16th session of the Human Rights Council
23 September 2011
Delivered by Mme Heimat KUKU
Thank you Mme. President
This is a joint statement by CIVICUS, the Arab NGO Network for Development and the Sudanese National Civic Forum, the Human Rights and Legal Aids Network in Sudan, the Sudanese Gender Research Centre, the Child’s Center in Sudan, and the Sudanese Development Initiative.
We welcome the sincere desire stated by the Delegation to cooperate with Human Rights Council and the UPR mechanism and we are pleased with the acceptance of some of the recommendations received during the Working Group session, including those related to economic and social rights. We ask to immediately act to translate them into comprehensive, concrete and effective action.
Nevertheless we would like to point out that the tension and conflicts between the governing parties of Sudan and South Sudan had been a major factor in the deterioration of political as well as economic and social conditions. Even after separation, this conflict continues to expose major sections of the population to insecurity and violation of their rights. The recent conflict in Blue Nile and South Kordofan caused many citizens, most of whom are women and children, to leave their homes and become IDPs. The threat on the livelihoods of people remains as a big challenge, on which there is a direct government responsibility.
Given this context, and in pursuance of to the full enjoyment of economic and social rights by all citizens both in Sudan and South Sudan, we urge the Governments to give urgent attention to the following:
1. Including the bill of rights appended to the transitional constitution in the permanent constitution to be adopted.
2. Developing an independent mechanism to ensure the enabling and implementation of the rights established in the bill of rights.
3. Asserting economic and social rights in the constitution of both Sudan and South Sudan and the rights charter, especially in the fields of health, labor, education, and housing.
4. Joining the Optional Protocol to International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural rights.
5. Increasing the efforts to deal with and end extreme poverty and develop sustainable strategies to reduce it and ensure equal access to basic services.
6. Allow monitoring of public budgets and participation of civil society organizations in budget processes and performance monitoring.
7. Developing a joint mechanism among relevant government agencies and civil society organizations to implement the state’s obligations related to the Millennium Development Goals, including education for all and children’s rights.
8. Signing and ratifying the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and developing a mechanism to ensure the implementation of the convention.
Furthermore, to ensure full compliance with these recommendations, we invite Sudan and South Sudan, in cooperation with the Human Rights Council, to establish comprehensive monitoring and follow-up mechanisms that provide effective space for participation by civil society.
Thank you, MmePresident.