IHEU and 42 other NGOs represented at the United Nations have written to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In their letter, the NGOs call for the High Commissioner to appoint a team of human rights monitors large enough to ensure that the ceasefire becomes truly effective and refugees can safely return to their homes. The letter goes on to say that the new Human Rights Council will, in part, be tested by the way it deals with the Darfur conflict. The letter reads:
The Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations
Special Committee of NGOs on Human Rights, Geneva
Mme Louise Arbour
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
23 May 2006
Dear Madame High Commissioner:
We, the undersigned NGOs, know that you share our concern with the violent situation in Darfur, Sudan and with the constant pattern of human rights violations well documented by the dedicated staff of the United Nations system.
It is now evident to all that the situation in Darfur is at a crucial turning point which should open the door to increased UN action. There is, on the one hand, a danger that the conflicts will spread to Chad where there have already been armed attacks. On the other hand, cease-fire negotiations carried out with the help of the African Union in Nigeria have led to an agreement between the largest of the three Darfur insurgencies and the Government of Sudan.
We believe that the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights has an important role to play in appointing a sufficiently large team of human rights monitors and advisors to help ensure that the cease-fire becomes really effective, that refugees and the displaced can return in safely, and that efforts for the promotion of human development in the region can be undertaken.
As you know, NGOs have been active in drawing attention to the conflicts in Darfur, in suggesting avenues for the peaceful settlement of disputes and in relief efforts. Last December the president of CONGO, Renate Bloem, conveyed to you a letter signed by 22 NGOs with regard to the General Assembly’s ‘No Action’ on Darfur vote of 23 November 2005.
We believe that the role of the new Human Rights Council will be, in part, tested by the way the Darfur conflict is faced. We will be pleased to continue working with you on this tragic situation. Yours respectfully,
Peter N. Prove
President, Special Committee of NGOs on Human Rights, Geneva on behalf of:
[Information about ratification unknown]
'IHEU and 42 other NGOs highlight Darfur with UN Human Rights High Commissioner (2006-05)', Humanists International