South Sudan

Press Briefing - Near verbatim transcript, Wednesday 17 February 2016

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Ladies and Gentlemen, dear journalists and Radio Miraya listeners, welcome to our weekly press briefing. Today, our guest will be Mrs. Tizie Maphalala, Education Manager with the UN Children Fund (UNICEF). Although school has already started for many pupils in South Sudan, Mrs. Maphalala will tell you more on the Back-To-Learning campaign launched this morning in Juba at 9 o’clock with the national authorities. The campaign, Ms. Maphalala will explain, aims to provide learning opportunities to children in conflict-affected areas as well as children who have never gone to school.

Statement by the Secretary General on the death of Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former UN Secretary-General I will start this briefing with 2 statements, the first one, is a sad one following the death of the former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the first African UN Secretary-General to have headed the United Nations.

I will read you some excerpts of what the current Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon said:

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of my predecessor, Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

The late Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, was a respected statesman in the service of his country, Egypt. He was a well-known scholar of international law and brought formidable experience and intellectual power to the task of piloting the United Nations through one of the most tumultuous and challenging periods in its history, and guiding the Organization of the Francophonie in subsequent years.
As Secretary-General, he presided over a dramatic rise in UN peacekeeping. He also presided over a time when the world increasingly turned to the United Nations for solutions to its problems, in the immediate aftermath of the cold war.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali did much to shape the Organization’s response to this new era, in particular through his landmark report “An Agenda for Peace” and the subsequent agendas for development and democratization.

He showed courage in posing difficult questions to the Member States, and rightly insisted on the independence of his office and of the Secretariat as a whole. His commitment to the United Nations – its mission and its staff -- was unmistakable, and the mark he has left on the Organization is indelible.
I extend my deepest condolences to Mrs. Boutros-Ghali, as well as to the rest of the family, to the Egyptian people, and to the late Secretary-General’s many friends and admirers around the world.

The United Nations community will mourn a memorable leader who rendered invaluable services to world peace and international order.” bit.ly/1PERz6H

On the appointment of Riek Machar as First Vice President of South Sudan

The UN Mission in South Sudan has welcomed last Thursday’s announcement by President Kiir of the appointment of Riek Machar as First Vice President of South Sudan. It is an important step in the formation of the Transitional Government and the implementation of the peace agreement.

The Mission has urged Mr. Machar to return to Juba, in order for the Transitional Government of National Unity to be established as quickly as possible and outstanding issues delaying the implementation of the agreement addressed.

The Mission however remains concerned by reports of clashes and ongoing tensions including ongoing violence between communities in Jonglei, which is leading to the displacement of civilians.

The Transitional Government, once formed, must do its utmost to take forward its primary responsibility in protecting civilians within its borders.