Sen. Biden is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

On December 31st, the United Nations and the African Union jointly assumed control of the peacekeeping mission in Darfur.  Thus far, however, their efforts to bring peace to Darfur have been hindered by inadequate resources and a lack of commitment by the international community.

While the United Nations Security Council has authorized over 26,000 peacekeepers, just over 9000 are on the ground in Darfur.  Sudanese obstruction, including an attack on a U.N. convoy, has delayed deployment, but the failure of nations possessing the necessary tactical and utility helicopters to commit vehicles and crews also endangers the mission.  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called these helicopters indispensable in order to transport and protect peacekeepers and allow them to carry out their mission. Yet, not one nation has stepped forward to offer them.

That is inexcusable. We cannot allow genocide and suffering to continue because the combined nations of the world cannot find 24 helicopters to help stop it.

That’s why Sen. Lugar (R-Ind.) and I introduced a bipartisan resolution yesterday urging the members of the international community, including the United States, to provide the resources the African Union and United Nations need to carry out their joint peacekeeping mission in Darfur.  Our resolution, cosponsored by Sens. Richard DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility House panel investigating decision to resume federal executions To combat domestic terrorism, Congress must equip law enforcement to fight rise in white supremacist attacks MORE (D-Ill.), Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezPelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid House passes temporary immigration protections for Venezuelans Senate panel advances bipartisan bill to lower drug prices amid GOP blowback MORE (D-N.J.), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinListen, learn and lead: Congressional newcomers should leave the extremist tactics at home House Democrats poised to set a dangerous precedent with president’s tax returns The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — White House to 'temporarily reinstate' Acosta's press pass after judge issues order | Graham to take over Judiciary panel | Hand recount for Florida Senate race MORE (D-Mich.) and Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), expresses the Sense of the Senate that the world must not allow this peacekeeping mission to founder because we cannot find 24 suitable aircraft within our vast arsenals. And, it goes one step further to call on President Bush to personally intervene by contacting other heads to ask them to commit these aerial vehicles.

Preventing genocide is a global responsibility.  Too often the world has failed to keep this commitment, and it has failed Darfur for too long.  We cannot allow the government of Khartoum to block deployment of the 26,000 peacekeepers, but it would be even more criminal if the international community refuses to provide the peacekeepers with the equipment and vehicles that they need.

It’s true that helicopters alone will not save Darfur.  The European Union and United Nations Security Council should, I believe, join the United States in imposing strong economic sanctions on the Sudanese government. We should also continue to pressure the rebel groups to cease all attacks on civilians and humanitarian workers and engage in a peace process to bring a real solution for the people of Darfur. We should do all these things and more, but, first and foremost, we should ensure that the United Nations and African Union mission have the tools that they need to stop the genocide in Darfur.

I urge my colleagues to support my resolution – we must do everything we can to help stop the genocide in Darfur.