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Monday, 30 August 2004
Page: 26780

Senator Brown asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 30 July 2004:

With reference to the crisis in Darfur, Sudan:

(1) As of 22 July 2004, what initiatives or representations has the Government made on the floor of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in relation to the crisis; if no initiatives or representations have been made, why not.

(2) What representations does the Government plan to make to the UN in relation to the crisis.

Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The following answer has been provided by the Minister for Foreign Affairs to the honourable senator's question:

(1) As of 22 July 2004, the Government had made no initiatives or representations in the UN General Assembly, in relation to the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. The situation in Darfur has been dealt with by the UN Security Council.

On 14 July, in an open debate in the Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, Australia, with New Zealand and Canada, called on the Security Council to take immediate action to end the war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed in Darfur. On 30 July the Security Council adopted Resolution 1556 on Darfur, which calls on the Government of Sudan to end human rights violations in Darfur, imposes an arms embargo on the region and calls for international support for an African Union deployment in the region. The resolution includes the provision for stronger measures against the Government of Sudan if it fails to take serious steps to disarm the Janjaweed militias within 30 days and prosecute those responsible for human rights violations. Australia lobbied vigorously in support of the resolution. During negotiations over the text of the resolution and in the lead-up to the vote, the Government made frequent representations to Security Council members, urging them to support a strongly worded resolution.

(2) Working with like-minded countries, the Government will continue to make representations to Security Council members to urge them to take action necessary to end the crisis in Sudan.