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Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights rights examines report of Sudan

2 October 2015

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights today concluded its consideration of the second periodic report of Sudan on the implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Kamal Ismael Saeed, State Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Sudan was the second largest country in Africa and was coming out of a 50-year conflict. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement had recently separated South Sudan from Sudan, but there were still some problems in Darfur and other areas of the country. The country had a population of 34 million and a tremendous amount of natural resources. The Government had managed to achieve a six-percent growth rate since 1998, thanks to oil revenues. However, 70 percent of the oil production as well as 70 percent of budget revenues had been lost due to the independence of South Sudan. Rebel groups were still waging war against the Government. Sudan was involved in a sizeable legal reform, with the adoption of new laws and codes, in order to help solve the problems in the region of Darfur and elsewhere. When the Comprehensive Peace Agreement had been negotiated, the international community had promised that it would relieve Sudan from its debt. However, the international community had failed in that regard. The effects of the embargo on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights by the citizens of Sudan were devastating.

Committee Experts expressed their understanding for the difficulties faced by the country as a result of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and its impact on the economy, and were seriously concerned about the effects of the economic sanctions on Sudan on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, and in particular on the right to health. Throughout the dialogue, they also raised questions and concerns on the new Constitution, female genital mutilation and other traditional legislation which was contrary to some international obligations, discrimination against women and plans to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, corruption, poverty, street children, and food security. Experts were seriously concerned about the construction of dams on the Nile river, the situation the loss of nationality of the South Sudanese who still lived in Sudan, and the practice of evictions in camps for internally displaced persons. They inquired whether traditional lands were protected by the law.

In concluding remarks, Aslan Abashidze, Vice-Chairperson of the Committee and Country Rapporteur, thanked the delegation for their commitment and expressed hope that the recommendations of the Committee would not be forgotten.

Mr. Saeed thanked the Committee for the seriousness and understanding they had shown. He promised that the delegation would follow suit and try to address all the difficulties and challenges that had been raised, and called upon the Committee Members to raise their voices regarding the sanctions imposed upon Sudan.

Waleed Sadi, Committee Chairperson, hoped that the concluding observations would be highlighted to the Government.

The Sudanese delegation consisted of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Social Welfare, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Unit for Combatting Violence against Women, Commission of Refugees, Ministry of Health, National Council for Child Welfare, Advisory Council for Human Rights, Ministry of Justice, and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The Committee will next meet in public on Monday, 5 October at 10 a.m. to consider the second periodic report of Greece (E/C.12/GRC/2).

Report

The second periodic report of Sudan (E/C.12/SDN/2) can be read here.

Presentation of the Report

KAMAL ISMAEL SAEED, State Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Sudan was the second largest country in Africa and was coming out of a 50-year conflict. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement had recently separated South Sudan from Sudan, but there were still some problems in Darfour and some areas of the country. The country had a population of 34 million and a tremendous amount of natural resources. The Government had managed to achieve a six percent growth rate since 1998, thanks to the oil revenues. However by 2005, 70 percent of the oil production had been lost due to the loss of South Sudan; that also meant the loss of 70 percent of budget revenues and 80 percent of exports. Thus, from an oil exporting country Sudan had become and oil importing country. The discovery of gold had compensated for some of the loss.

Rebel groups were still waging war against the Government. Regarding economic, social and cultural rights, a bigger share of the resources had been diverted to Darfur, where the population was larger. That had helped create some employment opportunities. Sudan was also dealing with the adoption of new laws and codes, all in order to help solve the problems in the region of Darfur. The Government had allocated resources for micro-financing, and a tax system had been implemented to tax the wealthy, in an effort to redistribute income in favour of the needy. All different ethnic groups were involved in those developments and a conducive environment had been created for them. Local customs and traditions were encouraged and culture was in the spirit of all activities. Equal chances were given to all groups to express their cultures, which helped unify various cultural groups.

Mr. Saeed stated that, when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement had been negotiated, the international community had promised it would relieve Sudan from its debt, and organize an international donor conference to relieve Sudan’s debt. However, the international community had failed in that regard. To the contrary, some international actors were continuing to support the groups that were destabilizing the country.

