17 MAY 2006
Security Council Endorses African Union Decision on Need for Concrete Steps in Transition to United Nations Operation in Darfur
Adopted Unanimously, Resolution 1679 (2006) also Calls for Dispatch of Joint Technical Assessment Mission to Troubled Region
NEW YORK, 16 May (UN Headquarters) -- Endorsing yesterday's decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council on the need for concrete steps to effect the transition in Darfur from the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS), to a United Nations operation, the Security Council called today for the deployment of a joint African Union and United Nations technical assessment mission within one week from today.
By unanimously adopting resolution 1679 (2006) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council called on the African Union to agree with the Organization, as well as regional and international bodies and Member States, on requirements now necessary to strengthen the capacity of AMIS to enforce the security arrangements of the Darfur Peace Agreement, with a view to a follow-on United Nations operation in that region of western Sudan.
The Council stressed that the Secretary-General should consult jointly with the African Union, in close and continuing consultation with the Council and the parties to the 5 May Peace Agreement, including the Government of National Unity, on decisions concerning the transition to a United Nations operation. He should submit to the Council, within a week of the assessment mission's return, recommendations on all relevant aspects of such an operation.
Urging those parties that had not signed the Darfur Peace Agreement to do so without delay, and to avoid acting in any way that would impede its implementation, the Council expressed its intention to consider taking strong and effective measures, such as a travel ban and assets freeze, against any individual or group violating or attempting to block implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement.
Speaking after the vote, Vitaliy Churkin (Russian Federation) said that, in light of the African Union's position, as enshrined in yesterday's communiqué of its Peace and Security Council, his delegation supported today's resolution, endorsing African efforts to achieve peace in Darfur. However, mention in the text of Chapter VII did not change the character of the Council's decision on the Sudan, and did not predetermine the mandate of a future United Nations peacekeeping presence in Darfur. That presence would be established in light of all appropriate factors, and of conditions in Darfur and the Sudan as a whole. Further steps to establish a peacekeeping presence should be agreed with the Government of the Sudan.
Zhang Yishan (China) said that the signing of the Darfur Agreement had brought the Sudanese peace process to a turning point. China welcomed the convening by the African Union's Peace and Security Council of a ministerial meeting to discuss follow-up action. Among the matters of greatest urgency were: to urge parties outside the Peace Agreement to sign it; to respond swiftly to the African Union's request; and to ask all parties in the Sudan to honour their commitments and carry out their agreements comprehensively and faithfully.
While welcoming the fact that the resolution just adopted reflected those points, particularly the language on strengthening the capacity of AMIS, China still had reservations about invoking Chapter VII of the Charter, as the context of resolution 1679 (2006) clearly was not consistent with Chapter VII. On the basis of its political support for the African Union, and in order to create the conditions necessary for speedy implementation of the resolution, China had not pressed its objection, but that should not be construed as constituting a premise for the Security Council's future discussions or adoption of its future resolutions on Sudan. Regarding the United Nations presence, China's Foreign Minister had already made clear the country's position: deploying a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Darfur would require the agreement and cooperation of the Sudanese Government. That was a basic condition and precondition for all peacekeeping operations.
Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser (Qatar) said his delegation, aware of the need for consensus in the Council, and for the Sudanese Government's agreement with the decision to transfer the African Union force in Darfur to a United Nations operation, had voted in favour of the resolution, with amendments that were in agreement with other relevant texts. The resolution did not mean the Council was prepared to carry out the transfer without the approval of the Sudanese Government.
The meeting began at 10:52 a.m. and adjourned at 11:02 a.m.
