April 2, 2003
Secretary-General Kofi Annan
United Nations Secretary General
New York, New York 10017
Dear Secretary-General Annan,
I am deeply distressed that the United Nations
Human Rights Commission is considering upgrading Sudans human rights status
from an Item 9 to Item 19 category, which would in effect let Sudan off the hook
for its ongoing genocide. This resolution sends a strong message to the Sudan
government that the international community condones its continuing genocide.
The move from Item 9 to 19 would remove the U.N. Rapporteur for Sudan, freeing
the regime from useful scrutiny, and also make Sudan eligible for new U.N.
This change in status is entirely unwarranted
by the realities in Sudan, where the human rights abuses are and have been as
serious as ever. It would reward Sudan for genocide at a critical moment in the
peace negotiations between the parties.
You should also be advised that a U.N. Human
Rights Commissions upgrade could have a devastating impact on the already
strained relationship between the United States and United Nations. I urge you
to use your influence to pressure European Union members not to introduce this
I will continue to ask the intercession of
Saint Josephine Bakhita for her people in Sudan, and those struggling throughout
Rev. Fr. James E. Goode, OFM, Ph.D.
President, National Black Catholic Apostolate
Pastoral Director, Solid Ground Franciscan
EU Secretary General Javier Solana
U. S. Secretary of State Colin Powell
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