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 Home > News & Policies > October 2002

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
October 21, 2002

Statement by the President

I have today signed into law H.R. 5531, the "Sudan Peace Act." This Act demonstrates the clear resolve of the United States to promote a lasting, just peace; human rights; and freedom from persecution for the people of Sudan. The Act is designed to help address the evils inflicted on the people of Sudan by their government -- including senseless suffering, use of emergency food relief as a weapon of war, and the practice of slavery -- and to press the parties, and in particular the Sudanese Government, to complete in good faith the negotiations to end the war.

Section 6(b) of the Act purports to direct or burden the conduct of negotiations by the executive branch with foreign governments, international financial institutions, and the United Nations Security Council and purports to establish U.S. foreign policy objectives. The executive branch shall construe these provisions as advisory because such provisions, if construed as mandatory, would impermissibly interfere with the President's exercise of his constitutional authorities to conduct the Nation's foreign affairs, participate in international negotiations, and supervise the unitary executive branch.

Several provisions of the Act purport to require executive branch reports to congressional committees concerning the contents of U.S. diplomatic advocacy, plans for U.S. diplomatic activities to achieve particular foreign policy objectives, and information on particular activities abroad. The executive branch shall construe these provisions in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority to withhold information, the disclosure of which could impair the foreign relations, the national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive's constitutional duties. The Secretary of State will, of course, continue as a matter of comity to keep the Congress appropriately informed of the Nation's foreign affairs activities.

A provision of the Act defines a particular entity as the "Government of Sudan" for purposes of implementing the Act. The executive branch shall construe the Act in a manner consistent with the President's constitutional authority for the United States to recognize foreign states and to determine what constitutes the governments of such foreign states.

October 21, 2002.

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