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USUN Press Release

New York, New York
July 31, 2007

Remarks by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Permanent Representative, on the adoption of UNSC Resolution 1769 on Sudan, at the Security Council Stakeout

Ambassador Khalilzad: Good afternoon. Today was an important day in getting a resolution unanimously on the situation in Darfur with the establishment of hybrid and energizing a comprehensive settlement to the Darfur crisis. We will have to see this as a good step. We will have to see, of course, what happens on the ground. That will be the most important, although what happened today was important.  

This is an opportunity for the government of Sudan to turn a new page, to cooperate, and we have said that we will be monitoring closely progress with regard to implementation, with regard to the benchmarks associated with the activities on the military track, activities with regard to humanitarian assistance, activity with regard to the political progress that needs to be made. 

Some of you have asked why we did not co-sponsor this resolution. I would not read a lot into this. There are lots of resolutions that not everyone co-sponsors. I want to point out that several other countries were also not co-sponsors, including the president of the African Union, Ghana. The important thing is that we have voted for it. We support it. And we'll work with the Secretary-general to make sure that the shift to hybrid takes place as quickly as possible. And our requirements with regard to the resolution to have an effective command and control, unity of command and control is under the U.N. system is embraced. It was that, key elements are with a mandate under Chapter 7 -- it is. And there is strong protection for civilians -- there is.  

So, we are satisfied with this resolution. And I want to emphasize once again this is a step. It's an important step. And the most important is we will have to see what happens on the ground. Do the Sudanese cooperate? Is there political progress? What happens on the humanitarian track? That's what matters ultimately. And, this is what this effort, lasting quite a number of months, at least since I have been here, has been about.  

And now I'd be glad to take some questions.  

Reporter: Ambassador, you still can’t get away from the fact that you didn't co-sponsor the resolution. This is a critical effort for the U.S. government. They have to be sending some sort of signal by doing that. Is it about the deadline? Is it about there not being sanctions in it?

Ambassador Khalilzad: As I said, the resolution is under Chapter 7, so there is the requirements that follow from lack of cooperation given that. There is with regard to the military issues, we have had an extensive discussion between us and the secretariat as well as with other members. We have argued from the beginning to go to a hybrid command and control U.N. as quickly as possible with an effective force. We've had our planners come in, look at the timeline. Some of our people have believed that some things could happen faster than some people here. But at the end of the day, we have got enough movement, given where we were at the start of the negotiation, that this is satisfactory. But we will be working closely with the secretariat, with DPKO that a command and control, initial one, established as quickly as possible, that we don't lose the forces that we have there so that their salaries get paid for, that we move to bringing in heavy forces also as quickly as possible and to move to a hybrid, a credible, capable force before the end of the year.  

Reporter: Ambassador, is this your understanding, despite skepticism, that this hybrid force will be able to act independently and take action where necessary without any interference?  

Ambassador Khalilzad: Yes, that acceptance by the Sudanese government. And I asked myself personally the president of Sudan in Khartoum whether there is acceptance with unconditional, and we got an affirmative answer from him. And you know, the force is under Chapter 7, so it has the full range of authorities that we would want it to exercise with regard to the implementation of the Darfur peace agreement, with regard to impediments to the implementation and with regard to protection of civilians. Those are the core things. And if you look at the Darfur Peace Agreement, there is a range of requirements, particularly those having to do with protection of civilians. So I think it's a good resolution. And as I said, it's the resolution we voted for.  

Reporter: You said before that Sudan should not be allowed to have a veto of this resolution. Yet they practically co-wrote it. They sat -- Representatives sat in the U.K. mission and went through it word by word. Are you satisfied with the result? And could it be stronger?  

Ambassador Khalilzad: Well, the parties, the sponsors, they talked to the Sudanese government. And they raised issues. Those that were regarded by the co-sponsors as acceptable or reasonable were taken. But they were -- of course, as you know, they said no to Chapter 7. Clearly, they did not get that. They at one point wanted not single unity of command and control. They wanted to have a dual command and control. They did not get that. There was discussions on civilian protection, and they did not get that. And my view is if you look at the civilian protection issue, look at the Darfur Peace Agreement as to what the requirement is and a key, core mission of the force's implementation of the peace agreement. And as secondarily also to deal with the impediments to the implementation and then the civilian protection, it's a very strong statement. I'm sure there were other things there that the Sudanese government did not want to see in this resolution.  

Look, the Security Council is made up of 15 countries representing different regions of the world. Not everyone sees everything the same way. And you have to get things to happen, you need absence of a veto. And certainly then a majority for. And so you have to take other people's views into account. But the issue is that when I have talked with you about this, since the beginning, I have pointed out the core requirements about which there is no flexibility. And I have mentioned to you repeatedly what they were. And I believe we got those core requirements. And it is positive in my view that while getting the core requirements, we also got unanimous support. And you had to take some of the other people's views into account.  

