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 You are in: Bureaus/Offices Reporting Directly to the Secretary > Deputy Secretary of State > Former Deputy Secretaries of State > Former Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick > Remarks > 2006

Remarks at the Brookings Institution Forum on the Situation in Darfur

Robert B. Zoellick, Deputy Secretary of State
Washington, DC
April 13, 2006

(10:10 a.m. EDT)

Introduction by Carlos Pascual, Vice President of the Brookings Institution

MR. PASCUAL: I'm Carlos Pascual. I'm the Vice President of The Brookings Institution responsible for the foreign policy program and I'd really like to welcome you today to The Brookings Institution for this event on Darfur. The event is being co-sponsored by Brookings and the Brookings-Bern project on internally displaced persons. This has been a very creative and innovative project, which we have housed here at Brookings and it's co-directed by Roberta Cohen, who is one of our senior fellows here, together with Walter Kälin who is the Representative of the UN Secretary General on Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons.

One of the things which this project has done is to produce guiding principles on internal displacement which were presented to the UN in 1998 and they are the first international standards for the treatment of internally displaced persons.

Brookings was responsible for organizing the process for developing them. And then a team of international lawyers actually did the drafting and since then they've been recognized by the World Summit Outcome Document by a number of UN resolutions and a growing number of governments which are, in fact, putting in place laws and policies to actually act on these guidelines for IDPs. Those guidelines are being put severely to the test in Sudan in an environment in Darfur where 2.5 million people at least have been displaced, there have been hundreds of thousands of refugees, the numbers of death have been numbered in the range of 200 to 300,000. And indeed, it's not just a question of Darfur, but it's an issue which spills over to the entire Sudan. It influences the capacity of Sudan to effectively move forward with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. And as we have seen in the news even this morning, it can have impact on the situation in Chad. So it is not just a centralized issue, but it is one that affects the entire nation and possibly several nations in an entire region.

We are very lucky to have with us today to be able to address this issue the Deputy Secretary of State Bob Zoellick. In the event today, we will have two parts to it. We will first have the opportunity to hear from the Deputy Secretary and his comments. And then following that, we will have a panel with three distinguished experts: Francis Deng, Ken Bacon and Bill O'Neill, and I'll introduce them a little bit later, who will follow up with additional commentary and give us an opportunity for further exchange.

Deputy Secretary Zoellick took his position as Deputy Secretary in February of 2005, but all of us have known him for a much longer period of time. I think everybody is well aware of his tremendous efforts and work as the U.S. Trade Representative and, in particular, the tremendous contributions that he made to the Doha Round in which the United States was a leading voice for the liberalization of international trade regimes. He has served in a number of different administrations, and previously during George H.W. Bush's Administration he served as the Under Secretary of State for Economic and Agricultural Affairs and as Counselor to the Department. He has served in senior positions in the Department of Treasury. He has served in the private sector. He has been an academic. He's been part of the think tank world. He is truly an intellectual and a practitioner of public policy.

I can say from personal experience of having worked under him in the State Department that he's also somebody who is tremendously dedicated to addressing these issues related to Sudan. Very soon after he came into office, he immediately started holding meetings with senior people in the State Department, USAID and other Departments to really understand the dynamic of change in Sudan, the complexity of the issues in the South, the complexity of the issues in Darfur. He has traveled to Sudan a number of times to engage the leaders of the region and try to urge them on to a viable and comprehensive peace, for the entire nation to build peace in the West in Darfur, to sustain the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in the South. He is someone who approaches these issues with tremendous integrity and personal commitment and a great deal of just intellectual integrity -- willing to ask the tough questions to understand what needs to be done and how to make an impact.

With that note, Bob, I just want to say thank you for joining us today and we look forward to hearing your remarks.

END OF PASCUAL REMARKS

DEPUTY SECRETARY ZOELLICK: (In progress) Well, let me say how much I appreciate (inaudible) Strobe Talbott former Deputy Secretary of State for the invitation. You've always done a fine job with Brookings as an institution. Indeed, I was reminded on that as I came in because I've also been spending a fair amount of time recently on President Hu's visit, and as I saw Jeff Bader here, who was a great colleague dealing with China when I was at USTR and I think one of the foremost people in the United States on China, I was worried I had come to the wrong session, that I was supposed to be talking about China.

But I particularly wanted to come because of the role that Carlos has played, frankly, on this and many other issues. He taught and helped me a great deal when I started at the State Department and I expected that the group that he had assembled here would be able to help us further and I've had an opportunity to work with the panelists that are going to be following me and I couldn't think of a better group to help shed some light on what's a very challenging subject.

And I also appreciate all of your strong interest. I have dealt with a lot of foreign policy issues over the course of some 20, maybe 25 years now, and I'm not sure I have one that has generated as much interest across a wide spectrum of Americans as this one has. And so I very much appreciate that and I think it's particularly timely because I think it's a very important moment for Sudan and the region as a whole.

Now let me just start briefly by sharing a little perspective on Sudan because I think it may give you a context, at least for my thinking. The problems that we're struggling with have very deep historical roots and in trying to summarize those I believe that our core challenge is trying to reconcile and reorganize Khartoum 's relations with the peripheries of Sudan .

Khartoum , as many of you know, was settled by soldiers, administrators, traders. Its lifeblood was the Nile and its orientation has been traditionally towards the centers of development and learning in the Arab world -- Cairo , Damascus , Saudi Arabia . And its relations with the rest of Sudan have been one of ruler, manipulator, exploiter, and indeed this is a tradition that runs across not just the current Sudanese independent government but it goes back to colonial periods and even pre-colonial periods. If you look at the history of British indirect rule, this too followed this pattern of a center with the periphery and how it would manipulate the regions for the overall good of the center.

Now, Southern Sudan and the longstanding conflict between Khartoum and South Sudan represents the sharpest example of this longstanding struggle. It's got tribal dimensions, it's got religious dimensions, it's got dimensions between Arabs and Africans. And of course, it has a very, very sad history of longstanding and terrible violence. But there's an analogous problem that you see in Darfur, which has got much attention in the United States , but it extends beyond Darfur . These are also issues that relate to Khartoum 's relations with the East, with the Beja, and also parts of the North.

So the fundamental question that we're struggling with is how do we try to reconcile the metropolitan center with the peripheries in a new fashion. And as Carlos alluded to, there's a recognition, especially in Africa, that how Sudan comes to terms with these questions is going to affect many others beyond Sudan . Keep in mind that Sudan is the largest country in Africa . It has nine neighbors. It has overlaps that are tribal, religious, Arab and African.