Questions by Experts

ASLAN ABASHIDZE, Committee Expert and Country Rapporteur, said that the delegation represented most key Ministries dealing with economic, social and cultural rights. Taking into account the delay of nine years of submitting the report, the Committee understood the difficulties of the country and the results on the economy of the separation of South Sudan, as a result of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Sudan was challenged by the lack of comprehensive political solutions and insufficient measures on conflict resolution and security. There were significant gaps in the endorsement of policies, as well as the lack of capacity in the enforcement bodies. Notwithstanding the achievements, the Committee was concerned about the high level of poverty.

When was the adoption of the new Constitution planned? Would it be subject to international expertise on the question of its compliance with contemporary requirements of development? Would it reflect articles 26 and 27 of the present Constitution? And would it contain the principles of the Covenant which were missing in the current Bill of Rights? Would new amendments take into consideration the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals?

How were the Sudan’s obligations under the Covenant monitored, the Expert asked. What concrete mechanisms and organs dealt with that? And what were the results? The question was especially important in relation to the laws on states adopted in the 1980s.
Given the lack of financial resources, the Expert asked whether the parallel functioning of the National Human Rights Commission and other bodies was sustainable. Was the Commission operating in accordance with the Paris Principles?

Could information be provided on the implementation of the National Plan on the promotion and protection of human rights for the period 2013-2023, and relevant monitoring mechanisms?

The Expert wanted to know if there was any special law regulating all aspects of creation and activity of civil society organizations. Were all 3,000 non-governmental organisations in Sudan subject to registration?

Could information be provided on the activities to fight corruption? Had all high level officials responded to the call for to declare their assets, and had they been obliged to respond?

The delegation was asked to furnish official statistics on ethnic tribal composition of the population.

Another Expert inquired whether provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights were part of domestic law and asked for examples of cases where the Covenant had been invoked.

Could the Delegation provide more details regarding the independence of the judiciary?

More information was sought on traditional legislation which was contrary to some obligations, and on the discrimination against women.

Did the State party reconsider ratifying the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights?

What was the situation with the loss of nationality of South Sudanese who still lived in Sudan, but who had lost their rights and entitlements following the secession of South Sudan?

Given the large number of refugees hosted by the country, an Expert welcomed the policy drafted to deal with the issue. More information was sought on the implementation of the policy.

Did the State party envision a framework law on the implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights?

What steps were taken to remove the root causes of corruption and promote transparent and participatory governance? Was the Government promoting cooperation between the anti-corruption institutions and the human rights institutions? What steps were taken to protect whistleblowers, anticorruption witnesses, lawyers and others involved in the matter?

Regarding land tenure, the 1970 Unregistered Land Act and the 1990 Land Allocation Act provided that land that was not occupied could be expropriated by the Government and sold for the public good. That had led to a large number of foreigners investing in the country and the building of huge agricultural establishments. Had land concentration increased or reduced? Was customary land protected under the Sudanese legal order?
Which guarantees were provided that the notion of “public good” was not misused or tainted by corruption? Was the free prior consent sought from communities before the land was given away?

The Expert inquired about steps were taken to address shortcomings in access to justice. Could more information be furnished on mobile courts ? Was legal aid to victims and defendants really available and sufficient?

The delegation was asked to provide more information about steps the Government had undertaken to familiarize people used to the traditional customary law with their rights under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. To what extent were only traditional rules used?

Another Expert inquired about the construction of dams on the Nile river. To what extent had the Government learned from past negative experiences? Was there a practice of consulting the communities, and did the State recognize the right to free, prior and informed consent?

Details were asked about the population of internally displaced persons: what were the reasons for them to leave their homes and measures were taken to address that issue?

What did the State party do to fully recognize and protect the freedom of religion?

Was the Covenant enforceable by the justice system? What concrete guarantees were given for the independence of the judiciary, an Expert wanted to know.

Was protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual individuals ensured or were their activities criminalized?

Many laws were discriminatory against women and there was no concrete legislation to protect the equality of women, the Expert said. In which of the new laws was progress being made in terms of women’s rights? Would Sudan ratify the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women? Women’s employment was very low.

Could the delegation give information about the impact of the economic sanctions on the human rights situation in the country?

