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Item 4: Presentation of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Sudan, Dr. Sima Samar
June 16, 2009

Human Rights Council 11th Session

Statement by the Delegation of the United States
Delivered by Mark Cassayre
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States thanks Dr. Sima Samar for her dedication and persistent work in monitoring and raising awareness about the human rights situation in Sudan. We regret that because of the security situation in some key areas of Sudan, Dr. Samar was not permitted to travel until the very end of her mandate.

We remain concerned by current problems in Sudan, as reported by Dr. Samar, including the unlawful killing of civilians in Darfur; disappearances; arbitrary arrests and detentions; denial of fair trials; press censorship; sexual violence and unlawful recruitment of child soldiers. We also remain concerned that in Darfur, “humanitarian space” for relief operations continues to be restricted. International humanitarian organizations continue to struggle as they attempt to address gaps, and we call upon the Government of Sudan to follow through on pledges to improve conditions of access.

My government believes it is imperative that the Council continue to demonstrate its concern for the situation in Sudan through a mandate focused on the situation. This would be the only UN mandate focused on the entire country and the only one that reports to this Council. Such mandates can assist governments in addressing human rights situations and enhance the involvement of the international community in helping governments deal with troubling situations.

In particular, we support the Special Rapporteur’s recommendation that the international community remain engaged until significant progress is made in the implementation of previous recommendations of the Special Rapporteur and Group of Experts on Darfur, and concrete improvement in the human rights situation is seen on the ground. Extending a mandate to provide ongoing support and technical assistance to the Government of National Unity can help alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese people and enhance protection of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. Toward this end, we have engaged in discussions with the Government of Sudan and many other states. We have done so in the spirit expressed by President Obama in Cairo, namely through a constructive approach and full dedication to universal values of human rights. We hope these efforts will promote consensus in the Council in support of the Council’s engagement through its special procedures. Moreover, the Government of Sudan could demonstrate its good faith by working with this mechanism to implement recommendations and to prepare for the elections.

Thank you.