As co-chairs of the task force on the United Nations, we are deeply distressed over the failure of the government of the Republic of Sudan to permit the travel of task force personnel to Khartoum and the Darfur region of Sudan. The purpose of the planned task force travel to Sudan was to find facts on the ground concerning the performance of the United Nations and its agencies in the field of human rights. Despite having had more than ample time, the Government of Sudan failed to act on visa applications by task force members and experts, making the travel, which was scheduled to begin on March 4, impossible.
Barring the travel of Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter, the distinguished dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, and accompanying experts will not contribute to the resolution of the serious problems that exist in Sudan. This action will, however, make the work of our task force, which must report to Congress in early June on the fulfillment by the United Nations of its fundamental purposes, all the more difficult and all the more pressing.
We appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Department of State in support of the visa applications by task force members and experts, and the cooperation of the United Nations and its agencies in arranging what would have been a useful and constructive visit.
U.S. House of Representatives
Former Majority Leader