36th HRC Special Session
The human rights impact of the ongoing conflict in the Sudan
Nordic-Baltic Statement as delivered by H.E. Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi, Permanent Representative of Finland
11 May 2023
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries – Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, and my own country Finland.
We call on the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces to immediately stop violence and hostilities, commit to a ceasefire, and return to peaceful dialogue with full respect for human rights law and international humanitarian law. We call on the parties to allow and facilitate the immediate return to full and unimpeded humanitarian access and for civilians to move safely.
As reporting on grave violations and abuses of human rights in Sudan is increasing, we underline the impact of the conflict on civilians, especially women, children and persons in vulnerable situations, such as persons with disabilities. We are concerned over sexual and gender based violence and the negative impacts on upholding sexual and reproductive health and rights. The neighboring countries of Sudan have taken on life-saving work in hosting the hundreds of thousands of persons who have left the country.
The longer the conflict continues, the more detrimental its impacts will be on everyone, particularly children. According to UNICEF, at least 190 children have been killed and more than 1700 injured thus far. Furthermore, access to lifesaving health services, including vaccination programmes, as well as to water and sanitation services and to nutrition, is jeopardized. We urge all parties to the conflict to do their utmost to protect children. These children are the future of the country.
Finally, we welcome the strengthening of the mandate of the Designated Expert and the OHCHR as proposed in the resolution. Accountability for violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law remains crucial.