So from this perspective, you can see that the Comprehensive Peace Accord that we've achieved in January of 2005 represents a potentially critical historic change. And in referencing that, I have to pay my respects to the work of Senator Jack Danforth and his team, also the late John Garang, also those in the Sudanese Government, that took some very courageous steps in changing this long historic pattern.

Obviously, that accord ended a 21-year-old civil war which produced millions, not hundreds of thousands, but millions of deaths. But equally important, perhaps even more important, was that the CPA offers a constitutional framework for all of Sudan . It starts out with elements of wealth sharing and power sharing and security. But the key is that those are transitional elements looking towards a pattern of development, integration, elections and an opportunity for democracy and unity.

But I said potentially historical because there are two critical challenges. First, the CPA, as many of you know, is a very complex agreement and it needs great care in the implementation. And second, we have this problem that you can't separate the North-South divide from other splits within Sudan and most striking over the past years has been that with Darfur .

Now, a word on the CPA and its implementation. My sense is that the record is mixed. It is not a small achievement that it has survived the death of one of its key founders, Dr. John Garang, who, as many of you know, played a critical role not only in the course of the civil war, but in negotiating the peace. And one of the trips that I took to Sudan last year I was at the inauguration of the new Government of National Unity in Khartoum . And when you could see Dr. John Garang there, you could see, in a sense, his vision because his vision was not only for the people of the South, but it was for trying to accomplish a democratic, unified Sudan .

So the tragedy of his death is not only one that many of you I know who've worked with him and strived with him have felt, but it was a real challenge because the nature of his leadership created a crisis in the South. So Salva Kiir, one of his top military commanders, stepped into his position. And I don't envy his job because it's an extremely challenging assignment to try to re-create the cohesion not only of the movement, the SPLM in the South, but also then to help start to create the government of Southern Sudan and then, as part of a government of national unity, to promote this vision of Sudan.

I had the chance to visit both Rumbek and Juba in the South on different trips. And this is not a challenge of reconstruction, although you'll see the signs of war. It's a question of building. This is the most basic situation. So the challenge is trying to take a political movement, a military movement and transform it into a government, bring other players in the South that were in conflict. And this is an area where Salva Kiir has made some important progress as part of that system. It's a question of reconstruction. It's a question of the basic infrastructure. It's a question of development.

And while much of our focus has been on meeting basic needs, we also have assistance programs that are vital to try to create the self-sustaining nature of this regime; for example, a road system and de-mining in the South, education, health. And as in the case of many developing countries, Southern Sudan and Sudan as a whole has the mixed blessing of oil. It's a possible source of resources and revenue, but it's also a danger because it runs the risk of the cancer of corruption.

While all this is going on, and this is another point that Carlos alluded to, it's important to keep in mind the huge challenge of absorbing the internally displaced people, plus a group of refugees from the longstanding North-South conflict. Of the numbers that I looked at recently of the approximately 6.1 million internally displaced people in Sudan , approximately 4 million are from the South. So while there's an appropriate due attention about events in Darfur, you can see that creating an environment out of a very, very rough, sort of barebones economic situation where you can reabsorb 4 million people is no small task, and there's about another 358,000 from the South in scattered neighboring countries.

So that would be challenge enough, but of course one of the aspects of the interconnections of various conflicts is that of something called the Lord's Resistance Army, which I'm sure many of you are also familiar with. This terrible group of killers is led by a man named Kony that basically impress young people, and while their numbers aren't big, the destruction they can wreak is terrible, particularly at a time that for Southern Sudan much of the development prospects are most likely going to be in its relations with Uganda in the South. So this too is part of the challenge of the region.

In terms of the other aspects of the CPA implementation, it's been slow. There's been slippage. There's no doubt there's obstacles. But I do feel there's progress, so I think one of the message on this and also in Darfur is that for all the tragedy and for all the difficulties, it's very important that all of us sustain the effort because I do believe there's a possibility to improve this situation.

As I mentioned, if you study the Comprehensive Peace Accord, you'll see it's a very extensive document. One of the things that Carlos and some of his colleagues in the African Bureau put together as a milestone chart and it's about this thick of different things that have to be done. And when you're in a situation like that, I think it's vital to focus on those that are most important.

The one that we have considered to be the capstone is the Assessment and Evaluation Commission because this is the body chaired in part by, at our urging, by a Norwegian named Tom Vraalsen, of outsiders working with the Sudanese parties to monitor and to press forward this large effort. And it's a commission that the United States has helped provide some funding and logistics support and I'm very delighted that one of the colleagues of our group, Kate Almquist, who many of you know, who spent a lot of time helping with the negotiation of the CPA, has just become our AID Director for Sudan but also our representative on the Assessment and Evaluation Commission because we thought it would be important for her to not only apply her experience, support Tom Vraalsen in the role of implementation, but, frankly, it doesn't hurt that she's also the person that is the lead in terms of our aid program, which is heavily directed, obviously, towards the South and humanitarian needs in Darfur.

A key element is that of the Oil Commission. And here, I had an opportunity a couple weeks ago to be in Europe with some -- an effort that my friend, Javier Solana, put together and leaders of the AU, President Konare, but also leaders from the South and from Khartoum . And I think we at least have on path a reconciliation of this very difficult issue of the financing of some of the oil revenues. This is -- at least the numbers that the UN has now come up with is a little bit over $700 million. And this is vital because it's not only sort of critical resources to develop the South but, as I emphasized, the transparency and how this is done is going to be key to developing a successful government of Southern Sudan and its relationships with Khartoum.

Another key area is that of dealing with the security and the military integration. Part of the CPA calls for the development of something called Joint Integrated Units, which are military units from both the North and the South in creating a new defense corps. That process has started, as well as the UN now has a system for monitoring the withdrawals of the Government of Sudan's forces from the South.

But there's no doubt that there are going to be some extraordinarily difficult challenges ahead and one of them deals with the boundary area. Part of the CPA, one of the elements, was creating a Boundary Commission dealing with Abiye and this came out with a result that has led to some additional tensions and it hasn't been implemented. And it's a part of a larger question when you look at the states that are on the North-South border about drawing the demarcation line because, as in all of Sudan, you've got different tribes and you've got different tribes that have been on different sides of the conflict over the course of decades, so this is not an easy reconciliation process.

