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UN Experts to hold high-level meeting with the Government of Sudan

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders, Hina Jilani, the Special Rapporteur on violence against Women, its causes and consequences, Yakin Ertürk, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, the Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston, the Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons Walter Kälin, and theSpecial Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict,Radhika Coomaraswamy, issued the following statement:



Geneva, 27 April: The Group of Experts on Darfur today announced that it will be meeting with high level representatives of the Government of Sudan in May to identify practical steps to improve the human rights situation in Darfur.

The Group, established by resolution A/HRC/4/8 of the Human Rights Council on 30 March 2007, concluded its first consultative meeting in Geneva from 24 to 27 April 2007. The Group is tasked to ensure the effective follow-up and to foster the implementation of resolutions and recommendations on Darfur, as adopted by the Human Rights Council, the Commission on Human Rights and other United Nations human rights institutions, as well as to promote the implementation of relevant recommendations of other United Nations human rights mechanisms.

During its first session, the Group conducted a series of consultations and bilateral meetings with the African Union, as specified by the Human Rights Council recommendation,the President of the Human Rights Council and other members of the diplomatic community.

On 26 April, the Group held preliminary consultations with the Government of Sudan through its Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva and, through a conference call, with the State Minister for Foreign Affairs (in charge of human rights) in Khartoum. A follow up meeting will be convened in Geneva, from 23 to 25 May, with high level representatives of the Government of Sudan. The meeting will identify practical steps to be taken as a matter of priority to implement the relevant resolutions of the United Nations human rights mechanisms with regards to Darfur. In addition, the meeting will assess the needs of the Sudan in order to ensure effective implementation of those steps.

The Group of Experts on Darfur is to report to the 5th session of the Human Rights Council in June 2007. The Group is chaired by Ms. Sima Samar, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan. Other members of the group are:
Ms. Hina Jilani, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders;
Ms. Yakin Ertürk, Special Rapporteur on violence against Women, its causes and consequences,
Mr. Manfred Nowak, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
Mr. Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and
Mr. Walter Kälin, Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons.
Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict, was unable to attend the meeting.