Delivered by: Ghasaq Shaheen, Political Coordinator
I would first like to thank Special Representative Haysom and Ms. Joyce Msuya for their valuable briefings. We also listened carefully to Ms. Rachel Juan’s intervention. I also welcome the Representative of South Sudan to todays’ meeting.
This month marks five years since the signing of the Revitalized Agreement in South Sudan. This takes place at a time when the country and the region are experiencing difficult security and humanitarian challenges. As such, today’s meeting presents an important opportunity to re-emphasize to the signatory parties the need to commit to the full implementation of the Revitalized Agreement, and to make tangible progress toward this goal, in order to secure lasting peace, considering that the Secretary-General report noted that its implementation is still limited.
Going forward, the parties should continue to work together to overcome differences and resolve outstanding issues, in accordance with roadmap of the Agreement and its timeline. This includes starting phase II of deploying the Necessary Unified forces. Political will and commitment to dialogue remain essential to achieve these objectives.
Regional and international partners also continue to play an important role in supporting South Sudan. In this context, we hope that the efforts of the recently established “Joint Government-Tripartite Working Group to Implement the Constitution and Elections Processes,” will help the parties in moving forward to complete these processes.
Alongside these efforts, it is also imperative to address any security challenges that may impede lasting peace and stability in South Sudan, most notably the cycle of violence between communities. We believe that the best approach to preventing violence is to understand and address the root causes of conflict, including competition over limited resources, while also promoting dialogue and peaceful coexistence between communities.
In this context, we encourage UNMISS to continue its efforts in terms of its local outreach, facilitation of dialogue, and confidence-building among communities, in the same vein as the one they recently facilitated in Central Equatoria.
We continue to value the ongoing efforts of UNMISS to protect civilians in an integrated and coordinated manner. These include its efforts, alongside the work of the Government, to de-escalate tensions and enhance security at the Malakal protection of civilians’ site. We encourage UNMISS, as appropriate, to coordinate with humanitarian organizations to ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance and civilian’s ability to safely access this assistance.
Similarly, we express our deep concerns about the harsh reality that many women and girls are experiencing due to sexual violence. As the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Pramila Patten, confirmed during her visit to South Sudan earlier this week, these heinous crimes are unacceptable, and their perpetrators must be held accountable. It is important that UNMISS continues to fulfill its mandate in providing safety for women and girls, prevent sexual violence, and support victims.
We are encouraged by the growing interest in addressing climate change in South Sudan, as evidenced by the current discussions at the community level, and the initiatives announced by the Government of South Sudan during the Africa Climate Summit this month. These initiatives aim to increase the production of renewable energy and use smart agriculture systems to reduce the repercussions of this phenomenon. According to UNEP, South Sudan is among the five most climate-vulnerable countries in the world. We also welcome the Secretary-General’s inclusion of analysis on climate, peace and security in South Sudan in line with resolution 2677. We hope the combination of these efforts will help strengthen resilience against extreme weather patterns, which so far, have led to the internal displacement of two million people in South Sudan, in addition to exacerbating tensions due to competition for resources.
In conclusion, we re-affirm that ensuring the sustainability of efforts aimed at enhancing security and stability in South Sudan requires addressing urgent challenges while at the same time focusing on enabling long-term recovery, such as economic support. In this context, we believe that holding the first National Economic Conference and its recommendations are some of the steps that will help reduce humanitarian needs and promote long term development in South Sudan.
Thank you, Mr. President.