I want to congratulate the governments that worked through the UN Security Council to pass Resolution 1769 on Tuesday. It officially creates a hybrid UN-AU peacekeeping mission to Darfur, with authority under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to “support early and effective implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, prevent the disruption of its implementation and armed attacks, and protect civilians…”
This is a huge development. It essentially means that no more political obstacles stand in the way of true protection for the people of Darfur.
While Ambassador Khalilzad did not lead this effort, he deserves credit for his flexibility and willingness to satisfy Chinese concerns. That China voted in favor of 1769 speaks volumes to the progress that’s been made on this issue at the UN. This could never have been possible with John Bolton at the helm of the U.S. Mission. Mark Goldberg at UN Dispatch has more.
But it’s too early to wave the victory flag. A high-ranking UN official privately admits that UNAMID, as the force will be called, isn’t getting there anytime before January. Not that it’s a secret – any number of UN or government officials would probably say the same thing.
If the United Nations had an Emergency Peace Service today, it could be en route to Darfur right now. It wouldn’t be a silver bullet, but its team of professionals with diverse skills, thorough training, and a unified command structure could be protecting civilians right now and getting things under control until UNAMID arrives.
The time for this idea has come.
I’ll be back tomorrow to download a bit on a very interesting meeting with a White House official on the major emitters…er, now “large economies” climate summit that will take place this fall.
— Scott Paul