To make this work, this is part of my messages to all you -- all of you, from the United States and many other countries, you're going to need substantial contributions. This has been a terribly difficult process. There was a funding conference that I attended in Oslo shortly after I took office that pledged about $4.5 billion over the next three years. I'm proud to report to you that the United States , which is one of the largest pledgers, is ahead of our pledge. We've been contributing about $1.3 billion a year to Sudan , roughly divided between Darfur and the South. And the most frustrating part of this is that a huge amount of that money still has to go to meet basic needs. It's food, it's humanitarian and it's medical supplies, where I hope over time we can devote more of that money to de-mining the roads, to education, to health systems, to helping create the prospects for development.

You might say, well, that's challenge enough. But sadly, reality intrudes and even for the leaders in the South, one can't rest with that because they are part of a Government of National Unity. And we are going to need their help in dealing with the larger challenges that I mentioned of Sudan 's history and making the CPA work.

And here, again, I've had an opportunity to work with Salva Kiir and many of his colleagues about trying to make sure that in what, no doubt, is going to be a very difficult transition process with the SPLM as a minority in the government that we have to keep trying to forge ahead, including where we need their help in Darfur. And I say this with some sympathy, because, again, if I imagine myself as a Southerner trying to build a country, trying to deal with the challenges of the CPA, trying to integrate with a new government in Khartoum , in some ways it may be a lot to ask to have them also help deal with Darfur . But the reality is, if they don't, I'm afraid that the overall project of creating a new Sudan will not succeed and that's why we need their help.

So let me turn to Darfur . And this is a topic that obviously one can go in lots of different levels of detail. I thought what might be most helpful for you today was to focus on three parts -- humanitarian, security and the peace negotiations in Abuja -- although, of course, all three of these are interrelated.

First on the humanitarian side, conditions remain extraordinarily fragile. I had an opportunity to visit Darfur , I think, four times last year, so I visited, I think, all three of the different states. I've had a chance to visit many, many camps. Your heart can't help but go out to people who amazingly manage to keep morale up under extraordinarily difficult conditions. But during the course of 2005, until the end of the year, there was some progress in terms of reducing the mortality rates, which was a good sign. But the changing nature of the conflict in late 2005 started to increase the danger. And what has always worried me is that we have a very, very thin veneer here in terms of security and humanitarian support and it wouldn't take much to break through and take a situation that is already terrible and make it beyond belief. And that is why we have the intensive focus that we do.

The situation, I think, started to evolve late in 2005 for a number of reasons. Part of this was conflicts among different rebel groups. You had rebel-on-rebel violence and this is partly as people are starting -- were positioning themselves for the peace negotiation was their positioning. You have the ongoing conflicts with the Janjaweed and some of government forces -- some of which is retaliation, some of which is pursuing their own agenda. And then you had the new element of instability related to the Chad border where you have rebels on both sides crossing and creating an even more dangerous situation. And within this context, you also have people who are just turning to banditry.

So some of the most heroic people that I've had a chance to meet out there are the NGO workers who, from a variety of countries under extraordinary conditions, continue to try to meet food and medical supplies. And a lot of the people and those from Sudan that are helping them -- lives at risk because people will raid their convoys to try to get food for either rebel groups or various tribal groups.

So far in 2006, the United States has supplied 86 percent of the food to the World Food Program for all of Sudan . And the World Food Program's delivering target now in the months of February and March have been about 85 percent. They're getting to about 85 percent of the people in Darfur . Now, given the nature of the violence, the groups shift so you might have violence in one area and so that group will get some of the additional support elsewhere, so it's a fluid situation. But nevertheless, those numbers are down from about 90 to 100 percent in November and December and it shows the changing nature of the violence. Also, we have to try to edge beyond the basic needs. Some of the programs that we're dealing with try to deal with some fundamentals of education, some work in terms of trying to help people develop basic livelihoods. And so again, stability is vital to trying to create a context not only where people can exist, but where they can have some chance of hope for the future.

And the Sudanese Government is not doing enough. The conditions do vary by each state. It varies by the walis, the local leaders and governors. I've had a chance to meet a number of them. Some are more cooperative than others. And frankly, all of us were disappointed recently when the government ended the contract of the NRC, the Norwegian group, the NGO that was dealing with one of the most difficult camps, Kalma camp. Earlier in -- a few months earlier, they had been pushed out and I made a special effort to get them back in. But it's not a good sign that the local leadership is not allowing the NRC in that camp.

Second, a word on the security situation. Here, I think we all owe a substantial statement of thanks to the African Union military force -- it's called the AMIS force -- which has played a key role in Darfur in countering the widespread violence of 2004 that led to the genocide. Again, I've had a chance to meet a lot of these soldiers, not only their officers but the soldiers patrolling. They're an extremely courageous, dedicated, committed group of people. Of course performance varies, but Rwandans, Nigerians, Ghanians, Senegalese, others, these people are under very difficult conditions and they've done a good job. However, they can't do it by themselves.

So during the course of 2005, in addition to the support that the United States and the EU has provided, whether it be financial support or logistical support -- and the United States built a lot of their camps and provided the basic supplies for their operations -- we've tried to strengthen the operation. And one of the, again, modest but I think important steps is we got NATO to play a role in terms of logistical support and some training support and we got the Government of Sudan to accept this role. It also played a transportation role in increasing the size of the African Union force.

And then at the end of the year, after a long struggle, we got 105 Canadian armored personnel carriers which were critical because for those of you that have seen this issue, you know, people talk about mandate. Mandate is one thing, but if you've got lightly armed forces with other guys that are much better armed, you're not going to exercise even what are the words on paper. So getting the AMIS forces better armed and better protected was critical.

I'll also tell you we had a financing challenge. I mean, this gives you an insight about some of the challenges of how government works. The United States Government is set up for dealing with UN peacekeeping operations. There's a special funding arrangement for that. There's no funding arrangement for these types of operations, and since your budgets are developed years in advance, when we had to put together basically $11, $12 million a month for this operation, we had no money. So, frankly, I and my colleagues have been raiding various accounts in the State Department and reallocating things to try to do this. And this is a point where, for those of you of interest, I hope you can be of help to us. Even late last year when we were trying to get $50 million from the Congress that said that they wanted us to help in Darfur , we couldn't get it.

Now, again I've been raiding one account after another, and the good news is there's a supplemental bill in terms of appropriations for this year and both the House and the Senate took our request of $123 million and even upped it by $50 million. That has not yet passed. I'm continuing to have to raid accounts, but I hope that that will pass so that we can continue to fund this operation, at least through the course of this year.

