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Peace and development initiatives for Darfur focus of UN Country Team, UNAMID forum

By United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
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EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, February 21, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The strengthening of mechanisms in protecting civilians and joint initiatives in supporting the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) were the focus at a 19 February meeting of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and the African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID).

The event, held at UNAMID's headquarters in El Fasher, North Darfur, was co-chaired by UNAMID Acting Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator a.i. Aichatou Mindaoudou and UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Sudan Ali Al-Za'tari.

Among the issues of discussion were ways to engage with different stakeholders in support of the Doha Donor's Conference for development in Darfur, set for early April 2013, and the Darfur Joint Assessment Mission's evaluation and submission of projects for immediate implementation in Darfur.

The meeting welcomed the recent temporary ceasefire agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Sudan, within the framework of the DDPD, as a significant step towards a comprehensive peace agreement for Darfur. The parties acknowledged progress made by the UNCT-UNAMID Joint Working Groups in support of the DDPD and announced the endorsement of three key projects focusing on livelihood and water supply, capacity building support to the Voluntary Returnees Commission, and support to the permanent ceasefire.

Furthermore, the implementation of the protection of civilian's strategy and humanitarian access to Darfur by the UNCT and Sudan's international partners was revisited and it was agreed to develop a humanitarian access mechanism for Darfur, including a larger UNCT-UNAMID presence in the deep field.

The coordination meetings are designed to strengthen the partnership between the UNCT and UNAMID, ensuring complementary and mutual support in addressing issues related to the peace process, humanitarian assistance and the protection of civilians.