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 DurbinSunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial Lawmakers introduce bill taxing e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaigns Senators zero in on shadowy court at center of IG report MORE (D-Ill.), Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSaagar Enjeti says Corbyn's defeat in UK election represents 'dire warning' for Democrats Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Lankford to be named next Senate Ethics chairman MORE (D-N.J.), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinRemembering leaders who put country above party Strange bedfellows oppose the filibuster Listen, learn and lead: Congressional newcomers should leave the extremist tactics at home 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.