The problem we encounter is not one that is unique to the United States . Frankly, my colleagues in the European Union have the same issue and this is one reason why, if we now are moving to a phase where the African Union force played a sort of a critical entry role that we believe it's important to move to a UN peacekeeping operation. When the AMIS African Union force came in, there was hope that they might be able to get up to, say, 12,000 people. For understandable reasons, they're not going to get to that number. They're at about 7,000 and that includes perhaps 1,000 or more of police. And so this is one of the reasons why working with the African Union and also assessing the increased violence on the ground, we decided at the end of last year that we had to try to transition from an African Union mission to a combined African Union/UN force.

There are ways that we can often -- it can help the African Union force even while it's there, and I'll come back to these. There's been a number of assessment missions where there's been U.S. and European and African and UN forces. So at this point on the security issue, we have to try to strengthen the African Union mission as it transitions to be the core of a UN force.

In January, we had the first statement by the African Union saying that it wanted to make this move. In February, when the United States was the chair of the UN Security Council, we had a statement that -- a president statement that pushed forward the UN peace process. And on March 10th, the African Union Peace and Security Council issued a statement that extended the mandate of the AMIS mission to September 30th. But very importantly, it also requested a UN transition.

Now, this is where the diplomatic challenges come in, because in this language there's going to be a debate about what are the terms in terms of the transition. Some, the government in Khartoum , has argued that it has to be conditioned on an Abuja peace settlement. That is not the view of the U.S. , it's not the view of the EU and it hasn't been the view of at least most in the African Union, and we need to continue that pressure for reasons that I'll talk about. However, one other issue that is going to be -- always looms in the background is the role of the Government of Sudan in bringing in any force, because you either get the approval of the government, as the government did for the African Union force and the NATO support, or you invade, and that's a very big, serious challenge.

Following that African Union resolution, we brought this back to the UN Security Council which passed a resolution, 1663, on March 24th. The prime purpose of that resolution was to support and to extend the North-South peacekeeping force as part of the CPA. But it also authorized the UN to request assistance from regional institutions, and that's important because that's the connection to possible NATO support or EU support or even Arab League support. And it also requested the Secretary General, Kofi Annan, to report back to the UN Security Council late in April on the options and size and shape of the UN mission.

The next step is -- and what we've been trying to do -- is to work with the UN Peacekeeping Office to try to improve and expedite that work. There's always sensitivities when you have a UN office in terms of support, but I think our cooperation has generally been good. But also to try to get ahead of the curve, we've been trying to work with the UN Peacekeeping Office to recruit potential supporters and suppliers of troops, whether they be African or Asian, would be preferences here. When President Bush visited South Asia , he asked both the Indians and the Pakistanis to possibly contribute troops. We've talked to the Egyptians. Yesterday, I was meeting the Algerian Foreign Minister, asked him about this possibility. We've talked to the Chinese who have actually supported the mission in the North-South area.

A critical issue on today's agenda, and this just gives you a little sense of the granularity of these challenges, is that for the UN peacekeeping mission to do its assessment it has to get visas to come into the country. Frankly, it was our preference that the UN simply ask for those visas, insist on those visas. The UN Peacekeeping Office actually yesterday and today is trying to work with the African Union and the Government of Sudan to see if it can smooth the way for those visas, and it is certainly our view that if they run into any resistance they should forge ahead and let's point the finger at who's stopping the next step in terms of bringing this action. As a way of trying to support that, this week -- I believe it was yesterday -- we had another statement from the UN Security Council emphasizing the importance of this step.

Now, there is a point here though that is critical, which is that through all this effort we need to work very closely with the African Union on its diplomatic side and also its military side. They will be the core of any force going forward and they've done an important job; frankly, they just need additional support. As part of that, this resolution that I mentioned, 1663, created an opportunity for Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, to call the Secretary General of NATO to request their help in terms of developing operations and support for the AMIS mission. And when I was in Europe a couple of weeks ago, I talked with de Hoop Scheffer, the Secretary General of the UN --President Bush had had extensive discussions with him in advance -- to try to line up this contact. And so again, as we are meeting, the NATO member-states are considering the options in terms of their possible support for the African Union mission.

And here, just to digress a minute again, what the assessment missions for the AMIS force have revealed -- and we've been in very close contact with the various commanders, you've had a Nigerian commander and a Rwandan deputy, done a very good job, now they've transitioned to another Nigerian commander and Rwandan deputy -- is that performance could be substantially increased if you gave some basic support and planning functions. And keep in mind, this is an area that is about the size of st1:State w:st="on"> Texas /st1:State> and you have roughly 7,000 people. It's critical to be able to have intelligence to know where are the potential points of conflict so you can get there to head them off. It's critical to be able to have the transportation to move your forces and it's critical to be able to have the logistics so you have the fuel for your transportation, whether it be the ground capabilities or the air capabilities.

So a host of things that might fit in the category of operational planning and logistical support could probably improve the overall execution of the mission for the current forces. Now, will that be enough without more forces? Not in my view. But can it make an important difference as we're building more forces? I think that it can. So again, for those of you that I know have a very strong, active interest in this, and some come from European countries, please press European allies. There's some mixed feelings about what our European partners are willing to do on this.

And as I said, a key here is also continuing to respect the fact that the African Union has made a big step with this force. This is not the way that the African Union used to deal with things under the days of the old OAU. And part of the request of money we have for the U.S. Congress is a $13 million fund that would help us make sure that some of the African Union forces can meet the UN standards. We want those people part of the force. They've got experience, they've done a good job, and this is a way to make sure they can take part in the next stage.

The new Nigerian commander, Ihekire, is also someone who we've established a good working relationship and, as his time permits, we also hope to bring him to the United States and talk to our colleagues in the Pentagon again to see where some of the special needs are.

Now, all of you know, and you certainly at least I think all of you, I'm sure most of you, are aware that all this takes place in an environment where you still have resistance from the Government of Sudan or the Government of National Unity. And here, I think there's a basic diplomatic approach, which is that we have to keep making clear to them that they stand alone in resisting this; that the genocide, the ongoing violence, the terrible risks for their own people, have led to a group of Americans, Europeans, Africans, Arabs, Asians, all telling them that they must move on this topic. And here again is where we need from the inside the help of the SPLM.