The Expert asked how international cooperation was helping Sudan address its challenges.

Was the Children’s Code based on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ?

Given that agriculture was a very important part of the economy of Sudan, to which extent had the labour inspectorates been equipped to apply standards of minimum wage and health and safety at work in that sector?

Equal pay for equal work was ensured by the law, but how far was that applied in practice? Could the delegation provide examples of the criteria for access to work in the civil service?

The new Labour Law of 2010 provided extensively the right to trade unions. However, information had been received that all workers’ organisations had to be united under the umbrella of the Sudanese National Union. Was that true?

70 percent of the women were reported to be working in the informal economy, another Expert said. Due to the segregation along gender lines, women were unable to access markets and social services. What was being done to counter that trend?

Question was asked about the measures taken to combat youth unemployment.

Was social security available for those who were not in the pension system, and in particular, for those in the informal sector? Was there a plan for building a social protection floor?

Could disaggregated data be provided on unemployment for the previous five years?

Replies by the Delegation

The delegation stated that the current Constitution was temporary and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights would be embodied in the new Constitution in the next two years, reflecting most of the Committee’s concerns.

Several laws had been enacted to fight the universal phenomenon of corruption. Authorities had to declare their wealth, and currently there were 12 cases of senior officers that were being prosecuted on the grounds of corruption. Culturally, corruption was a sign of shame and would bring stigma to those involved as well as to their families.

Religious segregation was not tolerated.

Regarding the construction of dams, the delegation informed that several feasibility studies had been undertaken and the concerns of the indigenous community had been taken into account. The amount of land given to those peoples as compensation had increased fifteen-fold as compared to the one they used to occupy. Infrastructure had been developed for those people before they were shifted to the new land. That applied to the three dams in question.

The sanctions against Sudan had deprived the country of medical and financial assistance, and had a tremendous negative effect on economic, social and cultural rights, the delegation said. Several hundreds of people had died due to the denial of access to cancer medicine. The sanctions were a product of an immoral political agenda. The Committee should raise that issue in the international community.

There was an abundance of land in Sudan, but what was needed was irrigation and infrastructure.

Regarding the segregation of women, a delegate said that women were mothers, daughters, sisters and spouses, and as such they could not be segregated. Sometimes women enjoyed even better rights than men. The presence of women in the delegation was higher than that of men. However, problems did persist. Small loans had been provided for women, with a return of 98 percent. Women had their economic and trade associations.

On the independence of the judiciary, the delegation stressed that the dignity of judges was sacred, and their posts were very respected.

The poverty rate was 46.5 percent. The State had developed a preliminary strategy to combat poverty and was currently drafting a global strategy in collaboration with all partners. Public debt was a major burden. In that respect, a strategic initiative on social assistance had been drafted, with eight priorities. 70 percent of the resources in the Zakat Fund were for poor people, many of whom were women and heads of households, or women looking after orphans. The initiative to combat poverty with financial assistance for 500,000 families had been launched throughout the 18 provinces. Sudan followed the Brazilian experience in providing social assistance.

On health coverage, the delegation said that 750,000 families benefited from the programme supported by the Ministry of Finance, and 96,000 were supported by the Zakat Fund.

Loans and other benefits were also provided to persons with disabilities, with the help of the Red Cross and the industrial sector.

Shelters had been set up for refugees with the support of the Vice President of Sudan. A pilot project carried out in several provinces to support women had been launched.

Financing came from partnerships with civil society organisations in order to facilitate training activities for women to acquire skills and knowledge. A training initiative had been launched with the African Development Bank.

The delegation turned to the questions on the treatment of women. Laws ensured equal pay for work of equal value. There were several women Ministers, and women were also members of the National Legislative Council. Two women had also stood in presidential elections. The Labour Code protected women. Women had access to training opportunities and benefited from the same rights, in respect to hours. There were eight weeks of paid maternity leave. The law protected women through positive discrimination. There were seven days of paid compassionate leave. The Government was doubling its efforts in that respect and had committed to the improvement of women’s empowerment. A Women’s Development Programme in rural areas had been adopted.

Questions by Experts

More information was sought about processing of domestic violence cases in courts.

