UN Security Council approves UN Resolution 1706 to create a UN peacekeeping force for Darfur, inviting Khartoum to consent
Resolution 1706, backed by the United States and Britain, passed with 12 votes and three abstentions: China, Russia and Qatar. It provides for the transfer of African Union peacekeepers currently in Darfur to the UN force.- - -
"Paragraph one of the resolution invites the government of Sudan to consent to deployment, though nothing in this language requires their consent," John Bolton, US ambassador to the UN, told council members after the vote. "We expect their full and unconditional cooperation and support with the new UN peacekeeping force. Failure on the government of Sudan's part to do so will significantly undermine the Darfur peace agreement and prolong the humanitarian crisis in Darfur."
Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya told reporters before entering the council chamber that China disagreed with the timing of the resolution.
In his explanation of the vote, Wang said, "We feel [the vote] ... will not stop further deterioration of the situation in Darfur ... and will cause problems in implementing the Darfur peace process".
China had complained that the draft resolution seemed to impose the UN force on Sudan.
Last-minute changes to the resolution on Wednesday appeared to address this issue by reaffirming the council's "strong commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Sudan, which would be unaffected by transition to a United Nations operation in Darfur".
"The council is here to help Sudan not threaten it. It is here to aid Sudan, not undermine it," said Karen Pierce, deputy British ambassador to the UN.
Email just received from Save Darfur Coalition
I have critical news to report.
This morning, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution authorizing a peacekeeping force in Darfur. The presence of a peacekeeping force is the only measure that will provide the security the people of Darfur desperately need.
This morning's vote is unmistakable evidence of the effectiveness that the pressure you, and hundreds of thousands of Darfur activists like you, have applied to world leaders. The international community has shown that the will now exists to end the genocide in Darfur.
Yet, before peacekeepers can be deployed, the resolution says the Sudanese government must first agree to permit them.
This means that we cannot yet let up on the pressure. One way to continue to make your voice heard is to attend the "Save Darfur Now: Voices to End Genocide" rally and concert in New York City's Central Park on September 17. Click here for more information.
If you cannot make it to New York, there are other September 17 events taking place all over the country and the world as part of a Global Day for Darfur. For more information on US events, click here. And for more information on international events, click here.
As always, thank you for everything you do.
Save Darfur Coalition