Now, there's another part to this, which is a point that I've made to a number of the Sudanese officials. This step of bringing in the UN is in the interest of the Government of Sudan, because any time anything happens wrong in Darfur, whatever the cause, whether it be rebels or bandits or Janjaweed or whoever's got responsibility, the blame goes on Khartoum . So if they're serious in terms of dealing with the underlying problem, they've got to create a better security situation in Darfur .

They've already accepted UN forces in the South, so one has to ask what's the problem of accepting them in Darfur . And while there's an appropriate interest in having an African sort of core of this, it would be our recommendation, as I've said, that the AMIS mission would provide the core and that you'd have an African commander. There is a worry that the Government of Sudan has expressed that this sort of force might lead some of the rebel groups to pull away from the peace negotiations, and that would be a bad step, and so we have assured them and we've made very clear to the rebel groups that improving security in Darfur for the poor people there suffering, whoever's doing the fighting, is no excuse to move away from the peace negotiation table.

To the contrary, if we are successful in achieving this peace accord, you're going to need a bigger security force. You're going to need a bigger security force because you're going to have to disarm the Janjaweed, you're going to have to make sure that conditions are secure so people can go home. So there's about 2 million people in camps. This is just a holding action. They're going to eventually have to be able to return to their homes. To do that, they're not going to go there unless it's a secure situation. And if there's no peace settlement, the need is even going to be greater.

So the key is working in these broad coalitions and at the same time one of the other aspects that I know many of you paid a close attention to is how the UN can continue to stress the accountability and the avoidance of impunity for the people that have taken part in the killings and the murders. And here again, as we speak, we're following through on one of the UN resolutions from early 2005 in terms of implementing sanctions against individuals, whether they be rebels or whether they be government officials or whether they be Janjaweed and that have had associations with the government. And there will be a first list of names, unless it's blocked over the next 24 hours, that you'll see coming out. But I would see these as a down payment because what we in the process, frankly, working closely with the British Government are trying to do is make sure you get the information on these individuals, without which you can't implement these types of steps.

The third and final dimension that I want to emphasize, and it's absolutely critical, is the peace agreements in -- negotiations in Abuja . And the reason I want to stress this is because obviously there's a key need to provide basic humanitarian needs and there's a need to strengthen security. But without a peace accord those are just band-aids on a problem. You ultimately are going to have to reach a peace agreement analogous to one that was reached between North and South. And here again, I'm pleased to say that the African Union has been playing a very important role. The chief mediator of this is Salim Salim, a former Tanzanian prime minister. I met with him a number of times including a couple of weeks ago on this European trip. And I think trip where Mr. Solano and I and Pekka Haavisto who's been -- a Finn who's been a special representative of the European Union, had been able to get Konare and Salva Kiir and Vice President Taha came to kind of rejuvenate the, -- and create some momentum for these negotiations.

In the aftermath of that trip, Vice President Taha, who was the key negotiator in the north-south accord, has gotten much more actively engaged in the Darfur negotiations, which is what I've been urging him to try to do. On the way back, he actually was able to meet with a number of the rebel leaders in Libya . They had a good set of discussions. He then, Taha, came and joined his delegation in Abuja , which is where the peace negotiations have been taking place. He's been there for the past number of days. And the encouraging sign is we've now got the key players from the Government of Khartoum. We've actually now also got some stronger SPLM, the Southerners representation as part of that delegation. And we've got all the rebel leaders there because part of the problem is we didn't have rebel leaders who are willing to negotiate. And here, part of the challenge is you've got different factions. You've got one faction, the SLM, led by Minni Minnawi, probably has the greatest contact with a lot of -- some of the soldiers on the ground. So for him, the security arrangements are absolutely fundamental. Another SLM faction led by Abdul Wahid and very important -- he's got very important ties with the Fur community and it's Darfur , land of the Fur. And he will be important in terms of any political negotiation and settlement. And then the third leader is man named Khalil Ibraham with the JEM, and he has a slightly different agenda. His agenda is one that is more oriented towards a series of national and Islamic crisis. He and his people are very, very sharp. They're very active in the negotiations. Whether they have forces on the ground in the same degree, I think is a question mark. And I believe we can bring them along if we can bring the other two along in the process. Again, we've got some good support from some of the other African Union leaders.

In the course of the past week, President Sassou-Nguesso, the chair now of the African Union came from st1:PlaceType w:st="on"> Republic /st1:PlaceType> of st1:PlaceName w:st="on"> Congo Brazzaville /st1:PlaceName> , also President Obasanjo of Nigeria came. And this is how we're going to try to get this done. I mean, as the resolutions have said, they're going to try to get this done during the month of April. Of course, that's ambitious. I do believe this is possible to get done in the near future. And indeed, I believe it's critical to get done because if you are not able to reach a peace accord, these elements on the ground that continue to add danger, I think will only expand.

There were four key areas of this negotiation: power sharing, wealth sharing and the security arrangements and something called the Darfur-Darfur dialogue. The power sharing and the wealth sharing and the security are analogous to what they were in the Comprehensive Peace Accord to make this fit in the constitutional framework. They need to have that connection. But the Darfur-Darfur dialogue is also something important, but it doesn't have -- it does involve risk. And let me spend a moment on why it's significant.

There has been a point made by many parties throughout the process that the rebels may or may not represent all the people in Darfur . You've got tribal groups that, frankly, haven't engaged. They've stayed on the outside. So while one has to put forward a peace agreement of the parties at the table, one can't forget the different constituencies and tribal groups in Darfur . So there will be a need in terms of trying to reach some of the decisions to bring this country back together and also to implement this to draw in the tribal leaders and a reconciliation process in Darfur . But one has to be very careful about this because, at times, the government in Khartoum has proposed such a process in a way that leads people to think that it would supersede the peace process. So it has been our view, and I think one shared by the African Union, that such a peace accord needs to open the way to such a Darfur-Darfur dialogue. But to be safe, it probably better be chaired by someone as a major African Union figure to try to bring cohesion to the overall process.

In terms of the status of that negotiation, after the meetings we had in Europe , President Salim put forward an enhanced humanitarian ceasefire, so with one dimension of the security arrangement, and the good news was it really triggered a much deeper discussion about the full range of security issues. Frankly, my sense is that the wealth-sharing portion could come together, the power sharing -- there's some knotty issues, but again I think that could come together. And the critical aspect is going to be the security arrangements. Because if you can think about it, it's not only how do you deal with peace today, but how do you deal with demobilization, you know, while you're dealing with the demobilization, where are the troops, when are they disarmed, how do you offer protection, how do you integrate these units into an overall Sudanese force or find other livelihoods for them.

