Brown Announces Possible Breakthrough In Darfur Crisis

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced a possible breakthrough in efforts to bring peace in crisis-torn Darfur.

Speaking at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Mr Brown said that the UK and France, along with support from the US, have agreed and tabled a UN Security Council resolution that could see peacekeeping troops deployed in Darfur by October.

The Prime Minister said that this was "an important decision day for Darfur - and for change". He said that he hoped the proposed plan to deploy a 19,000 African Union-UN force would be approved later on Tuesday and said that he and other leaders would work hard to deploy the force quickly and seek resolution to the "greatest humanitarian disaster the world faces today".

Peace talks are due to begin in Tanzania on Friday and Mr Brown said that if a ceasefire was achieved, the region would be helped with recovery and reconstruction. However, he said: "But we must be clear: if any party blocks progress and the killings continue, I and others will redouble our efforts to impose further sanctions.

"The message for Darfur is that it is time for change."

Mr Brown's speech also stressed the need for the UN's Millennium Development Goals, set in 2000, to be met.

He said: "The world did not come together in New York in 2000, come together in Doha in 2001, in Johannesburg and Monterrey in 2002, in Gleneagles and New York in 2005 and Heiligendamm in 2007 to make, re-make and reaffirm promises, for us then to break them.

"We cannot allow our promises that became pledges to descend into just aspirations, and then wishful thinking, and then only words that symbolise broken promises.

"The greatest of challenges now demands the boldest of initiatives.

"To address the worst of poverty we urgently need to summon up the best efforts of humanity.

"I want to summon into existence the greatest coalition of conscience in pursuit of the greatest of causes.

"And I firmly believe that if we can discover common purpose there is no failing in today's world that cannot be addressed by mobilising our strengths, no individual struggle that drags people down that cannot benefit from a renewed public purpose that can lift people up."

The Prime Minister's speech followed a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.