Some people paid enormous sums of money for birth registration, which was a serious problem, an Expert said. Could the delegation comment?

Would the State party put a stop to the widespread practice of evictions in camps for internally displaced persons and squats?

Would the Government obtain free prior and informed consent by communities in agricultural areas and stop grabbing agricultural land by foreign investors? Was there a plan to enact legislation to ensure land tenure for tenants?

Question was asked about the impunity of police and Armed Forces.

An Expert said that there were four million people who were food insecure. What were the measures put in place to cushion the price shocks and how did the Government mitigate staple food increase? Had the Strategic Reserve Corporation been doing well?

Which support was given to farmers?

Given the importance of the humanitarian response, how was food aid tailored to meet the needs of the domestic agricultural production?

The Expert asked about steps taken to address the access to services by internally displaced persons. Which measures were being taken to improve access to and affordability of health care and psychological services to the most vulnerable and marginalized people, especially women and, in particular, victims of sexual violence?

The provision which condemned female genital mutilation had been removed. What was the rationale behind that and would the State consider establishing that provision again?

There was high child and maternal mortality, and malnutrition. Almost 60 percent of rural areas in Sudan did not have access to midwifery services, and 39 percent of health services were not properly functioning due to the shortage of staff. Was the acceleration plan on maternal and child health put into effect and had the National Coordination Council been effective? What was the strategy to reduce the maternal mortality rate?

An Expert wanted to know whether the 1991 Act which discriminated against women was still in force, and, if so, if there was a plan to remove it.

There were striking regional poverty disparities: 21 percent of people in Khartoum were poor, compared to almost 60 percent of those in Darfur. However, federal allocation per capita was higher in Khartoum than in Darfur. What was the strategy to overcome the regional disparities?

What was the legal age of marriage? According to the information received, it was eight for girls and ten for boys.

There was a huge number of street children who were vulnerable and privy to abuse. What was being done with them, an Expert inquired.

How was the Government reintegrating into society those children who had been abducted and forced to serve in armed groups?

There was a major lack of freedom of press, and up to 19 confiscations of public press had occurred only in 2015. The same was true of the Internet. Had the planned TED Talks been cancelled?

Was the figure of 60 percent enrollment rate in primary school correct? There were disparities in enrollment between regions. The delegation was asked to comment.

Replies by the Delegation

The delegation informed that the Election Act of 2014 had given women the right to quota of 30 percent and the right to compete at the constituency level in party lists. The total number of female members of the Parliament was thus over 30 percent.

Committees had been established in 2005 to fight violence against women across the country, with the role of fast-tracking victims for health care, social and psycho-social therapy, and legal services. Those had been established with the help of the international community. The Unit of Family and Child Protection had a hot line - 9696, working 24 hours a day, to which cases could be reported. The law reform also addressed violence against women. The Criminal Law of 1991 had been revised in 2009 and added paragraphs on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Article 149 had been changed to specify and define rape, and another article defined sexual harassment for the first time. The social reform campaign called Mercy and Compassion Campaign combatted domestic violence.

Article 40, concerning the age of responsibility and marriage age, was in parliamentarian procedure. The Parliamentarian Act and Labour Act had been studied to address the right to maternal leave, in order to extend it to at least six months.

The rights to safe trial, legal aid and psychiatric help were defined legally as well, the delegation informed.

Regarding female genital mutilation, the delegation informed that there was a draft law to end it, and a strategy and campaign were in the works to end that practice by 2018.

On humanitarian assistance, it was explained that there were 10,400 national and 97 foreign non-governmental organisations around the country. Humanitarian aid was regulated through the Law to Organize Voluntary and Humanitarian Work of 2006 and its Statute and Technical Agreement. The Commission for Humanitarian Aid supervised the work of non-governmental organisations through the Federal Commission and 18 Humanitarian Commissions across the State party.

The number of internally displaced persons was over two million in Darfur, most of whom were under the Government control and in major cities. There were 200,000 persons in the Blue Nile area, who had been absorbed in local communities. There were no refugee camps in those two regions. A national policy had been adopted for the treatment, voluntary return, integration and resettlement according to the will of internally displaced persons.

