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Security Council extends mandate of panel of experts on Darfur arms embargo

28 September 2007 The Security Council today decided to extend the mandate of the panel of experts set up to monitor an arms embargo in the strife-torn Darfur region of Sudan.

The 15-member body unanimously adopted a resolution to lengthen until 15 October 2008 the mandate of the group, which was established in March 2005 to help monitor the implementation of the arms embargo imposed by Council resolutions, and inform the sanctions committee about individuals who impede the peace process, violate international law or are responsible for offensive military overflights.

The panel was also tasked with monitoring the implementation of targeted individual financial and travel sanctions, and developing new recommendations to present to the Council.

Today’s resolution requested that the panel coordinate its activities with the UN–African Union (AU) hybrid peacekeeping force – to be known as UNAMID – scheduled to take over from the existing AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) by the end of this year. At full deployment, UNAMID will be the world’s largest peacekeeping operation, with some 26,000 troops and police officers.

Since fighting erupted between rebel groups, Government forces and allied Janjaweed militias in 2003, UN officials have repeatedly described Darfur as the scene of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. More than 200,000 people have been killed and the conflict has spilled into neighbouring Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR).

Also today, Council members were briefed by the chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé, who underscored the importance of the ties between his organization and the UN.

He pointed out that the OSCE and the UN work together in such areas as conflict prevention, crisis management, reconstruction, the fight against terrorism, protection of minorities and environmental security.

“The United Nations and the OSCE are linked by their determination to strengthen a rules-based international order based on the respect for human rights and on cooperation on matters pertaining to security among States,” Mr. Moratinos noted.

Regarding Kosovo, he said that the OSCE has remained neutral regarding the future status of the Serbian province which has been administered by the UN since 1999.

“Impartiality, however, does not mean being non-committal,” he stated. Despite the fact that the OSCE is not directly participating in the status negotiations, it does contribute in the field “in order to create necessary conditions for the implementation” of the coming settlement.

He also lauded the UN Alliance of Civilizations – created to bridge the divide between Islam and the West – as a “good instrument for managing and addressing diversity in the areas of youth, education, migration and the media,” as the OSCE is also dedicated to promoting “diverse and pluralistic societies” as part of its commitment to bolster democracy in all societies and States.

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