Delivered by: Ms. Ghasaq Shaheen, Political Coordinator
I would like to start by thanking the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Mr. Nicholas Haysom for his thorough and informative briefing regarding the situation in South Sudan. We also listened with interest to Ms. Lilian Rizik’s briefing. I welcome the Representative of South Sudan to this meeting.
The UAE has followed the recent developments in South Sudan, particularly the 4 August agreement on a peace roadmap to extend the transitional period by 2 years which was endorsed by the Member States of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC). We hope that this step will contribute to the implementation of outstanding elements of the Revitalized Peace Agreement, which remain key to the security and stability in South Sudan. The UAE continues to encourage all parties to the Agreement to continue working together and remain engaged in dialogue that progresses towards the full implementation of the Agreement’s provisions.
With regard to the security situation, we stress the need for the protection of civilians to remain a top priority, especially in the context of the alarming rise in sexual and gender-based violence against women and children. We underscore the importance of holding the perpetrators of these heinous crimes accountable. In the context of the ongoing security sector reforms, we appreciate the country’s efforts regarding the unification of forces, including the graduation last month of the first batch of the Necessary Unified Forces within the framework of the security arrangements set out in the Revitalized Agreement. We hope the country will continue to build on these efforts.
Additionally, all parties must continue their efforts to de-escalate tensions and build trust among local communities with a focus on the unity and stability of South Sudan to address the root causes of the challenges facing the country. This will in turn will help put an end to intercommunal violence, especially given the outbreaks, most notably in the Upper Nile region and the Unity State.
Despite efforts to respond to pressing humanitarian needs in South Sudan, the humanitarian situation remains very complex and dire, as we have heard from today and yesterday’s briefing. According to WFP, more than 8 million people in South Sudan are estimated to be facing acute food insecurity and most of the country’s population are in serious need of humanitarian assistance. Furthermore, the numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons are rising. The current conditions are simultaneously exacerbated by the compounded effects of recurrent flooding, economic challenges, inadequate infrastructure, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. A proper response requires first to intensify joint action to address the humanitarian situation in South Sudan, and second, to design humanitarian operations with long-term resilience in mind. To Among other priorities, humanitarian operations must take advantage of renewable energy, which benefits local communities and helps improve responses to the long-term impacts of climate-induced disruptions.
The UAE would like to commend the critical work of UNMISS in conflict-prevention as well as in supporting the Government of South Sudan by providing the needed technical support and capacity-building. Sustained regional and international engagement remains vital to achieve long-term peace and stability.
I thank you, Madam President.