The full text of resolution 1679 (2006) reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its previous resolutions concerning the situation in the Sudan, in particular resolutions 1665 (2006), 1663 (2006), 1593 (2005), 1591 (2005), 1590 (2005), 1574 (2004), 1564 (2004), 1556 (2004) and the statements of its President concerning the Sudan, in particular S/PRST/2006/5 of 3 February 2006 and S/PRST/2006/21 of 9 May 2006,
"Recalling also its resolutions 1612 (2005) on children and armed conflict, 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, and 1674 (2006) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, and 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel,
"Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence, and territorial integrity of the Sudan, which would be unaffected by transition to a United Nations operation, as well as of all States in the region, and to the cause of peace, security and reconciliation throughout the Sudan,
"Expressing its utmost concern over the dire consequences of the prolonged conflict in Darfur for the civilian population and reiterating in the strongest terms the need for all parties to the conflict in Darfur to put an immediate end to violence and atrocities,
"Welcoming the success of the African Union-led Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on the Conflict in Darfur in Abuja, Nigeria, in particular the framework agreed between the parties for a resolution of the conflict in Darfur (the Darfur Peace Agreement),
"Commending the efforts of President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, host of the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks in Abuja; President Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, Chair of the African Union (AU); Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, the African Union Special Envoy for the Darfur Talks and Chief Mediator, the respective delegations to the Darfur Talks; and the signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement,
"Stressing the importance of full and rapid implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement to restore a sustainable peace in Darfur, and welcoming the statement of 9 May 2006 by the representative of the Sudan at the United Nations Security Council Special Session on Darfur of the Government of National Unity's full commitment to implementing the Darfur Peace Agreement,
"Reaffirming its concern that the persisting violence in Darfur might further negatively affect the rest of the Sudan, as well as the region, including the security of Chad,
"Noting with deep concern the recent deterioration of relations between the Sudan and Chad, and urging the Governments of both countries to abide by their obligations under the 8 February 2006 Tripoli Agreement and to implement the confidence-building measures which have been voluntarily agreed upon,
"Commending the efforts of the African Union for successful deployment of the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS), despite exceptionally difficult circumstances, and AMIS's role in reducing large-scale organized violence in Darfur, and commending further the efforts of Member States and regional and international organizations that have assisted AMIS in its deployment,
"Taking note of the communiqués of 12 January, 10 March and 15 May 2006 of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union regarding transition of AMIS to a United Nations operation,
"Stressing that a United Nations operation would have, to the extent possible, a strong African participation and character,
"Welcoming the efforts of Member States and regional and international organizations to maintain and strengthen their support to AMIS and potentially to a follow-on United Nations operation on Darfur, looking forward to, in particular, the convening of a pledging conference in June, and appealing to African Union partners to provide the necessary support to AMIS to allow it to continue to perform its mandate during the transition,
"Determining that the situation in the Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
"Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
"1. Calls upon the parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement to respect their commitments and implement the agreement without delay, urges those parties that have not signed the agreement to do so without delay and not to act in any way that would impede implementation of the agreement, and expresses its intention to consider taking, including in response to a request by the African Union, strong and effective measures, such as a travel ban and assets freeze, against any individual or group that violates or attempts to block the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement;
"2. Calls upon the African Union to agree with the United Nations, regional and international organizations, and Member States on requirements now necessary, in addition to those identified by the joint assessment mission of December 2005, to strengthen AMIS's capacity to enforce the security arrangements of the Darfur Peace Agreement, with a view to a follow-on United Nations operation in Darfur;
"3. Endorses the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council in its communiqué of 15 May 2006 that, in view of the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement, concrete steps should be taken to effect the transition from AMIS to a United Nations operation, calls upon the parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement to facilitate and work with the African Union, the United Nations, regional and international organizations and Member States to accelerate transition to a United Nations operation, and, to this end, reiterating the requests of the Secretary-General and the Security Council, calls for the deployment of a joint African Union and United Nations technical assessment mission within one week of the adoption of this resolution;
"4. Stresses that the Secretary-General should consult jointly with the African Union, in close and continuing consultation with the Security Council, and in cooperation and close consultation with the parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement, including the Government of National Unity, on decisions concerning the transition to a United Nations operation;
"5. Requests the Secretary-General to submit recommendations to the Council within one week of the return of the joint African Union and United Nations assessment mission on all relevant aspects of the mandate of the United Nations operation in Darfur, including force structure, additional force requirements, potential troop-contributing countries and a detailed financial evaluation of future costs;
"6. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
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