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UN Special Rapporteur welcomes US decision to lift Sudan sanctions

GENEVA (9 October 2017) – A UN human rights expert has praised the US decision to lift sanctions against Sudan after two decades of enforcement.

The Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, Idriss Jazairy, said the welcome decision taken by the US Administration on 6 October 2017 followed “sustained positive action by the Government of Sudan”, and demonstrated a worthy commitment to dialogue.

“The sanctions have been enforced by all Sudan’s trading partners and I believe they have had a major effect on vulnerable population groups,” said Mr. Jazairy.

Mr. Jazairy and the UN Independent Expert on Sudan, Mr. Aristide Nononsi, have worked behind the scenes over the past 16 months to bring about conditions leading to the decision. 

The Obama administration started the process of lifting the sanctions, and it was agreed that the final decision would be taken by the Trump administration if the Government of Sudan was judged to have sustained the “positive path” which gave rise to the initial US move. 

“The US decision opens new perspectives for progress in Sudan and for the reduction of poverty in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda,” said Mr. Jazairy. “It will also contribute to the stability of the whole region and restore the country’s potential to become the breadbasket of north-east Africa.” 


Mr. Idriss Jazairy was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the first Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights. He took office in May 2015. Mr. Jazairy has extensive experience in the fields of international relations and human rights with the Algerian Foreign Ministry, the UN human rights system and international NGOs. He holds a M.A. (Oxford) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and an M.P.A. (Harvard). He also graduated from the École Nationale d’Administration (France). Mr. Jazairy is the author of books and of a large number of articles in the international press on development, human rights and current affairs.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

For more information and media requests, please contact Stee Asbjornsen (+41 22 917 9827 / sasbjornsen@ohchr.org ) or write to ucm@ohchr.org

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