African Union and United Nations leaders meet to discuss Darfur
22 September 2008 -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and African Union Commission Chairperson Jean Ping convened a meeting on Darfur in New York on Sunday, 21 September, to review the security and humanitarian situation, the political process, deployment of UNAMID and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court's decision to seek an arrest warrant for the Sudanese President
Both the United Nations Under-Secretaries-Generals for Peacekeeping Alain Le Roy and Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes noted the deteriorating security situation on the ground and the impact on their operations to assist the people on the ground in need. The joint AU-UN Special Representative Rodolphe Adada noted calm over the past two days.
On the political process, they reviewed the joint mediator's activities, the Qatar initiative, as well as the Sudanese national peace initiative and expressed the need for an early normalization of Sudan-Chad relations. The participants highlighted the need to expedite the political process and for all parties to meaningfully engage in that process.
The status and challenges of the deployment of UNAMID was also discussed. The Under-Secretary-General for Field Support outlined efforts to expedite deployment and pressed for much-needed peacekeeping personnel and critical assets.
On ICC developments, the Secretary-General emphasized the need for justice to run its course in parallel with the peace process. The AU Commission Chairperson raised their concerns surrounding the case and explained the AU Peace and Security Council’s position on this issue.
The UN and the AU agreed to use the window of opportunity in the coming months and to keep close coordination to make as much progress as possible on all these fronts.
Earlier in the day, the Secretary-General had met the joint mediator Dijbril Bassole to be briefed on the status of the political process and to discuss the strategies on the way forward.