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Universal Periodic Review Working Group – 11th Session
Universal Periodic Review of Sudan
Statement by Australia
10 May 2011
Australia welcomes the delegation from Sudan and appreciates its engagement in the Universal Periodic Review process.
Australia welcomes the Government of Sudan’s positive engagement in the Southern Sudan referendum process in January, which helped bring about a peaceful and smooth voting process in challenging circumstances. Australia also welcomes the Government of Sudan’s affirmation that it will recognise the new state of Southern Sudan in July. Australia strongly encourages the governments of Sudan and Southern Sudan to continue to work together in a positive and constructive spirit to entrench and consolidate the gains made under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with regard to peace, security and human rights.
Australia is gravely concerned about ongoing conflict in Darfur. We strongly condemn attacks against civilians, particularly violence targeting internally displaced persons, women and girls. We further condemn attacks on humanitarian workers and call on the Government of Sudan to allow greater access for NGOs in Darfur, so that assistance can reach where it is most needed. Australia calls on Sudan to cooperate with the International Criminal Court’s work on Darfur. Without justice, there can be little chance for sustainable peace in that region.
Australia is deeply concerned by the widespread use of the death penalty, including against children in Sudan. We are also concerned by ongoing reports of child abductions in Sudan, and the use of children as labourers and combatants.
We also note recent reports citing arrests of Sudanese journalists, and the confiscation by authorities of Sudanese opposition newspapers. These reports raise concerns about freedom of expression in Sudan.
Australia recommends Sudan:
1. Ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and cooperate with this court, and ratify other key human rights treaties including the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women;
2. Ensure that all allegations of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law are duly investigated, and that the perpetrators are brought to justice;
3. Accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolishing the death penalty, and take the necessary steps to remove the death penalty from Sudan’s justice system; and
4. Develop a national plan of action for the implementation of children’s rights.