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Commission Chair to Testify at House Hearing on Sudan

May 31, 2002

Lawrence J. Goodrich, Communications Director, (202) 523-3240, ext. 27

WHAT:Michael K. Young, Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a federal agency advising the Administration and Congress, will testify at a hearing of the House International Relations Committee on "Defining the Next Step on the Path to Peace in Sudan."

WHEN:Wednesday, June 5, 2002, at 10:15 a.m.

WHERE:Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC.

BACKGROUND:The Commission has studied the civil war in Sudan since 1999, and has made recommendations to Congress and the Administration in reports issued in 2000, 2001, and 2002. (The reports and recommendations are available on the Commission's Web site at www.uscirf.gov.) Several Commission recommendations have become U.S. policy. With the recent release of a report by the president's Special Envoy to Sudan, former Sen. John Danforth, debate over next steps for U.S. policy in Sudan has heated up. The Commission backs capital-market reforms, drawn from Commission recommendations, that are included in the Sudan Peace Act as passed by the House. The Senate has yet to go to conference on the measure.

Also testifying at the hearing will be Walter Kansteiner, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa; Roger Winter, U.S. Agency for International Development; Francis Deng, UN Special Rapporteur for internally displaced persons; John Prendergast, Africa Director, International Crisis Group; and Prof. Eric Reeves, Smith College.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and the Congress."

Michael K. Young,Chair
  • Felice D. GaerFiruz KazemzadehRichard D. LandBishop William Francis MurphyLeila Nadya SadatNina SheaThe Hon. Charles R. StithThe Hon. Shirin Tahir-KheliTad Stahnke,Acting Executive Director