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A National Gathering of the Next Generation of Human Rights Defenders
Over the last year and a half, we have worked together with partner organizations and activists across the country as part of the Sudan Now campaign to urge President Obama to keep his campaign promises and make peace in Sudan a key foreign policy priority of his administration. I write today to report that we have recently made significant progress in our efforts, in large part due to your hard work, but the biggest challenges remain ahead. Specifically, our collective efforts have yielded:
Stepped-up diplomacy [ √ ]
After over a year of our advocating for intensified engagement in support of peace in Sudan, the administration deployed a senior diplomat, Princeton Lyman, and a team to help support the negotiations aimed at preventing a war in southern Sudan.
High-level engagement [ √ ]
President Obama has committed to attending a high-level meeting on Sudan at the United Nations General Assembly this week. Afterward he is scheduled to meet a few of us who work on Sudan. Furthermore, other top-level administration officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary Hillary Clinton, General James Jones, and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, are increasingly engaged on multiple levels to bring peace to Sudan.
A balanced approach [ half a √ ]
The president has decided that U.S. influence could be increased if a package of both incentives and pressures were developed to support the negotiations in Sudan. Benefits for peace and consequences for war can help alter the calculations of the parties in Sudan, particularly the ruling party in Khartoum. However, the administration’s special envoy for Sudan has only stressed the incentives publicly, which reinforces the perception that consequences and accountability are not part of the U.S. policy equation.
Much remains to be done.
To ensure peace and stability for Sudan, we must capitalize on the momentum that could be generated from these initial moves in the right direction by the administration. Most importantly, if consequences for war-mongering and accountability for war crimes are not part of President Obama's message in New York this week – and not part of the strategy going forward – the strategy will fail.
Please join us on Tuesday, September 21 at 4:30 p.m. EST for a national conference call where we will:
- Outline recent accomplishments
- Lay out the next steps of our advocacy
- Discuss the memo we are sending to the Obama administration that will outline a number of additional steps that we think President Obama could take to increase the odds for peace
- Address major concerns and answer questions
Conference ID # 11940412
Thank you for all your efforts to support a peaceful and stable Sudan.