Sommaire: 23 July 2007, Brussels - Council of the European Union, 2817th EXTERNAL RELATIONS Council meeting, 23 and 24 July 2007
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
"1. The Council welcomes the renewed momentum of the efforts to resolve the Darfur conflict through a negotiated political settlement and the deployment of the AU-UN Hybrid Operation. It is essential that the joint AU/UN initiative to revitalise the political track and the strengthening of peacekeeping in Darfur be backed up by strong and coherent international support. In this regard, the Council welcomes the outcome of the meeting in Tripoli on 15-16 July, which brought together the international community's efforts in support of the AU-UN led political process, in partnership with the regional actors, towards peace in Darfur. It urges the non-signatory movements to participate constructively in the negotiations to take place in Arusha on 3-5 August and calls on all parties to prepare for early negotiations in the context of an inclusive process. Similarly, the Council also welcomes the French initiative of convening a meeting of the enlarged Contact Group on 25 June as an important contribution to galvanise the international community's support for a solution of the conflict, and looks forward to the forthcoming meeting of the Group in the margins of the UN General Assembly in September.
2. The EU renews its strong support for the AU/UN mediation under the leadership of the UN and AU Special Envoys, and states its readiness to examine ways and means to strengthen its engagement in support of the AU/UN and the political process. The Council underlines the critical importance of accomplishing without further delay the steps included in the Joint AU-UN Road Map for the Darfur Political Process within the timelines set out therein. It urges all parties to the conflict to seize the current momentum and engage constructively in the efforts to find a comprehensive and sustainable settlement of the conflict. The Council also encourages the UN to promptly appoint a new Special Representative for Sudan.
3. The EU calls on all sides to demonstrate serious commitment to finding a solution to put an end to the suffering of the people of Darfur. In line with Security Council Resolution 1591, the Council will consider any party failing to constructively engage in the peace process as an obstacle to peace and will promote appropriate further measures against them, notably in the UN framework. The EU also urges the regional actors to work for the convergence of all mediation initiatives and their integration within the broader AU/UN framework.
4. Sustainable peace in Darfur is only possible within the framework of a peaceful and united Sudan and requires the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Reaffirming its commitment to reinforce its support for this process, the EU urges the parties to the agreement to step up efforts to accelerate implementation of the CPA and set specific timelines for the achievement of critical milestones, notably the delineation of the North-South border and the status of Abeyei. In this regard, the EU recalls the particular importance of the preparations for the national elections scheduled for 2009.
5. There can be no impunity for the violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law committed in Darfur. The EU notes the report on the situation of human rights in Darfur prepared by the group of experts mandated by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in March, which confirms the deep concerns about the seriousness of the violations taking place in Darfur and the lack of accountability of their perpetrators. The Council fully supports the implementation without delay of the recommendations of the report and welcomes the decision by consensus of the UNHRC on 20 June to request the Experts Group to continue its work for six months, and to submit an update of its report in September 2007. While acknowledging the commitment of the Sudanese authorities to collaborate in this regard, the Council reiterates its call to the Government of Sudan, and other relevant parties, to continue to cooperate fully with the Group.
6. The EU welcomes progress in the implementation of the Joint Communiqué on Facilitation of Humanitarian Activities in Darfur, signed by the Sudanese government and the UN on 28 March 2007. As a member of the High Level Committee, the EU will closely monitor the implementation of the Communiqué, and will support all efforts to ensure unhindered and safe access for the delivery of humanitarian aid and the protection of refugee camps, IDPs and other civilian populations, as well as of humanitarian aid workers. It calls upon the Sudanese government to remove all remaining administrative restrictions on humanitarian activities, recalling its responsibility to fulfil its obligations under humanitarian law to protect and assist its own citizens. It stands ready to consider further measures, notably in the UN framework, to ensure humanitarian deliveries and protection of civilians.
7. The EU equally stands ready to play its full role in providing assistance for the reconstruction and development of Darfur once a peace agreement is effective, promoting a progressive transition from humanitarian aid to development cooperation. Aid for reconstruction and development should be targeted at supporting sustainable peace and reconciliation of the people of Darfur, reaching out to all segments of Darfurian society. In this regard, the EU will also actively support the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation as an inclusive process with representatives of all stakeholders, aimed at overcoming divisions between communities and building the foundations of a common and peaceful future.
8. The Council takes note of recent advances in the implementation of UN support for AMIS and in the preparation for the deployment of the AU/UN Hybrid Operation. It welcomes the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council on 22 June authorising the deployment of the Hybrid Operation, and looks forward to the early adoption of a UN Security Council Resolution in this regard. It calls on all parties to work for an acceleration of the implementation of the UN support package to AMIS and a swift transition to the Hybrid Operation, and in particular on the Sudanese government to continue cooperation with the AU and the UN to this effect. The Council remains ready to consider further measures, notably in the UN framework, against any party which obstructs the implementation of the UN support package, including deployment of the Hybrid Operation. The EU commends all countries having pledged to contribute with troops or otherwise to the Hybrid Operation.
9. The EU reconfirms its resolve to continue supporting AMIS in the period leading up to the deployment of the AU/UN Hybrid Operation. Recalling the significant and urgent need for additional financial and material support to enable AMIS to fulfil its mandate and prepare for the transition to the Hybrid Operation, the Council again urges international partners to join the EU in providing the mission with fresh funds. Similarly, the EU confirms the extension of the EU civilian-military supporting action to AMIS for a period of up to six months, from 1 July 2007.
10. The EU emphasises the urgent need to address the destabilising impact of the Darfur crisis on the humanitarian and security situation in neighbouring countries, and reiterates its support for the deployment of a multidimensional UN presence in Eastern Chad and North-Eastern Central African Republic.
11. The Council welcomes the work undertaken by the Council Secretariat and the Commission on further possible actions of the EU in Darfur and neighbouring regions and asks them to continue to elaborate on its political, humanitarian and security aspects, as set out above. The Council asks its competent bodies to continue planning in view of a possible decision on a bridging operation, in the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy, in support of the multidimensional UN presence in Eastern Chad and North-Eastern Central African Republic with a view to improving security in those areas. Any bridging operation should be based on a Resolution by the UN Security Council, with a clearly defined exit strategy, and should be conducted in full cooperation with the UN and the AU, and in consultation with the authorities of the countries concerned, as well as, as appropriate, with neighbouring countries and humanitarian organisations."