photo by jon nicholson
Press_con_dc_on_capitol_hill Capitol Hill Press Conference: Don Cheadle, Ed Royce, Jim McDermott Discuss Trip to Darfur George & Nick Clooney Travel to the Darfur Region, Pt. 1 George Clooney, Barack Obama, Sam Brownback at The National Press Club UN Press Conference: Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Joey Cheek, Tegla Loroupe International Delegation

What we do

Darfur > Advocacy

Not On Our Watch engages in robust international advocacy designed to pressure governments and intergovernmental bodies to take immediate action to end the crisis in Darfur, a situation which the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. Since 2005, the co-founders of Not On Our Watch have been working to shine a spotlight on the crisis. George Clooney, Don Cheadle, and David Pressman have traveled to the region on multiple occasions, led international delegations to lobby governments at the highest levels, and urged international bodies to take meaningful and immediate action to protect civilians, deploy peacekeepers, and reinvigorate the peace process.

In early 2005, Cheadle, along with members of the US Congress, visited refugee camps in Darfur and eastern Chad. Upon return, Cheadle led a Capitol Hill press conference calling on the international community to take action on the crisis.

After traveling to the Darfur region in 2006, board member George Clooney addressed the Save Darfur Rally on the National Mall, alongside leaders including then-Senator Barack Obama, and helped to kick off what has since become a powerful, global grassroots campaign. Clooney, Obama, and Senator Sam Brownback then jointly addressed the international media, pressing for the rapid deployment of United Nations peacekeepers to stop the carnage in Darfur.

On the eve of the expiration of the mandate for African Union peacekeepers, Clooney and Nobel Laureate Elie Weisel addressed the UN Security Council, urging continued meaningful and immediate action to protect civilians. Clooney, along with board members Cheadle and Pressman, later led a delegation to Beijing with Olympians Joey Cheek and Tegla Loroupe to meet with senior Chinese government officials, with the aim of connecting the Olympic Games to the struggle in Darfur. Clooney, Cheadle, and Pressman then went on to Cairo to meet with senior officials in the Egyptian government to call for increased engagement from Arab League members in ending the catastrophe in Darfur. Upon return, the board members met with then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to further press for United Nations leadership.

In February of 2007, Cheadle spoke at the inaugural hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, further pressing US government officials to re-examine the crisis in Darfur and take effective measures to end it.

In early January 2008, Clooney and Pressman returned to the Darfur region to examine the conflict and reinvigorate efforts to end the crisis, deploy peacekeepers, and protect civilians. Upon return, the Secretary-General named Clooney a UN Messenger of Peace—the highest honor bestowed by the Secretary-General on a citizen. Clooney continues to use this platform to address the carnage in Darfur and the need for immediate and substantive action to end it.

In February of 2009, Clooney again traveled to the Darfur region in anticipation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruling on an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Immediately following his trip, Clooney met with U.S. President Obama and Vice President Biden at the White House to push for a high level, full-time U.S. envoy to Darfur.

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