So, one last aspect of this and that is, whatever one accomplishes in a peace agreement, one has to recognize it's only one more step in that road, because it will need to be supplemented by the Darfur-Darfur dialogue. Any security arrangements are going to have to be implemented and that won't be easy. That's one reason why you want to have a bigger UN force there. And I also want to draw attention to the critical development needs, because just as we are committed to trying help the South in terms of the peace accord development, so we will have to do something in Darfur . Given all the blood, all the pain, you know, all the tragedy, if we're able to reach this accord, we and others in the world are going to have to give these people a chance to get back on their feet, because the conditions -- and I know many of you have had a chance to be in the region, are very, very difficult and existence just hangs by a thread for many families, and under these conditions that thread has been broken. To reestablish it, one's going to need the help of the outside community.

And one last point. After Darfur , we can't stop. There's also going to be a need with the Beja in the East. And there's been some reconciliation in the North, but to come back to that vision where I started, the goal here is to try to create a comprehensive peace, a new political framework that leads to democracy and some chance for development for all the people of Sudan .

So I appreciate your interest. I apologize if I went on a little bit long. I wanted to give you, because I know many of you are deeply involved, kind of both a sense of the context but also there's a lot going on, as you can see, sort of day by day. If I had given this last week, I wouldn't have been able to give some of the updates of some of the things that have happened. And I appreciate your efforts, Carlos, and those of your panel for sharing additional ideas with us.

(Applause.)

Q AND A

DEPUTY SECRETARY ZOELLICK: You want me to sit down or stand up, whichever you want?

MODERATOR: As they're “miking” you, let me say thank you for what really was a tremendous presentation that really did help everybody, I think, here understand the complexity of the issues that are being dealt with, the complexities internally within the country, the complexities internationally, the complexities with international law, with peacekeeping capabilities, and the interconnections with the long-term development issues. And I think you really did give us an excellent exposé on how those pieces are interlinked and the difficulty of keeping them moving together.

DEPUTY SECRETARY ZOELLICK: It's like one of Carlos' flow charts when he took over this new job of -- he's got these endless charts of things you've got to do. It kind of staggers you.

MODERATOR: One of the things that we would like to do now is to give you an opportunity to have a chance to ask additional questions to the Deputy Secretary. What I will do is take three questions at a time so that he can, perhaps, group answers to all three of those and that way, give us more of an opportunity to get through a few more issues.

Questions, please. In the middle.

QUESTION: Deputy Secretary, my name is Lawrence Freeman from Executive Intelligence Review Magazine. The question I had is, you mentioned, at one point, a report that if the Governor of Sudan didn't agree, then the alternative is invasion. And that's the first time I've heard that mentioned publicly, so I was wondering if you could say something about maybe what criteria would be for invasion. Would that be the UN, would that be the U.S. ? Are there plans for this? If you can inform us more, I'd appreciate it.

MODERATOR: Another question? Yes.

QUESTION: Hi, Tom Arnold, head of Concern, which is an organization working in Darfur and South Sudan . Again, a wonderful presentation illustrating the complexities. There's one further complexity which is arising at the moment and it's the outbreak of -- the possibility of outbreak of violence with Chad . I'm told even this morning there's heavy shelling going on around N'Djamena and -- you know, what's your perspective on that and how much further of a complication is that?

MODERATOR: And one additional question here.

QUESTION: Hello, Jamara Haron from Human Rights Watch. I, too, would like an update on the situation in Chad and I'd be interested to know if the U.S. Government is going to call on the parties, particularly on the rebels, if they take power to refrain from retaliating against particular ethnic groups, particularly the Zagahawa, who are so -- who are the ethnic group of President Deby. And if the U.S. will also call on President Deby, in the event he's successful, to treat prisoners according to international standards and to allow full inspection of his jails by international organizations such as the International Committee for the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch and others.

DEPUTY SECRETARY ZOELLICK: Well, on the first one, what I was trying to outline was the challenge of intervention in this context. And what my point was trying to emphasize, that all this works a lot better if you can bring the Government of Sudan along and that while that might seem extremely difficult and extremely frustrating, I believe it is possible if we work cooperatively together with many other international players.

And I was citing the fact that you did have acceptance by the Government of Sudan to bring in the African Union Mission. You had the Government of Sudan accept a UN force in the South. You had the Government of Sudan accept NATO support for the African Union Mission. And I believe it's vital to try to continue to press them so -- to allow us to strengthen the African Union mission, including with NATO operations, if necessary, but also to bring in the UN force.

And as I said to you and as I've explained to senior leaders in the Sudanese Government, this is in their interest. And now, the reason I'm emphasizing them is that some people get impatient and they say, "Well, you know, why don't you just go in and bring in this force or that force." And what I was trying to highlight was to say that if you can create a context where you can bring the parties along, then you have a totally different situation in terms of the type of military intervention. And the key to that, however, and this is the ongoing diplomatic challenge, is that there are those in Khartoum that want to resist this. And so they will actually take advantage against prospects of intervention to try to undermine support not only within Sudan , but others in Africa or in the Arab League.

And so what I am calling for is that we've had, frankly, as good a support with the European Union as I've ever dealt with on an issue and I've dealt with a lot of issues. We're really lined up very well and non-European members like -- or non-EU members like Norway have been critical partners in this. We're in regular contact with the UN which, of course, has different aspects. The UN Secretary General's office has been very interested in this, been trying to work with the peacekeeping office, the humanitarian affairs. But then also, I think critical players will be the African Union and the Arab League.

And indeed, we have tried to be in touch with a number of those players in advance of the Arab League Summit, the African Union Summit. I met, as I said, the Algerian Foreign Minister yesterday and Algeria is very helpful in terms of trying to support the African Union transition force. So my point of emphasis is, I believe we can do this and there's a way where it's in the interest of the Government of Sudan, including the Government of National Unity, to bring these forces in and that's a lot better than an invasion. So that's my point.

On the issue on Chad , I think as both your questions that were mentioned, there's a number of dimensions to this and I guess I'd sort of highlight maybe four. First, we have to try to make sure that the people who are in the refugee camps are safe and meet their basic needs. So on a couple of my trips, including to Paris, I met with the French military as well as people in the LSA and the Quai d’Orsay to try to see if we could be stitched up, because as you know, there's approximately 1,200 French forces and their primary mission is the protection of those camps. So we're in touch with them and UNHCR about meeting the basic needs of the camps. And, you know, this is a part of the world where the information network gets a little rudimentary, but the most -- the information I have is that that situation is stable, is okay. But that's one element.

