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Press Release

Socialist International Executive urges action on Sudan and Middle East at its meeting in Athens

18 September 2004

Meeting on Saturday 18 September in Athens, the Executive of the Socialist International expressed its deep concern at the dramatic developments threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese citizens taking place in the Darfur region.

Faced with this growing humanitarian crisis, the Executive, which pointed to the failure of the Sudanese authorities to stop the attacks on civilians and to disarm militias, reiterated the need for the international community to implement the 'international responsibility to protect' through the UN Security Council, and fully supported the determined action of the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, and the work of his Special Representative for Sudan, Jan Pronk. The Socialist International Executive equally recognised the important role of the African Union in contributing to an end to the tragedy and called on the UN Security Council to not delay in taking further action. (Statement in full)

The Executive also turned its attention to the grave situation in the Middle East where conditions have been deteriorating further between Israelis and Palestinians. It called for an immediate revival of the Quartet Committee and implementation of the road map, while also calling on the international community to help the Palestinian Authority in re-building its security forces to resume control of Palestinian arms and restore the rule of law. The Executive, which was briefed by Saeb Erekat, Minister of Negotiations of the Palestinian National Authority, also addressed the need to enable Palestinians to hold presidential, legislative and local elections. (Statement)

The Executive, which was hosted by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, PASOK, and its leader, George Papandreou, met in Athens for its second meeting since the last Council, having previously gathered in Budapest in May this year. The members of the Executive examined different areas of the work of the International, planned future initiatives of the organisation, reviewed the work done in regard to the building of global strategic partnerships and discussed the preparations for the forthcoming Council meeting of the International which is to be held in Johannesburg on 15-16 November 2004.


Sudan - an urgent worldwide concern for the lives, the security and the rights of hundreds of thousands of its citizens

The Executive of the Socialist International, meeting in Athens on 18 September 2004, addressed with deep concern, and as a matter of urgent and crucial humanitarian priority, the current dramatic developments in Darfur, Sudan, where the lives of hundreds of thousands of its citizens are threatened as a consequence of the failure of the Sudanese authorities to disarm militias and stop the attacks on civilians as requested by the international community and in particular by UN Security Council Resolution 1556 (2004).

The massive loss of life, the gross violation of human rights and the immense human suffering in Darfur, effectively genocide, point once more to the need for the international community to implement the 'international responsibility to protect', through the UN Security Council, developed by the report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) presented in 2001 which the Socialist International fully endorses.

The Socialist International recognises and fully supports the determined action of the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, in relation to Sudan as well as the diligent work of his Special Representative for Sudan, Jan Pronk, whose last report to the Security Council emphasised the need to protect the Sudanese people against further attacks and violations of their human rights, and the urgent need to increase humanitarian aid with greater resources and more people on the ground.

The Socialist International also recognises the important role assumed by the African Union in its efforts to contribute to finding a solution to the tragedy taking place in Darfur and in its cooperation with the United Nations in this regard.

Finally, the Executive of the Socialist International urges the members of the UN Security Council to respond to the call of the UN Secretary General to not delay in taking further action in facing this crisis.


Statement on the Middle East

The Executive of the Socialist International invited Dr. Saeb Erekat, Minister of Negotiations for the Palestinian National Authority, who gave a briefing on the deteriorating situation between Palestinians and Israelis and the Middle East.

The SI Executive calls for the immediate revival of the Quartet Committee, the implementation of the road map and the enabling of the Palestinians to hold true and fair presidential, legislative and local elections.

The Executive also calls upon the international community to help the Palestinian Authority in re-building its security forces to resume control of Palestinian arms and to restore the rule of law.

The Executive reiterates the need for Palestinians and Israelis to resume permanent status negotiations in order to reach a settlement based on the two states solution, and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.

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