According to the Doha Agreement, the Commission for Land Ownership had to guarantee the rights of internally displaced persons. The necessary services such as food, nutrition, health and education were provided by the Government and international aid organizations. The humanitarian indicators remained stable throughout the past four years. There were 29 model villages in the country which had been built by donor Arab countries.

Regarding the Blue Nile and Kurdufan States, the delegation explained that over 90 percent of those territories were under control of rebel forces.

The High Commissioner for Refugees during his visit in 2014 had commended the measures undertaken by the Government of Sudan to help refugees from South Sudan. They were all registered at the Ministry of the Interior and given identity papers.

The delegation stated that there were currently asylum seekers from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. Assistance had been provided. Only 2,000 between 2005 and 2015 had benefitted from resettlement, which also depended on the will of third countries.
The Government cooperated with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to identify and give identity cards to individuals who had no papers or who had lost them.

Primary health services had been expanded thanks to recent surveys based on three criteria established by international health organizations. Over 5,000 midwifes and 200 new doctors had been trained, 318 delivery theatres had been established, while free medication was provided to children under the age of five.

The negative impacts of the sanctions on health were dire, as they led to shortages of medicines and medical equipment. The number of laboratories refused to deal with Sudan. The country had to seek medicines on the black market, which presented an additional burden. The medical embargo had disastrous effects. The delegation asked the Committee to bring up that unjust issue in front of the international community.

The Council for Children was in charge of childcare policies. The Law Governing Childcare of 2010 had taken important elements from the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The interim Constitution of 2005 had underscored the importance of ensuring the welfare of the child. The level of child education had risen, while child mortality had decreased. Child labour by children under 15 had come down by over 40 percent. There were still over 8,000 street children involved in illegal employment.

The Government was conducting research to ensure that people eligible would get the pensions. There were two funds to which men and women paid equal contributions, and workers could opt into two schemes. There were laws providing for the inheritance of pension funds. The Government provided guarantees for the Pension Fund, the same way it did for the National Fund.

Questions by Experts

An Expert asked if more information could be given on the settlement of nomads, farmers and herders and their traditional lifestyles, as per the Doha Peace Agreement.

Could information be provided for this year’s harvest? Chronic malnutrition concerned 33 percent of children. What was being done in that regard? About 35 percent of children were stunted.

What was being done to ensure full immunization of children, the Expert asked.

School enrolment was lower for females and rural children – could the delegation comment?

More information was sought on the protection and ownership of traditional, historical rights to land.

Could more information be provided on the protection of archaeological sites, when complex development projects were ongoing?

Another Expert said that he was very concerned about the impact of the embargo on access to medication.

The delegation was asked to confirm the plans to eliminate female genital mutilation by 2018. If something was wrong, it had to be criminalized immediately, an Expert commented.

Were there plans for a framework law to cover all grounds on discrimination?

Was there discrimination against women in the labour market? The Expert noted that the labour force participation of women in the market was 23 percent, as opposed to 73 percent for men.

There were deep discrepancies between different regions. Was anything done to counter balance that and contribute more, rather than less, from the budget, to those poorer regions, such as Darfur?

Another Expert commended the Government on the establishment of the 30 percent quota for women. What were obstacles in ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women?

An Expert said that, as the country was working on the new Constitution, it was the perfect time to incorporate the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Constitution, as well as the General Comments which interpreted specifically the provisions of the Covenant.

Replies by the Delegation

Legislative Councils in all of the eighteen States were encouraged to end female genital mutilation, and until now, four States had passed legislative acts prohibiting it. One of the strongest initiatives was Salima, a social campaign to encourage local communities to refuse and say no to female genital mutilation. A drop had been recorded from 89 percent to 65 percent in Khartoum. Another initiative was the draft Medical Law which would punish any medical doctor performing female genital mutilation.

There were several funds which amounted to 20 percent of the Development Budget of the country going towards the Blue Line, Kurdufan and other less wealthy States.

The Strategic National Reserve Mechanism ensured food security, and stored 50 percent of the production, ensuring supplies for one year of the country’s needs. It also ensured the stability of prices. There were more exporters than importers of agricultural products. Sudan was a net food exporter, and it exported seven million tons of grains per year.

