ground which will provide the measurement of any progress.” The experts emphasized the need for human rights monitors and other actors working in Darfur to have full and unimpeded access to all relevant areas, including all places where persons are deprived of their liberty, and be allowed to interview victims and detainees in private.

The experts called upon all parties to the conflict to honour their commitments and to implement all existing human rights recommendations issued by the United Nations. They also appealed to all actors involved to address, within the framework of the implementation of the Abuja Peace Agreement and other appropriate forums, all the obstacles hampering the improvement of the human rights situation in Darfur.

The group of human rights experts, established by the Human Rights Council, is tasked to work with the Government to ensure the effective follow-up to, and foster implementation of, UN human rights recommendations concerning Darfur. The group is chaired by Sima Samar, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan. Its other members are Hina Jilani, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders; Yakin Erturk, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences; Manfred Nowak, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict; Walter Kälin, Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons and Philip Alston, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

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For use of the information media; not an official record