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ID With the Independent Expert on Sudan

Norwegian statement by First Secretary Paul Ø. Bjørdal

Mr President,

Norway thanks the Independent Expert  for presenting his report. We fully share his concerns on the human rights situation in Sudan.  We welcome the expressed willingness by the Government of Sudan to fulfil its human rights obligations and improve the situation of human rights in the country.

We are concerned about restrictions on freedom of expression, freedoms of association and peaceful assembly, in particular the  detention and treatment of opposition members, students and political activists before, during and after the national elections. We call on the Government of Sudan to abolish restrictions and repression of individual, political, and press freedoms.

Norway stress the need to solve ongoing conflicts through negotiations in order to achieve peaceful solutions to political problems. We are deeply concerned about intensified conflict levels and the profound negative impact on civilians, in particular women and children, and urge all parties to resort to peace. We encourage the government of Sudan to ensure the rights of women and children, especially the girl child, and to combat all forms of discrimination, gender-based violence as well as harmful practices.

We are particularly concerned with the alleged activities of government related forces in Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile. Steps should be taken immediately to ensure full humanitarian access to these areas. Equally important is the protection of the civilian population in conflict areas.

Finally, Norway supports the resolution for a renewed and strengthened mandate for the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Sudan. The mandate holder must be given full access to all relevant stakeholders, and all areas of the country, in particular in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

Thank you for your attention.