Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
Canada’s Commitment to Darfur, Sudan

Inquiry-Debate Continued

Hon. Consiglio Di Nino:

"Honourable senators …

The tragedy that has unfolded in the Darfur region of Sudan is a human catastrophe of monstrous proportions. I commend colleagues who have sought to keep this issue in the spotlight, particularly Senator Dallaire, whose tenacity in this regard reminds us all of our collective responsibility to our fellow human beings with whom we share this planet.

When I first spoke about Darfur in this chamber, on October 7, 2004, the conflict had taken the lives of some 50,000 people and had displaced 1.4 million. I had wondered then, perhaps naively, when the atrocities would end. Now, almost three years later, we are told that hundreds of thousands have been killed and that more than 2 million men, women and children have been displaced by the brutal onslaught of the Janjaweed militia and the Sudanese military.

There are no cameras sending daily feeds to our television sets or disturbing photos in newspapers that adequately report the terror and misery of the genocide taking place in Darfur. However, what has gone on and continues unabated is a challenge to the conscience of the world.

For four years, the international community has failed to come together and, in my opinion, has, at best, been indifferent to this humanitarian crisis. The United Nations has adopted the principle of Responsibility to Protect, but what has that principle done for the beleaguered people of Darfur? Why has the UN been unable to discharge its moral obligation and its purpose under article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations, namely, to "maintain international peace and security"? Even after a number of resolutions have been adopted by them, authorizing a variety of actions, why is the maiming, raping and killing of civilians still happening after four long years?"…"