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Statement by H.E. Mr. Yukio Takasu
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
At the Meeting of the Security Council on the Situation in the Sudan
20 March 2009
Thank you for organizing the meeting. We are grateful to the representative of OCHA for the update on humanitarian situation in Darfur.
We note with deep concern about the grave humanitarian situation in Darfur particularly after the decision of the Government of Sudan to revoke the registration licenses of the major humanitarian NGOs.
We have already witnessed serious consequences, including the closing of some medical facilities and a shortage of water in some camps. It is clear that the damage will only increase. We are also concerned about the food situation after stockpile is exhausted.
OCHA's briefing has made it abundantly clear that the UN humanitarian programs themselves rely on those NGO for delivery of assistance and the UN and the remaining NGO can not replace the significant loss by this decision.
NGOs are the implementing partners of the UN, and it is impossible for the UN to compensate for their absence and replace the work which was done by the expelled NGOs. We understand that it is the intention of the Government of Sudan to increase national NGOs to replace their work. But this will take a longer time to implement and the most vulnerable affected persons need urgent assistance.
On 8 March, Japan decided to extend new assistance including a contribution of about 34 million USD to support UN and Partners 2009 Work Plan for Sudan. International and national NGOs have an indispensable role to implement the projects funded by Japan. Japan strongly urges the Government of Sudan to reconsider its decision.
We are also concerned about the remark by the Government about "Sudanizing" the relief operations. Although we are not certain the exact meaning of the remark, we can not envisage implementation of the assistance without the involvement and monitoring of the United Nations.
The activities of humanitarian NGOs in Sudan are covered by the joint communique between the government and the UN on the facilitation of humanitarian activities. And the Security Council in its resolution 1828 (para 13) demanded the full implementation of the joint communique and also that the government and all armed groups ensure the full ,safe, unhindered access of humanitarian organizations and relief personnel.
I believe that it is our common responsibility of members of the Council to make sure the full implementation of its earlier decisions. If we failed in fulfilling this function, we must be accountable to the international community why it is so and who are responsible for inaction.
There is no justification at all for the government to drastically curtail critical, life-saving food, water and medical support to the millions of its own people.
Such behavior would make it least convincing argument for supporting the position of the government. We appeal the Government of Sudan to honor its commitment and act in a responsible manner. We join the SG in his call to the Government of Sudan to immediately take necessary actions to alleviate the situation.
The decision by the ICC will not justify any change in fulfilling the obligation of the Government of Sudan to comply with SC resolutions, to avoid impeding humanitarian assistance as referred to in paragraph 18 of resolution 1828, and to ensure the safety and security of civilians and UN personnel. It is important that the Government of Sudan and all rebel movements refrain from any action that would aggravate the humanitarian and security situation on the ground.
The Security Council should continue to monitor carefully future developments; including the peace process, the deployment of UNAMID, the humanitarian and security situation and most importantly, the question of impunity.
The most important thing is that the Council members make utmost effort to address the issue responsibly and to act in unison as much as possible.
We are carefully following the joint UN/GoS assessments of humanitarian needs in Darfur. We look forward to receiving a briefing on the outcome of the assessment next week.
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