Delivered by: Mrs. Ameirah AlHefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative
At the outset, I thank the Special Representative, Mr. Haysom, and Maj. Gen. Gituai for their briefings on the latest political, security, and humanitarian situation in South Sudan, which my country has also been following closely. I also thank Gabon for updating the Council on the work of the 2206 Sanctions Committee, and I welcome the participation of the representative of South Sudan.
This meeting takes place at a time during which South Sudan is witnessing heightened intercommunal tensions and clashes, particularly in the Upper Nile State. We express our grave concern over the continued acts of violence, including reports of rape, kidnapping, and killing of civilians. These acts have forced thousands of civilians to flee their homes and put their lives at risk – all while facing additional layers of hardship.
In light of these events, there is an urgent need to intensify efforts in order to reduce tensions and address their root causes, including by promoting dialogue and peaceful coexistence among communities. With the progress made on the graduation of the Necessary Unified Forces, we look forward to the next steps regarding their deployment, and we emphasize the importance of building on those efforts. This includes carrying out the necessary security reforms to address the country’s urgent security challenges. We also underline the importance of ensuring women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation as the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement moves forward.
The next period also requires redoubling efforts to accelerate the implementation of the tasks outlined in the timeline of the Roadmap. The success of the Revitalized Agreement in achieving sustainable peace and economic growth depends on curbing intercommunal violence, completing the security arrangements, and enacting the other necessary economic and political reforms.
In this context, we further see the importance for South Sudan to build on recent progress – such as the passing of the constitution-making bill – and make further advances in this area and continue to strengthen its cooperation with regional and international organizations in order to find the appropriate mechanisms to achieve the desired goals. In reference to the A3 statement on IGAD’s decision to undertake a joint ministerial visit to South Sudan and hold bi-annual ministerial meetings to review the progress of the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement, we agree that such high-level political engagements by the region are both necessary and timely to support the country’s efforts in the implementation of this agreement.
We must continue to explore ways to address the worsening humanitarian situation in the country, especially with high levels of hunger and food insecurity, as two-thirds of the country’s population will suffer from extreme hunger next year. This is extremely concerning. We believe that the Nile River demilitarization Initiative, proposed by UNMISS, will play a crucial role in addressing these situations, as establishing a humanitarian corridor could facilitate the transport of goods and provide life-saving services throughout the year. We stress the importance of unhindered access to such assistance for those in need. We also hope that the success of this initiative will contribute to the protection of humanitarian workers, as eight of them have been killed this year due to unfortunate attacks, which the UAE strongly condemns.
On the other hand, special attention should be paid to the consequences of climate change, which are particularly apparent in South Sudan, including their exacerbation of food insecurity and the security situation. Appropriate and sustainable solutions must be developed to address these consequences in order to support stability in the country and alleviate the humanitarian situation. We underline here the importance of strengthening resilience and further stress the value of humanitarian operations adopting renewable energy, which benefits local communities and can mitigate long-term climate-related impacts.
To conclude, we take this opportunity to commend UNMISS’s hard work under difficult and challenging circumstances and thank the Special Representative for his tireless efforts in this file.
Thank you, Mr. President.