The second part is to try to stop the conflict. And here, again, as we're meeting and I'm talking to you, the UN Security Council is -- had an urgent briefing that we and Congo and others requested and is going to be trying to issue a statement to try to follow up on some earlier actions to try to make sure that if there's outside intervention, that the parties -- that that is stopped and to call on the rebel groups to stop violence and to stop the government's actions against the violence.

We're simultaneously working with the African Union on that. Tomorrow, just coincidentally, I'm going to meet President Konare and I talked to him about a week or two ago. He had gone to Chad and tried to discuss some of these same issues. So I think at that level, it has to also be, how do you calm the situation. And if I could, I guess this is your third point; I would like, I hope we're not at a situation where you've got a coup and an overthrow of a government, but if you do, certainly, whoever triumphs in that, you want to have humane treatment, but I don't want to accept that as a result.

And I don't necessarily think you get very mixed reports if it has to be a result, but it comes to the fourth point, which is equally critical. There's a dimension of this that's been related to Sudan , as we talked about, but we have to recognize there's a dimension that's very much related to the internals of Chad . The Deby regime has had its own fragility, as I think some of the reports that you've seen have referred to. There were elections that were scheduled in early May and at least some of the beliefs of some of the rebel operations is that they have been driven, in part, by the fact that they do not consider it to be a fair and free election despite our efforts and that of the French and that of the African Union. There has not been a satisfactory coming together of the Deby regime and some of the opposition for either a fair election or some inclusive political process.

And I think the reality of Chad is, and this is its own turbulent history and you know the connection of this with some of the problems the World Bank has had with the oil issues, is that that regime is also going to have to have a series of reforms. So I'm not underestimating the potential danger here of overflow of conflict. And as many of you know, you've got some tribal interconnections here that complicate it. You mentioned one, Zagahawa, but there's others. But we also have to keep in mind that on Chad 's own terms, there's going to have to be a different political process here if one's going to avoid these sort of dangers and risks. And we certainly don't want to do anything that creates further fuel for a fire of rebel action or desertion leading to rebel action.

MODERATOR: Two more questions? Here in front.

QUESTION: Luk Mahda, Al Arabiya. Why are the U.S. Government and international community contacting the Sudanese Government on accepting the mission to be transferred to you and -- or not the estimate for the death -- it's between five -- or 50 to 100 people out there? That's going to be like 3,000 people are dying every day. Don't you think the situation is where a sense of urgency to stop the killing right now? And the other element of this, you are talking about sanction for those who are responsible about this. Don't you think sanction is not enough for people -- has no account, has no money in U.S. , has no money everywhere, do not travel. Don't you think a sort of international tribunal for these would be better than sanction? Thank you.

DEPUTY SECRETARY ZOELLICK: On your first question, I do have a feeling of urgency and if it were up to me, I would have just gone and applied the visas to bring the people in. But as you may have noticed, we don't always run the UN. And so, you know, I just -- this week or last week, I was in touch with some of the very senior people, saying that I would urge you to press ahead and not allow obstacles so that you can bring in that assessment mission. And at least I believe I got some agreement, but you always have to see how these things work out, that if there is an obstacle, that they will forge ahead in any event. But having said so, I want to be fair. These are very difficult questions and it is -- and right now, as we speak, Mr. Annabi of the UN Peacekeeping Mission was going to Addis Ababa to make sure that he had strong African Union support for this and then go to Khartoum .

And coming back to the earlier question, as -- I know and I believe you me, I share the frustrations about trying to move with greater urgency and dispatch on this. To bring more players along will help us ultimately in the process, okay? I see Mr. Bader here, who's a specialist on China . In my dealings with the Chinese, I talk a lot about Sudan and Darfur and I think we can bring along Chinese support in the UN Security Council, where they're a member, if we have African Union support. So that's how these pieces interconnect, but yes, I share the sense of urgency and I'm glad you gave me a chance to reiterate it.

Second point. Please see the sanctions point within a broader context. I didn't mention, but there's a separate process under the International Criminal Court, which is also related to accountability. But as you know, as you probably know, that's an autonomous process. The United States accepted that process and indeed, under our domestic law, if they ask for information and help, we try to provide that help. But I think one needs to see those steps within the context of the larger steps. You do want the threat of action against people who've taken horrible -- have done horrible things. And I hope that will press others to cooperate with the process.

At the same time, I want to try to reach a peace accord and create some chance for these people to go back in secure conditions. So it's a combination of how these events fit together and that was reflected in the UN resolutions. I mean, remember there were three UN resolutions that started this process. One was a peacekeeping for North and South, one was the ICE-- the International Criminal Court. The others was this sanctions system. And what we've now started to do is build on the extension of the peacekeeping resolution for the South in an effort to try to create that peacekeeping resolution for Darfur .

MODERATOR: Two more questions here. Right here up front.

QUESTION: My name is Christina Norazora from the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. In November, Vice President Cheney appeared on our program and said that -- was asked whether the U.S. was doing enough in Darfur . Both times, he said yes. In January, President Bush came out with calls for more troops or more NATO forces in Darfur , saying enough wasn't being done. Was there a shift in policy between November and January? If so, what was it?

And also, you mentioned that there may not be enough money to finish out the funding in Darfur for the rest of this year, but you also said that there are long-term plans for development. What plans do you have to secure funding for those long-term development plans?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ZOELLICK: Okay. On the first question, I tried to give you a sense of context as the circumstances changed. And what we've tried to do in terms of supporting the African Union Mission, how in 2005 brought in some NATO support with the acceptance of the Government of Sudan, but also why we drew the conclusions that we needed to further strengthen AMIS working with the African Union, but also move on to a UN force. And I guess I leave it to others to judge, you know, whether that's enough. I mean, for those of you that I think follow this closely, whether it's on the humanitarian side or the security side, I could give you more than you want to hear about the peace negotiations process. I think we're sort of a pretty active player.

But are you -- and another way of asking the question is, are we continuing to be dissatisfied? Yes, we are. I mean, and that's why we're trying to expedite all different elements of this process. So what you hear in President Bush's statements, and I have spent a lot of time with this -- on this issue, is he feels extremely strongly about it and he wants to try to -- through U.S. contributions, to try to move this in the diplomatic words of Carlos, complex processes, we're going forward. And so that's the best way I can answer the first one.

