What are the benchmarks?
Enough Said blogger Laura Heaton explains their importance. (2:39)
Raise your voice to the online vote asking the State Department to release clear guidelines for progress in Sudan, ahead of this year's critical national election in April.
Read Enough's open letter to President Obama's Deputies, pushing for consequences on those undermining the path to peace in Sudan.
Foreign Policy gives an in-depth, inside look at the deputies meeting and what was discussed.
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice expressed concern about the flow of illegal weapons into Sudan. Read Enough's take.
Enough experts Maggie Fick and Laura Heaton discuss the future of Sudan in an AOL News op-ed, "The Clock is Ticking on Sudan."
The National Security Council Deputies Committee is as a senior forum for consideration of policy issues affecting national security, as well as policy implementation. The Deputies Committee reviews the Administration's major foreign policy initiatives to ensure they are being implemented in a timely and effective manner. These reviews also consider whether existing policy directives should be revamped or rescinded.
As tensions increase as the April 2010 elections and January 2011 referendum approach, the United States must ensure strict adherence to unambiguous benchmarks and apply pressures and incentives accordingly.
In its Sudan policy review completed in mid-October 2009, the Obama administration indicated it would regularly assess the progress of peace in Sudan—or lack thereof. Administration officials have stated that the parties to Sudan’s multiple conflicts will be under the microscope, and held to clear and pre-determined benchmarks of progress. The relative progress on these benchmarks would then determine the pressures and incentives—so-called “carrots” and “sticks”—that would be brought to bear in 2010, a year the Obama administration itself said, “can either lead to steady improvements in the lives of the Sudanese people or degenerate into even more violent conflict and state failure.”
To date, the Obama administration has not publicly disclosed the precise benchmarks it is applying to assess progress in Sudan, even as the official review process takes place this month and as tensions increase with the April national elections and January 2011 referendum on independence for southern Sudan rapidly approaching. To help bring transparency to the process by which the United States ensures strict adherence to unambiguous benchmarks, and ensure that the appropriate pressures and incentives are applied accordingly, this paper aims to provide guidance for how officials, concerned citizens, and others in the international community can assess genuine progress toward a lasting peace in Sudan.
In a live, follow-up interview to his State of the Union address, President Obama answered questions submitted and voted on by YouTube users. Recognizing the opportunity to reach President Obama directly on the issue of Sudan, the Enough Project submitted its own video question. Here is the President’s response:
To: Erica Barks-Ruggles, Tom Donilon, Jim Steinberg, Stuart Levy, and Michele Flournoy:
When the National Security Council Deputies Committee committee met in January to review progress of the Obama Administration's Sudan policy, I was hopeful that you would act decisively in leading other countries to hold those who promote violence in Sudan accountable.
I was disappointed that you did not publicly or transparently disclose the outcomes of your meeting. And the conflicts across Sudan are getting worse as we inch closer towards the elections in April. The U.S. government has not made the progress necessary to broker agreements in Sudan that will stabilize the country.
I therefore urge you to escalate real pressures on the parties, support an international surge to protect civilians during the election period, and immediately deploy full-time U.S. diplomatic teams to the region in order to accelerate peace efforts. Only with increased pressures and a full-time field-based diplomatic presence in Sudan, working on both Darfur and the North-South issues, will peace efforts have a chance of success.
Explore our interactive timeline of the elections in Sudan.
Who are the Deputies?
Stuart A. Levey
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Deputy Representative
Sudan & Darfur
Learn more about the conflict areas in Sudan.