Sudan: Govt and UN Sign Agreement to Open Human Rights Office

2 September 2019

The Government of Sudan and the United Nations on Wednesday signed an agreement to open a UN Human Rights Office in Khartoum and field offices in Darfur, Blue Nile, Southern Kordufan and East Sudan.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and Sudan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Asma Mohamed Abdalla, signed the agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in New York, on the margin of the current meetings of the UN General Assembly.

"We have witnessed with admiration the persistence of the women, men and youth in Sudan in asserting their human rights. The road ahead promises to be full of challenges, but we are ready to assist to ensure human rights permeate the transition," Bachelet was quoted as saying in a statement received on Thursday.

"With this milestone agreement, we are poised to accompany Sudan through an important moment in its history, to offer all our support to make this transition a success for the human rights of all the people of Sudan." She added.

High Commissioner Bachelet said the Office seeks to support the transition particularly in four critical areas, as discussed with the Government, including combating inequality and supporting the development of policies that will help provide for basic economic and social rights and the empowerment and participation of women.

The areas covers legal and institutional reform, to help the Government bring domestic legislation in conformity with its international human rights obligations and develop strong institutions for the protection of human rights.

The two parties will also work in transitional justice: to support accountability and reconciliation, with the meaningful participation of victims in these processes; as well as strengthening the opening of democratic and civic space, including through stronger participation of women and minorities.

"The Constitutional Document signed in Sudan on August 17 already contains many positive commitments to human rights, including the bill of rights and a commitment to work with my Office. I note also the establishment of an independent national investigation committee to investigate the repression of peaceful protestors on 3 June," Bachelet said.

"I look forward to working with Sudan to build on the momentum of the remarkable gains of the past few months and ensure that they are firmly entrenched and irreversible." She stressed.

The prime minister has meanwhile said in statements following the signing ceremony that Sudan would hold to and is committed to international charters and conventions on human rights and that the first and utmost priority of his government is to implement the slogans of the revolution and its mottos of "freedom, peace and justice".

He said his visit to New York and participation in the activities of the UN General Assembly seek to brief the world leaders that the Sudan which has been absent from international forums is now back to the fold and is moving to assume its leading and vanguard role within the international community.

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