Delivered by: Mrs. Ameira Al Hefeiti, Deputy Permanent Representative
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Thank you, Mr. President.
At the outset, I congratulate the Republic of Mozambique on the assumption of the presidency of the Security Council for this month and wish His Excellency the Ambassador and his team success in leading the work of the Council, and you have the UAE’s full support. I also thank Malta for its outstanding presidency of the Council last month. I also thank Special Representative Mr. Haysom and Mr. Talahma for their informative briefings and welcome the participation of the representative of South Sudan in our meeting today.
During the recent visit to South Sudan, His Holiness Pope Francis delivered a message of hope and optimism to the South Sudanese people about the prospect of peacebuilding and putting the country on the path of security and stability. He called on all actors to achieve reconciliation, turn the page on disagreement and reject hatred. Our Council’s meeting today represents an important opportunity to build on this momentum by sending a similar message emphasizing the need to continue working towards implementing the Revitalized Peace Agreement for sustainable peace in South Sudan.
For these peace endeavors to be successful, the concerning security situation in the country must be addressed, as well as its implications on the humanitarian situation. We condemn the violence, such as the kidnapping of women and children, and other civilians, as well as the violence committed against humanitarian workers.
The levels of violence since the beginning of this year are lower compared to the levels of the last quarter of the past year due to intensified security procedures undertaken by South Sudan and increased patrols by UNMISS. Yet, today’s primary challenge is finding ways to end this vicious cycle of violence and addressing its root causes. Ending such violence requires a comprehensive approach and prioritizing peaceful solutions and dialogue, coupled with serious steps in the area of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration. Here we also commend the efforts and initiatives of UNMISS to promote inter-communal dialogue and stress the importance of taking adequate steps to preserve the results of these initiatives. We also stress that peace, stability, and development cannot be maintained in an environment of violence stemming from ethnic affiliation and competition for resources. The national interest must be placed above any other considerations.
We also encourage building on what has been achieved in the first phase of the unification of forces by undertaking the necessary security reforms and building the security capacity of South Sudan to enable it to play its role in building peace in the country.
On the political front, we hope South Sudan takes practical steps to implement recently adopted legislation, including the Constitution-Making Process Bill, which will contribute to building on recent hard-won gains. We hope the recently resumed Rome peace talks will help lead to solutions to existing challenges by bringing views closer and building trust among different stakeholders.
In a similar context, we emphasize the important role of regional and international organizations, in developing appropriate mechanisms to support South Sudan, including by providing support to the electoral preparations process, as South Sudan recently requested.
In light of the African Union Peace and Security Council’s recent visit to South Sudan, we hope the results of this visit as well as the continued support of the regional leadership, will help South Sudan to complete its transition period.
We also affirm the need to involve the youth and ensure women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation in political discussion, as it is important for the success of the transitional period. In that regard, we welcome the Peacebuilding Commission’s recent recommendations on this matter, as well as the convening of the first International Conference on Women, Peace, and Security in Juba last month, with the participation of a number of prominent women leaders. It is essential to fully invest in their expertise in the interest of peace.
In conclusion, we need to improve our understanding of the linkages between climate and security and identify available tools to address them. My country is keen to discuss this in various relevant forums, whether as co-chair of the Security Council’s Informal Expert Group on Climate and Security or as the incoming president of COP28, or in the context of the ongoing negotiations to renew UNMISS mandate.
We also need to work on ways to mitigate the damage of climate change through energy-friendly solutions, including through the work of UNMISS, which has made commendable progress in the transition to renewable energy sources. The mission will therefore leave an important legacy after its eventual exit from the country.
Thank you, Mr. President.