HC Deb 22 January 2003 vol 398 c316W
Mr. Connarty

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps her Department is taking to promote good governance and respect for human rights in Sudan. [91684]

Clare Short

The only long-term answer to improving human rights situation in Sudan is a peace settlement. We believe the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) peace process offers the best chance to bring an end to the civil war through a negotiated settlement between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A. In 2002, the talks produced breakthroughs on the key issues of state and religion and self-determination for the south and a Memorandum of Understanding on a cessation of hostilities and unimpeded humanitarian access and agreement on aspects of power and wealth-sharing, as well as human rights.

The war in Sudan has prevented many donors, including the UK, from carrying out a development programme in Sudan over the past decade. Over $500 million of development funding will become available from the international community when there is peace: this is an important incentive for the warring parties to reach a comprehensive agreement. We are coordinating closely with other donor countries on all matters, including assessing support for good governance. Until there is a peace agreement, we will continue to support life-saving humanitarian work and peacebuilding activities such as personnel to monitor the ceasefire in the Nuba Mountains, support for antislavery work and for the IGAD secretariat.

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