26 January 2007

The President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, today announced that the High-Level Mission to Darfur will be led by Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize recipient and co-founder of the Nobel Women's Initiative established in 2006.

Sima Samar, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan will also participate in the Mission.

The President has also invited, in their personal capacity, Mart Nutt, Member of Parliament of Estonia and Member of the Council of Europe’s European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance; Bertrand Ramcharan, former Acting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Deputy High Commissioner; Patrice Tonda, Permanent Representative of Gabon to the International Organizations in Geneva; and Makarim Wibisono, President of the 61st session of the Commission on Human Rights and Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the International Organizations in Geneva, to be part of the High-Level Mission.

In accordance with decision S-4/101 of the Council, adopted by consensus at its fourth special session on the Human Rights Situation in Darfur, the High-Level Mission will comprise five highly qualified persons appointed by the President following consultations with members of the Council, as well as the Special Rapporteur. The Mission is requested to assess the human rights situation in Darfur and the needs of the Sudan in this regard, and to report to the Council at its fourth regular session to be held from 12 March to 5 April 2007.

The members of the Mission will arrive in Geneva within the following days to begin their preparatory work and depart to the Sudan in early February.

For further information please contact Rolando Gomez at the UN Information Service at Geneva, +41 (0)22 917 23 26 or

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