International brief ~ Sudan peace agreement promised at Security Council meeting in Nairobi News
International brief ~ Sudan peace agreement promised at Security Council meeting in Nairobi

[JURIST] The UN Security Council officially opened for business Thursday outside of its New York City headquarters for only the fourth time in its history. The Council meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, began with an empassioned plea by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that there was "no time to waste" in settling the ongoing crisis in the Darfur region of the Sudan. Shortly afterwards, the official representative of the leading rebel group in the south of the Darfur region and a representative of the Sudanese goverment pledged to sign an agreement Friday that would see a peace agreement between government and rebel factions signed by the end of the year. The Sudan Tribune has more…. The African Union is hosting the 1st Summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, which begins Friday. The Conference in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania is being held under the joint sponsorship of the African Union and the United Nations and is scheduled to address such issues as peace and security, good governance and democracy, economic development, and humanitarian issues. Read an opening statement [PDF] by UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region Mr. Ibrahima Fall. Tanzania's IPP Media has more…. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Andrey Denisov, official submitted the signed and ratified copy of the Kyoto treaty [PDF] to Secretary-General Kofi Annan Thursday. Russia's ratification [PDF of ratification status] of the treaty and its status as one of the world's largest producers of carbon dioxide means that the conditions spelled out in the treaty before application can occur have now been met. The treaty will become binding on all 190 signatories in 90 days, on February 16. JURIST's Paper Chase has background on the Russian process of accepting the treaty. The UN News Centre has more…. The Ugandan Supreme Court issued a ruling Thursday allowing for the participation of political parties in elections. Since the assumption of power by President Yoweri Museveni, only his Movement Party has been permitted to participate. Under intense pressure, Museveni stated earlier that he would permit a referendum on the participation of opposing parties. The Supreme Court's ruling seems to eliminate the need for that vote. The Court specified that political parties have six months to register in preparation for the next scheduled elections in 2006. BBC News has more.