Statement by Ambassador Brian Flynn at the UNSC on South Sudan
Statement15 September 2021
First, I want to thank our briefers SRSG Haysom and Ms Ghelani. Your interventions were extremely useful.
Ms Nanjia, I want to thank you in particular for your participation today as well as for your eloquence and candor in outlining the challenges facing South Sudan. And the suggestions you made.
We have heard today worrying accounts of subnational violence, regressive political posturing, sexual and gender-based violence, and a growing humanitarian crisis. As Ms Ghelani outlined in her briefing, the appalling prospect of famine now, once again, threatens South Sudan. We should not forget that conflict is the single greatest driver of hunger. We are also deeply alarmed at the increased violence and displacement around Tambura, where some 70% of those killed recently are believed to have been women and children.
It is just over three years since the Revitalized Agreement was signed, but we have not seen the progress hoped for. As mentioned in our last meeting, while the present ceasefire is not something we can take for granted, equally the country cannot move forward, or contemplate elections, if it represents the only noteworthy achievement to date.
A ceasefire alone does not guarantee peace. It should become the foundation for peacebuilding and a broad-based political process, with the full, equal and meaningful participation of women, and the inclusion of youth. While there has been good progress, we call on the South Sudanese authorities to ensure the 35% quota for women is met.
The obstacles facing South Sudan are many, from shrinking civil society space and widespread food insecurity, to extrajudicial killings and increasingly disaffected youth; however, they are not insurmountable. A renewed commitment by South Sudan’s leaders, allied with the determination of the South Sudanese people and supported by the international and humanitarian communities, can overcome these challenges. In this regard, we welcome the launch of the Joint Action Plan for the Armed Forces on addressing CRSV, and look forward to its implementation.
A recommitment and renewed political impetus can pave the way for the state to provide opportunities which citizens should legitimately expect: to protest in safety, to go to school, to work, to thrive - put simply, to have their human rights respected, protected and fulfilled.
Protection of civilians is rightly at the heart of the UNMISS mission and we welcome their efforts alongside South Sudanese forces to deliver a safe and secure environment, including through monitoring conditions at redesignated IDP camps. It is crucial that site transitions take place with the human rights of those affected being put to the fore.
Finally, I welcome and deeply appreciate the presence of the Permanent Representative of South Sudan here today. Ambassador, you were present in June when we stated unequivocally that Ireland believes in South Sudan. We still do. We stand ready to assist you and your government and we look forward to continued engagement outside this Chamber.