The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday signed an agreement with the Government of Sudan to open a UN Human Rights Office in Khartoum and field offices in Darfur, Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and East Sudan.
Bachelet and Sudan’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs Asma Mohamed Abdalla, signed the agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in New York, where they are attending the UN General Assembly.
“We have witnessed with admiration the persistence of the women, men and youth in Sudan in asserting their human rights. The road ahead promises to be full of challenges, but we are ready to assist to ensure human rights permeate the transition,” Bachelet said
“With this milestone agreement, we are poised to accompany Sudan through an important moment in its history, to offer all our support to make this transition a success for the human rights of all the people of Sudan.”
High Commissioner Bachelet said the Office seeks to support the transition particularly in four critical areas, as discussed with the Government:
1. Combatting inequality and supporting the development of policies that will help provide for basic economic and social rights and the empowerment and participation of women;
2. Legal and institutional reform, to help the Government bring domestic legislation in conformity with its international human rights obligations and develop strong institutions for the protection of human rights;
3. Transitional justice: to support accountability and reconciliation, with the meaningful participation of victims in these processes;
4. Strengthening the opening of democratic and civic space, including through stronger participation of women and minorities.
“The Constitutional document signed in Sudan on August 17 already contains many positive commitments to human rights, including the bill of rights and a commitment to work with my Office. I note also the establishment of an independent national investigation committee to investigate the repression of peaceful protestors on 3 June,” Bachelet said.
“I look forward to working with Sudan to build on the momentum of the remarkable gains of the past few months and ensure that they are firmly entrenched and irreversible.”