by RAY FLEMING

SENATORS Clinton, McCain and Obama agreed on one thing yesterday - that whichever of them is inaugurated as President on January 20, 2009, peace and security for the people of Darfur will be “pursued with unstinting resolve”.

This commitment was part of an unprecedented joint statement which declared that “on this moral issue of tremendous importance there is no divide between us.”

Although any such agreement on foreign policy is welcome in principle it has to be said that disagreement on Darfur was in any case unlikely. The statement is couched in very general terms that contain no reference to any specific action to maintain peace and security in Darfur. It would be much more heartening if the parties could agree in advance to “pursue with unstinting resolve” a peace settlement between Israel and Palestine or a new nuclear non-proliferation treaty. It is not difficult to think of a dozen international ills on which it would be helpful to have cross-party agreements - beginning perhaps with a joint undertaking to renew pressure on the junta in Myanmar to end the illegal detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, extended again this week, when the worst of the Cyclone Nargis crisis is over.

The Darfur issue, important though it is, has won the Presidential candidates' exceptional attention because of lobbying by the Save Darfur Coalition. Is there no comparable lobby for peace in the Middle East or an end to nuclear proliferation?

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