Saturday, December 09, 2006

Remembering Darfur on Human Right's Day

It would be virtually impossible for me to improve on the impassioned and heartfelt words of Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi this December 10th, Human Right's Day.

Below is a reprint of her comments from the
Save Darfur Website. However, the various emphasis are mine.

Fifty eight years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, announcing the basic rights and fundamental freedoms to which every citizen of the world is entitled, and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, declaring genocide a crime under international law which the civilized world must prevent. This weekend, we mark these anniversaries with heavy hearts, reminded that we are bound to aid those who have been deprived of these very rights and protections.

In the preamble to the Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations and its members pledged to achieve "the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms."
Despite this pledge, we have seen an atrocity unfold before our very eyes in Darfur, yet we have taken little action to protect these sacrosanct rights. The lack of international action has allowed the Sudanese government to continue with what USAID and the United Nations have called an "ethnic cleansing," as the nightmare continues for our brothers and sisters in Darfur.

Although the Declaration promises "the right to life, liberty, and security of person," hundreds of thousands of civilians have been murdered and more than 2.5 million people have been displaced into unprotected camps throughout Sudan or sent to refugee camps in neighboring Chad. The Declaration states that "no one shall be subjected to torture, or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment," yet hundreds of women are raped or sexually assaulted every week, with no force to protect them. The African Union, the only peacekeeping force in Sudan, does not have the manpower or the mandate to prevent these heinous acts from occurring. It is obvious that the Sudanese government has no intention of stopping its indiscriminate massacre of Darfuris. If we do not act, the people of Darfur will continue to suffer, without hope or end in sight.

As we commemorate the 58th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention we must remember that with the crisis in Darfur, now is no time to celebrate. It is time to champion the rights of the Declaration not by words, but through our actions. We cannot stand idly by as the Sudanese government continues its systematic destruction of the people of Darfur. We are compelled by the conscience of the world to put an end to this humanitarian disaster and restore dignity and hope to the Darfuri. If we do not, we betray our commitment as the protector of human rights, and risk compromising the very nature of our own conscience. I join with you on this Weekend of Prayer for Darfur, and pray that our efforts will bring more attention to the worsening crises.

--Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi

Go GREEN This Christmas

As you consider gifts this Holiday, please remember to give a little GREEN to everyone on your gift list. Give the Save Darfur Wirstband.

Wearing your wristband and sharing them with friends will help others become aware of the crisis in Darfur and demonstrate your commitment to ending the suffering there. Wristbands serve as a visible declarations of our desire to bring an end to the violence and atrocities in Darfur.

Moreover, the bands further our awareness and education efforts by stimulating conversation on the crisis.The green wristbands read "Not On My Watch - Save Darfur" and are available in both youth and adult sizes.

The "Not on My Watch" Darfur Wristbands are just $15.00 for a package of 10 bands. Please buy several to give to your friends and relatives. They can be ordered on the




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