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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of International Organization Affairs > Reports to Congress, U.S. Votes, Fact Sheets, Testimony > Other Remarks > 2002

Resolution on Human Rights in Sudan

Ambassador John D. Negroponte, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Explanation of Vote Before the Fifty-seventh Session of the UN General Assembly, in the Third Committee
New York, New York
November 20, 2002

Released by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations

Although the Government of Sudan has made very limited progress since last year's UN Resolution on human rights (56/175), the United States believes that Sudan continues to implement policies that undermine and deny basic human rights to its citizens. For this reason, my government has continued to engage Khartoum on its serious human rights misdeeds in every appropriate venue, including the United Nations.

The United States believes that it is important that this body issue a strong resolution that condemns the human rights violations committed by the Government of Sudan and we acknowledge the efforts of the drafters to that end. We are pleased that the resolution highlights the Government of Sudan's continued abrogation of religious freedom, deliberate attacks against civilians, support for civilian-abducting militias, and repeated denial of humanitarian access to its citizens in need.

However, during the negotiations, we urged that there be clear and unambiguous language to ensure that this measure fully documented the Government of Sudanís human rights abuses, and we are deeply concerned that the resolution omits stronger references to slavery and religious persecution. The United States feels that the international community lost a valuable opportunity to more explicitly expose Khartoum's support for these shameful practices.

Despite these serious shortcomings, the resolution does call attention to human rights abuses in Sudan, and emphasizes the need to address them. We will continue to work to shine a spotlight on the human rights abuses committed by the Sudanese government and to bring them to an end. In addition, we welcome the substantial progress made in the Sudan Peace Talks, in the round concluded on November 18 and are working to ensure that the final agreement includes provisions to protect fundamental freedoms and human rights.

Faced with the possibility that the resolution might have failed to pass without the United Statesí support, my government has decided to vote in favor of this resolution. Doing so helps maintain international attention on Sudanís human rights misdeeds.



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