Norway is strongly supportive of the ongoing negotiations in Addis Ababa between Sudan and South Sudan. We urge both countries to finalize an agreement on all outstanding issues. Continued conflict represents the most serious challenge for the human rights situation in Sudan.
Norway thanks the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Sudan for presenting his first report and for his statement here today. We fully share the concerns pointed out by the independent expert regarding the human rights situation in Sudan and urge the Government to address the human rights challenges in the country as a matter of priority. We welcome the expressed willingness by the Government of Sudan to fulfill its human rights obligations and improve the situation of human rights in the country.
We support the conclusions contained in the report and underline that the implementation of recommendations is a key to the creation of a stable and democratic society in Sudan. Norway holds that protection of human rights and the expansion of democratic space and practices are fundamental to overcome the violent internal conflicts that are going on in South Kordofan, the Blue Nile and Darfur.
Norway strongly supports the renewal of the mandate of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Sudan, in order to facilitate further progress in the field of human rights. The mandate holder must be given full access to all areas of the country, in particular in Darfur, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan. In order to determine the technical assistance needs, the Independent Expert should be able to engage with all relevant stakeholders, to monitor the state of human rights and to report on the findings.
Steps should also urgently be taken to ensure full humanitarian access to all parts of the Blue Nile and South Kordofan. The humanitarian situation in these areas constitutes the most critical human rights issue in Sudan. Equally important is the protection of the civilian population in conflict areas. We stress the need for solving ongoing conflicts through negotiations in order to achieve peaceful solutions to political problems.
In addition, it is vital that humanitarian access to Darfur is improved and that civilians are ensured protection in areas of conflict. There is need for all stakeholders to commit to the effective implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.