On the second one, in terms of money, just to be clear, what I was partly doing since I know we have a lot of supporters of this cause here, was if you can help me make sure we get the money from the Congress, more power to it. I think we're now in a situation where, in the supplemental appropriations bill, there is funding for the support we provide to the African Union mission that should take us at least through the end of the year and, indeed, Congress added a little bit to that. But recognize that that's in the range of 100 and -- sort of, 23 to $173 million, because that's just for the African Union force.

But consider the other numbers I gave you. Well, we're spending about $1.3 billion a year for Sudan , so that's food supplies, that's helping the South in reconstruction, that's health, it's a whole series of things. And so what I was referring to is, we're going to need to have an ongoing effort like that to help the South and to help Darfur . And my other reference was the fact that as part of the North-South agreement, there was an overall assessment mission that took place that said, "With this agreement, what sort of international support would you need for development?"

And what I was suggesting is that if we can reach an Abuja accord, and I hope we can, I would like my government to be able to work with other governments to have a similar assessment mission and see what development aids one needs. Now keep in mind, the United States has been a pretty generous player in that. I hope you took note of the fact that we provide about 85 percent of the food. So if you're, shall we be seen overseas, I hope we can get some others to contribute.

MODERATOR: You're almost out of time, aren't you?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ZOELLICK: Yeah, I've got an 11:30 meeting, so I'll do one more.

MODERATOR: Okay. One more question, over here.

QUESTION: Secretary Zoellick, my name is Jeffrey Millstein (sp?). Previously, the speaker spoke about the urgency and you have spoken very eloquently about the diplomatic efforts and economic development efforts that are underway or are planned. But in terms of urgency, it seems that the U.S. approach lacks the mindset that would hasten -- and that is that more sticks, as well as carrots, are needed. It seems to me that the U.S. Government needs to treat these genocidal terrorists, who are the leaders and commanders who are making the decisions, as the terrorists that they are.

And therefore, why are we not treating the people who were named in the UN Darfur panel -- Security Council panel, the 51 names, the 17 names, the four names that you referred to this morning as the international terrorists, the genocidal terrorists that they are? For example, cutting off revenues from the international oil companies that are flowing to those people which, in fact, are funding much of the arms and Janjaweed militias. And why not treat these people as the genocidal terrorists that they are?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ZOELLICK: Yeah. All I can tell you is there -- as a general point, but let me go to specifics, is we do share a sense of urgency. I hope I've conveyed to you that there are a lot of steps here and the best way is if you can bring a variety of parties along, or the gentleman to your right -- you've got that option. And then you have to tell me whether you want to pursue that option and how effectively that helps the people in Darfur , okay? Now take each part of this. The International Criminal Court, as I mentioned, the International Criminal Court is autonomous. I don't know the state of its investigation. But we will fully cooperate with it and pursue those actions as related to the genocide in Darfur .

The second one was the -- sort of the sanctions issue. Here, there is a challenge, in that. If part of your goal is to be able to, perhaps, get people's financial assets, you don't want to reveal the names before you take the action. But you have to get identifier information. You have to get information on bank accounts if you're going to stop people. Under our domestic law, we are restricted from implementing these steps unless we can identify who the people are. And that means, for some of these individuals that have been named, I don't know whether they've ever been out of Sudan . They don't necessarily have passports.

I mean, so it's a question of, how do you identify them to be able to take the action. And this is something we work very closely with the Treasury Department, the Justice Department. Different countries have different legal systems on how they try to do that. Ours, under U.S. law, requires us to be able -- because of dealing with the rights of individuals, to be able to particularize it with individuals. We're trying to do whatever we can in those dimensions.

And this really does kind of connect with the other question. It's important to demonstrate that there won't be “impunability,” that there will be accountability. At the same time, you do have players in Khartoum that we're trying to work with to expand the African Union force, to negotiate a peace accord, and to bring in whatever sort of UN forces. And so that is the challenge of working with regimes that we don't like, is how do you get that combination moving forward and how do you try to put pressure on them to take the right steps?

I mean, I could -- another way of phrasing your question would be -- you know, you had a 21-year-old civil war. You had some of these same people in Khartoum who we found detestable. Should we have not encouraged an agreement between North and South? I think that would have been a mistake. We need to try to change -- achieve the same in Darfur . So I'm glad you asked the question, because I know from a lot of people, there's a sense of frustration about what more one can do. Well, maybe you can come up with some other ideas in the next panel, but I've tried to give you a sense of the range of actions on a humanitarian side, security and peace negotiating side, give you a sense of how these are interconnected and also, kind of the ongoing stick.

Now you mentioned oil companies. We got sanctions layered on top of sanctions on oil companies. I mean, there's not a U.S. oil company that can do a darn thing in Sudan . But I will point out, and this shows the complexity of it, we've been working with the Congress on a new set of sanctions and steps, most of which were taken already, but one of the elements that I wish we could work with them on a little bit more effectively is, we'd like to help the South. All these restrictions on dealing with Sudan -- remember, it's one country -- our hands are tied in terms of some of the things we can do with the Government of Southern Sudan because of some of the sanctions.

So this is part of the challenge. If you don't want oil companies, how about oil companies that deal with the South? Because I think most of the people in this room would like to try to help the South develop. So that gives you a sense, even on an issue that might seem simple like sanctions, how you need to have a little flexibility here to be able to support what is a changing process when you're trying to bring people to some sense of peace, security, development and hope. But I assure you that doesn't remove the full efforts to try to follow through on the actions dealing with accountability.

MODERATOR: Bob, you've been extraordinarily generous with your time. We need to thank you very much for the thoughts that you put on the table for demonstrating the energy and the creativity with which you're pursuing these issues. Your passion for it is obviously evident and I know how much of your time it's taking on a day-to-day basis. I think you left us, certainly, with the importance of a sense of urgency that the time for action is now, that there is a critical period, by the end of April, to try to bring the closure of the Abuja process, to sustain the kind of intensive engagement at the UN, to build up the UN capacities, to get involved and to deploy effectively in Darfur. And a very clear statement to the Government of Sudan of the importance of why it's in its interest to, in fact, open itself up to an international mission through the United Nations and how that can actually help the overall situation. So thank you very much for everything that you've put on the table with us and taking the time that you did today.

DEPUTY SECRETARY ZOELLICK: Thank you.

(Applause.)

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2006/378



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