HC Deb 06 March 2002 vol 381 c327W
10. Mr. Dawson

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the prospects for peace, justice, improved human rights and development in Sudan. [37324]

Clare Short

I believe that 2002 offers a real window of opportunity to bring Africa's longest running conflict to an end. I am convinced that with greater international pressure on the main parties, Sudan can be helped towards a just and lasting peace. The human rights of the people of Sudan can be better protected with peace and a stable social and economic environment in place throughout the country. The same applies to the consideration of Sudan's longer-term development needs. Development partnerships will not be effective without peace and political stability.

16. Mr. David Stewart

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department is taking to promote peace and development in Sudan. [37330]

Clare Short

We are working with the FCO, to increase the international effort to bring about peace in Sudan. Efforts have been stepped up following my visit to the country in January when I was able to discuss the prospects of peace with Sudanese leaders on both sides of the conflict.

I believe the UK can play a significant role in helping resolve the conflict and that our involvement would be welcomed by both sides. The Prime Minister recently announced the appointment of a UK special Representative for Sudan who will be answerable jointly to myself and the Foreign Secretary and supported by a dedicated team drawn from both Departments. He is working closely with the US and Norway and we will maintain close liaison at official and ministerial level.

Long-term development of Sudan cannot be achieved without an end to the war. My Department continues to address urgent humanitarian needs arising from conflict and drought and has provided over £40 million of humanitarian assistance since 1997. We are liaising closely with the World Bank and European Commission to try and ensure that their engagement reinforces the search for peace.

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