Can the U.S. Use its Upcoming Security Council Presidency to Help Save Lives in Sudan?

From Enough blogs Mon Mar 12 2012, 17:45:05

UN Security Council AP.jpg

The Security Council did something truly extraordinary last week, particularly given recent dissent among its members over Syria and other geopolitical issues implicating human rights: on March 6 it issued a Presidential Statement on Sudan and South Sudan that appears to exhibit a growing international consensus on certain critical issues, among them, humanitarian access to civilian populations on the verge of starvation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, the final status of the disputed Abyei area, and the negotiation process between Khartoum and Juba, including the issues of oil, the North-South border, and arrangements concerning citizenship and residency.

While presidential statements do not carry the force of a Security Council resolution, they do require consensus among the council's members prior to issuance. Rather surprisingly, reports indicate that it took merely a week for the council to negotiate the text of the statement. While the statement certainly exhibits a degree of consensus among council members on a host of critical issues affecting the two Sudans, U.N. watchers have indicated that there appears to remain differences between certain members on the council's approach. Specifically, Russia, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, and India all seem to be of the opinion that the council's rhetoric on the issues addressed in the statement should be balanced in its condemnation of Juba and Khartoum.

The statement chronicles recent agreements signed by ...

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