Debates between Lord Curry of Kirkharle and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon during the 2019 Parliament

Darfur: Risk of Genocide

Debate between Lord Curry of Kirkharle and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Tuesday 18th July 2023

(10 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My Lords, I recognise the important work that the noble Lord is doing and I very much appreciate the strong engagement we continue to have outside the Chamber. I also recognise the importance of civilian engagement at this crucial time. The noble Lord and I have discussed this matter, and we will be pursuing it to see what role the UK can play in strengthening that voice. As I said, we are engaged at all levels with all key negotiations. Ultimately, what is required is that both sides cease their current crimes. Both generals believe that their reason for being is to beat the other into non-existence, which, ultimately, means that civilians suffer. On the humanitarian crisis, it was eye-watering to see the displacement both internally and externally prior to the conflict. Tragically, this continues, running not into the hundreds or thousands but into the millions.

Lord Curry of Kirkharle Portrait Lord Curry of Kirkharle (CB)
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My Lords, as the Minister is aware, the impact Darfur has on neighbouring countries is very serious. Many people are fleeing to neighbouring countries, particularly South Sudan, where the humanitarian crisis is already a major concern. Given that many are already in famine circumstances and the UN aid programme is stretched to the limit, can the Minister explain what we are doing to assist those who fled Darfur?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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First, as the noble Lords, Lord Alton and Lord Purvis, said, those who are fleeing are often targeted, including many minorities. Early evidence from the mass grave shows that it contains 87 ethnic Masalit people. On the noble Lord’s specific question, we recognise the importance of South Sudan but the supply chain to it is through Sudan, and there have been reports of supplies being held up or seized by the warring factions. That is why we need to ensure that all the different diplomatic channels are fully explored. A key message needs to be given to both sides that they need to cease warfare now, so that humanitarian aid can reach the people of Sudan and, as the noble Lord said, the people of South Sudan as well.

Nagorno-Karabakh

Debate between Lord Curry of Kirkharle and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Monday 18th January 2021

(3 years, 4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My Lords, I agree with my noble friend on the principle that peacekeepers need to have the support of all sides to the conflict. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary and the Minister for the European Neighbourhood have engaged directly with their Turkish counterparts on the specific issue of Turkey.

Lord Curry of Kirkharle Portrait Lord Curry of Kirkharle (CB) [V]
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My Lords, we all share a deep concern and revulsion at the extent of these atrocities and lots of words have been spoken. However, it still appears that not enough pressure has been brought to bear to try to resolve this issue. Can the Minister confirm what international conversations he has had with the UN and others to bring more pressure to bear to resolve this dreadful situation?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My Lords, discussions have taken place at all levels. I have already mentioned the support given at the OSCE. There have also been discussions on this at the UN Security Council. The important thing is that the cessation and peace deal that has been negotiated holds, that there is a return of prisoners and that, ultimately, there can be peace in a region which has suffered from conflict for too long.

Nigeria: Religious Violence

Debate between Lord Curry of Kirkharle and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Monday 21st September 2020

(3 years, 8 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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First, I assure my noble friend that, as he will know, the Government fully endorsed an inquiry into Christian persecution, and we are carrying out every single recommendation that my right honourable friend the Prime Minister agreed. We will continue to work with the Bishop of Truro, who oversaw that particular inquiry. I share his concern that, yes, any conflict in Nigeria is exploited. Unfortunately, as I said in my original Answer, it is exploited by those divisive voices who erroneously use religion to divide people, and we will continue to condemn all acts of violence, particularly those against Christians and other communities in Nigeria and, indeed, elsewhere.

Lord Curry of Kirkharle Portrait Lord Curry of Kirkharle (CB) [V]
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My Lords, I also thank the noble Baroness, Lady Cox, for her commitment to this cause. The all-party group report is a stark warning. What are we are doing in the UN Security Council to prioritise these serious concerns—which now appear endemic in Nigeria—and to seek a resolution that significantly enhances the security given to communities at risk of attack? Can the Minister reassure the House that we are actively pursuing this in the United Nations?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My Lords, I assure the noble Lord that we continue to look at the issue of the freedom of religion or belief with partners in the UN. Indeed, I am currently working towards a possible resolution, or certainly a debate, during our presidency, on freedom of religion or belief—in which I am sure Nigeria will feature.