Norway thanks the Independent Expert for 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, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, in particular the detention and treatment of human rights defenders, Christian leaders, opposition members, students and political activists. We call on the Government of Sudan to abolish restrictions and repression of individual, political and press freedoms.
Norway is strongly supportive of the ongoing peace process in Sudan facilitated by AUHIP and HE Thabo Mbeki. We urge the parties to find a solution on the issue of humanitarian access and the cessation of hostilities rapidly, for the best of the Sudanese people. We are deeply concerned about high conflict levels and the profound negative impacts the conflicts have on civilians, in particular women and children in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
We urge the Government of Sudan to ensure the rights of women and children, especially the girl child, and to combat all forms of discrimination and gender based violence.
Finally, Norway supports the resolution for a renewed and strengthened mandate for the Independent Expert. The mandate holder must be given full access to relevant stakeholders and all areas of the country, in particular in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.