Speech of Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, at the 2018 Christmas / New Year Reception hosted by the Ministry in honour of Members of the Diplomatic Corp serving in Juba - the Republic of South SudanPublished: 28/12/2018
Thursday, 20th December 2018
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
- Professor George Bureng, Chair of the Foreign Affairs & International Relations Committee, of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, and other members present,
- Hon. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation,
- Your Excellency, Amb. Kufa E. Chinoza, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corp,
- Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic Corp,
- Honourable Members of International & Regional Organizations,
- Invited Guests,
- Ladies & Gentlemen,
On my own behalf, and on behalf of H.E the President of the Republic, and the entire People and Government of the Republic of South Sudan, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for gracing this occasion on short notice, to share Season's Greetings. I take this opportunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year.
2018 has been a challenging year for all of us working in the diplomatic arena, but we hope that 2019 will be a year full of peace and development, and a year for better cooperation and coordination of efforts to strengthen our bilateral relations.
As we celebrate the Season of Good-will and Peace for all man-kind this Christmas and the New Year, I want us to think more about what we can do collectively to support peace implementation and improve the socio-economy standing of the people in South Sudan during 2019.
I want to assure the attendance in this Hall, and especially members of the International Community at large, that the Government of the Republic of South Sudan is fully committed to the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan(R-ARCSS).
I take this opportunity to thank those countries signatory as witnesses to the Revitalised Peace Agreement, and thank those countries supporting the South Sudan National Dialogue, and the SPLM Re-unification efforts.
I also wish to thank those countries that have supported infrastructure development, and socio-economic development in South Sudan during the year 2018, for what you have done, and continue to do is the measure of true friendship.
Your Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen,
As we enter the new year 2019, the government will examine its plans and review its actions, and considering what others have been doing to support our efforts to bring peace to South Sudan. To elaborate a little, please allow me to share with you these few remarks:
- On Humanitarian situation & Monitoring of Human Rights:
The United Nations Security Council has established three mechanisms for monitoring the Humanitarian situation & Human Rights in South Sudan. All the three entities report periodically to the UN Security Council, i.e United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), UN Panel of Experts / Sanctions Committee, and Human Rights Commission.
South Sudan is not being insensitive to humanitarian or human rights monitoring or criticism, but we hope that the year 2019 will usher in a new spirit of cooperation and consultation, to enable the streamlining of UN reporting on South Sudan, and finding a place for the considered views of the government on such reports, and being truthful, objective, and constructive.
- On Humanitarian Access:
The mechanism established by the government to enhance access has made significant impact during 2018. The Government’s High-Level Humanitarian Oversight Committee, together with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, have been working very closely with all Humanitarian NGOs in the country. Most humanitarian assistance they have planned to deliver during 2018. The government have also endorsed the humanitarian Appeal for 2019 – 2020, signifying the strong working relationship between the government and the humanitarian agencies. We hope to capitalize on this new spirit of collaboration during 2019 and beyond.
- On Relations with United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
The government of South Sudan will continue to work very closely with UNMISS and other UN agencies, with a clear view of furthering and strengthening bilateral relations. However, South Sudan will continue to call for the review of SOFA to address specific concerns, and will appeal for reduction of UN forces to reflect the new political dispensation and security situation in the Republic of South Sudan.
- On imposition of Sanctions & Embargoes:
The government of the Republic of South Sudan maintains a principal position that Sanctions & Embargoes serves no useful purpose in resolving conflicts, nor in furthering good relations. They interfere with rights of individuals, as well as infringing on sovereignty of nations. They are counter-productive tools, that can only aggravate political and economic environments. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all countries that have stood with South Sudan on this peace and security in our country, leading to a much-needed socio-economic development. We also appeal to those countries supporting sanctions and embargoes to please review their stand, and work to support efforts to bring peace, as South Sudan situation can be normalized through provision of more carrots, not sticks.
- On Implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS):
- The Revitalised Peace Agreement was welcome by the majority of the citizens of South Sudan across the country. Plus, the arrival of Dr. Riek Machar and other opposition leaders to celebrate peace in Juba, and the attendance at peace celebrations across the country on 30th October 2018 stand as a testimony to what the people of South Sudan want.
- The parties to the Revitalised Peace Agreement have set up the National Pre-transitional Committee (NPTC). In turn, and as mandated by the agreement, the said committee has set up five Technical Sub-committees to implement the peace agreement, namely:
- Administration & Finance Committee (Chaired by SPLM-IO),
- Dissemination Committee (to include IDPs, Refugees, Diaspora, Publicity & Advocacy),
- Security Arrangements Committee (Chaired by TGNU),
- Reconciliation and Healing Committee (Chaired by other political parties), and
- Governance and Legal Affairs Committee (Chaired by FDs)
All these sub-committees have started working in unison and absolute harmony to implement the revitalized peace agreement.
- The government has changed the name of the National army from SPLA to South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF),
- The government has embarked on a major renovation of the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs to accommodate, the President, 5 Vice Presidents, 35 National Ministers, 10 Deputy Ministers, including the creation of additional rooms for cluster meetings and offices.
- The government has opened a seed-account and deposited over 100 million South Sudanese pounds, and over one million US Dollars to jump-start the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement.
- The majority party in the ruling TGNU, the SPLM has just concluded a leadership meeting in Lobonok, attended by all Governors of States of South Sudan, with a view of disseminating and supporting the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement.
- It is reported that over 120,000 people have returned to their areas from refugee camps in the neighbouring countries, and many displaced people are voluntarily leaving protection of civilian’s camps (POCs) and returning to their homes and communities.
- The National Amendment Constitution Committee (NACC) is progressing its work very well, in conjunction with the TGoNU.
- The security situation across the country has improved significantly, as confidence building measures are being implemented. Plus, cantonment of troops and relevant issues are being addressed by the parties.
I wish to commend Ismail Wais, and IGAD on its recent efforts to engage the parties that did not sign the Revitalised Peace Agreement. We hope that those discussions are genuine and meaningful.
The government appeal to all those opposition parties still holding-out to please join the peace caravan, and abandon armed conflict. We also wish to appeal to members of the international community, including the neighbouring countries, to bring more pressure to bear on those individuals rejecting the revitalized peace agreement.
Once again, thank you for attending this modest event, please enjoy a merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year.
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