The United Nations General Assembly voted today on “New Partnership for Africa’s Development: progress in implementation and international support: causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa.” Darfur Women Action Group recognizes that there is much in this resolution to be support. It is critical for the United Nations to address the need to bring sustainable justice to people affected by conflict and human rights abuses, and especially the need to empower women in these processes. It is important for members of international civil society to understand the commitments made by the UN in this resolution, so that we can hold this organization accountable to these stated goals.
This resolution also praises progress made by the leaders of African countries broadly. While these types of statements are true in some responsible African countries, they cannot be generalized to include the government of Sudan. The United Nations MUST make this distinction, and stress that the government of Sudan CANNOT be considered part of this group of responsible African leaders. Sudan must be held accountable not only for failure to advance NPAD but also for continuing to use mass violence against its own people. The government of Sudan has made no real commitment to peace in Darfur, nor improving human rights in Sudan at large. Rather, to this day Khartoum continues the same genocidal policy it has had for 15 years. This is a policy of Genocide.
Regrettably, civil society, women, and migrants are continuously subject to or under threat of violence in many African countries. Chief among these is Sudan. We urge the member states of the UN general assembly and the UNSC to include strong accountability measures to hold accountable Sudan and any other country which subjects civilians to violence, thereby destabilizing the entire nation and making any progress in development nearly impossible.
While this resolution has a lot of good sentiment, it does not clearly identify the perpetrators of violence, nor does it address the failure of UNAMID to protect civilians from violence. Especially with the recent reduction in the size of UNAMID and its impending full-scale withdrawal, the United Nations lacks real enforcement for protecting civilians and promoting long term peace in Darfur. The UNGA and the UNSC must develop clear accountability mechanisms to monitor the performance of its various agencies. Implementation and detailed due diligence must be applied to ensure UN’s future commitment to the principles enumerated in this document.
The full document can be found at: http://undocs.org/A/72/L.59/Rev.1
Niemat Ahmadi, President, Darfur Women Action Group