Due to the embargo, vital projects were no longer in place to counter the displacement of families, unemployment and poverty. The transportation sector had been disrupted, including sea freight, air transport and railways. All of that had led to a drop in transport of goods and passengers by half. Demining programmes had also been disrupted.

Consultations with civil society organisations during the preparation of the report, had been conducted, the last of which in March 2012, when over 50 civil society organisations had been invited, including women’s groups and children’s rights groups.

Legal reforms would continue for the next four years, and the adoption of many international instruments, including the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, would be considered. A General Law Prohibiting Discrimination would also be put before the Parliament for adoption in the next few months.

The delegation agreed that reports of one million children outside the education system were alarming. A Strategy drafted in 2012 dealt with drop-outs. Enrollment had increased and capacity had risen. The level of enrolment of girls had also increased.

The Zakat Fund provided social security to those who did not contribute to the social security system. It collected 2.5 percent of all revenues and redistributed it to the needy and the vulnerable. Up to 10 percent was collected in areas where there was drought. That had nothing to do with the Government taxes, but was rather a religious system of redistribution.

There were no stateless refugees in Sudan, the delegation stated, and all refugees were treated in accordance with international laws and standards. There were economic migrants, whose situation was also legalized, who were asked to register and then issued identity cards.

There was an agreement between the Sudanese Government and the international community to register people of South Sudan without nationality and issue them with identity cards.

The delegation informed that up to 90 percent of children had been immunized through as part of the efforts to eradicate polio.

The Constitution made it clear that any international instrument ratified by Sudan automatically became part of the national law.

There was a law that compelled all Government members to declare their wealth. Administrative inspections were in charge of ensuring compliance.

The Ministry of Justice provided legal assistance to those who could not meet legal costs. There was a roster of lawyers who provided free legal aid, a delegate explained.

Regarding emergency laws and their alignment to international instruments in line with the reconciliation process, certain areas were under customary tribal law where the Janjaweed regime was in place, and the head of the tribe was in charge. Tribes believed that the land was theirs, which was a real issue. The Government had allocated a huge amount of resources to Darfur as per the Doha Agreement in order to develop that area.

The enrolment of children in Khartoum was higher, which was the case because that was the capital. In Darfur, 6 percent of the children were nomads.

Regarding education of women, the delegation said that the enrollment rate of girls was growing at a higher pace than that of boys.

A great majority of traders in markets were women, particularly in the Western areas, were they represented over 50 percent of all people working in the market.

Questions by Experts

Regarding land and tribes, how was consent from tribes to give away land obtained? Could public purpose be used as a justification to give away their land to foreign investors? How was the balance defined between the rights of investors and the rights of communities?

Replies by the Delegation

The delegation explained that tribes believed they owned the land. It was time to act differently as simply monopolizing land would not help. Previously the Government had tried to enact laws, but that had failed. Now they talked to those people and showed them it was better to utilize the lands. The indigenous peoples received 30 percent of the land by all investors. In the White Nile Sugar Project, for example, that had been very successful, as infrastructure and schools had been built and the community was now much better off. The balance between investors and communities was a win-win case, rather than a conflict between the two sides. Investors brought new equipment and projects, and increased the levels of livelihood. In some areas presence of investment was a sign of security.

Concluding Remarks

ASLAN ABASHIDZE, Vice-Chairperson of the Committee and Country Rapporteur, thanked the delegation for their trustful commitment. Notwithstanding the fact that not all replies were exhaustive, the discussion had met the needs of the Committee. He hoped that the recommendations of the Committee would not be forgotten.

KAMAL ISMAEL SAEED, State Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, thanked the Committee for the seriousness and understanding that they had shown. He was impressed by the concern members had shown for his country and took note of all the points they raised as those had really drawn attention to where the shortcomings were the most acute. Mr. Saeed was very appreciative of the Committee’s work and promised that the delegation would follow suit and try to address all the difficulties and challenges that had been raised. He also called upon the Committee Members to raise their voices regarding the unjust embargo imposed upon Sudan.

WALEED SADI, Committee Chairperson, thanked the head of the delegation. The concluding observations would be adopted, and it was hoped that they would be highlighted to the Government, especially with regard to new strategies and projects.

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