Reporter: Mr. Ambassador, do you expect sir, just clarify to us if the 20,000 extra troops will be there by the end of the year, as you said? Or is it just going to be the transfer of operations? And finally, what is the United States going to do to help this operation? Finance? Logistical support? Airplanes?  

Ambassador Khalilzad: We will provide support, of course we pay our share in terms of the budget, and the American people have been very generous. With regard to Darfur, I mentioned in my statement already we have provided more than $2 billion in support for Darfur. But we will do our share in terms of the peacekeeping budget. And we will look to requests for help.  

Reporter: (inaudible) troops by the end of the year, Mr. Ambassador, do you expect 20,000?  

Ambassador Khalilzad: I believe that not all the troops will be in by the end of the year. But a substantial part of the force, including heavy force, will be there. So the force will look very different by the end of the year than it does now -- the AMIS forces that are in the region.  

Reporter: Although the Chapter 7 paragraph was kind of softened in a way that will not necessitate sanctions, the House today legislated some tough sanctions on Sudan. Should that be any indication as to what the United States will do, regardless of what's going on?  

Ambassador Khalilzad: What is important is we believe that the resolution, if you look at the language -- operative paragraph 15 under Chapter 7 -- that it's quite clear that under Chapter 7 what the requirements are as to the protection of the force itself and then delivering on those three very important issues. In particular, I talked about the agreement, impediments to agreement, protection of civilians, in particular.  

But, I said in my statement that this is an opportunity for the government of Sudan to turn a new page, to be cooperative. But if there is dragging one's feet, as has been the pattern sometimes in the past, not to implement the agreement, not to cooperate, not to behave in a way towards the force that is unconditional, then we retain, of course, the right, and I made that point, of looking for unilateral or multilateral measures.  

Reporter: (Inaudible) left the (inaudible) in the House already, regardless of what happens. 

Ambassador Khalilzad: I don't know what the House has done. I don't know what the House has done. But we have a process, as you know, for something to become law. But I certainly appreciate the strong feeling that is out there in our country, in our political leadership. The president has been very passionate, as you know, about this issue, has spoken about it eloquently. I myself, as I said, have gone on two missions since I've been here, and one was to Sudan. So we take this seriously. I think what has happened today was important. But I caveat that with what is even more important what happens on the ground, and we'll be monitoring it very carefully. And we retain all our kind of rights in terms of the steps that might be necessary down the road if there is not compliance with the resolution.  

Reporter: Ambassador, I didn't understand why you weren't one of the sponsors. Does it leave us a way out in case the whole thing turns out to be a mess?  

Ambassador Khalilzad: No, no, no, no it does not. We supported the resolution. I mentioned to your colleagues I wouldn't read too much into that. There are lots of resolutions we don't co-sponsor. Several other countries did not co-sponsor this resolution. If we have to write a resolution all by ourselves, would it be exactly word for word what it is? No. But, as I said, this is, you know, 15 nations have to agree to it. It's quite satisfactory, and our core requirements, and I have spoken about that repeatedly, are met. As I said before you came, I believe that quite a number of other countries also did not co-sponsor, so I would not read a lot into that.  

Reporter: On protection of civilians it seems to say that UNAMID could only use force without prejudice to the responsibilities of the government of Sudan. Does that mean in any way that one would have to get permission of the government of Sudan to protect civilians?  

Ambassador Khalilzad: No, no. What it says, if I could have that resolution, it says -- here we go -- acting under Chapter 7 of the charter of the United Nations, Article 2 supports early and effective implementation of the Darfur peace agreement. And if you look at that peace agreement, it's a huge amount about civilian protection against coercion, against violence, against threats, against sexual violence. There's a lot about that. So we get that once that that's its mission. Prevent the disruption of its implementation and armed attacks -- so any effort to prevent implementation of that agreement, meaning including threats against the civilians -- this is one of the missions to prevent that. And three, to protect civilians. Because two was up there, I think this is a -- I'm looking at the version that has still two here since two is up there. It just said protect civilians -- without prejudice to the responsibility of the government of Sudan. The government of Sudan as a government has responsibilities as well. And this does not absolve them that we, unilaterally, are responsible for everything that a government is responsible for. So the government still has responsibilities for which it will be held accountable.  

Reporter: They seem to read this to mean that you can protect civilians but not in any way that undermines their sovereignty. I mean, the Sudanese ambassador said if -- who would win if civilians are at harm and the U.N. says let's protect them and Sudan says no? Who wins?  

Ambassador Khalilzad: Look, look, look, this effort entirely is focused on the civilians. That's why we are there. We wouldn't have this resolution; we wouldn't have the level of effort that we are making except because of consent about what's happened to the civilians. The raison d’etre of this effort is protecting civilians, 200,000 of whom have been killed, 2 million of them have been moved from their homes. So, this is very much targeted on protecting civilians. That's the core requirement for us.  

Thank you very much.


Released on August 8, 2007

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