South Sudan

Speech by UNMISS Special Representative of the Secretary-General David Shearer on the official celebration of peace in Juba

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Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS
Mr David Shearer
31 October 2018
Juba, South Sudan

Presidents and Heads of Member States

Representatives of parties to the Revitalized Peace Agreement

Excellencies and dignitaries from across the region and the international community

Ladies and gentlemen, Citizens of South Sudan

It is my privilege today to represent the United Nations, on behalf of Secretary General, at this historic event to formally celebrate the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.

For those of us who have seen first-hand the impact of the fighting on the ground and have met those who suffer most, we would not have believed six months ago that we would be at this point today.

To see parties that have previously been divided by violence coming together here in Juba, in a public sign of unity, sends a strong message to the citizens of this country that you are genuinely committed to end the suffering and build durable peace.

We thank you for that commitment and your continuing efforts to work together in the pursuit of enduring peace for the sake of your people.

I want to pay tribute to regional leaders, particularly Heads of IGAD and specifically to the Governments of Sudan and Uganda who played a crucial role in securing the agreement and who continue to champion its full implementation. Some clashes still persist in parts of the country, but overall levels of fighting have reduced. Very simply, that reduction has meant that fewer have died, more humanitarian goods have flowed to those who need them and, people once again can start planning for their own future.

There is much hard work ahead to realise this agreement to ensure that it is fully implemented.
The key ingredient needed at every step is trust. The personalities who signed the Agreement have in the past been former friends and foes.

So, the big challenge ahead is to build trust and confidence between the parties – and between the parties and the people. That is not just a job for the signatories. It is beholden on all of us here today officials, civil society, religious leaders and the international community – to generate trust so that peace can flourish.

The international community will be expected to play its role. Its engagement will be persuaded by a demonstration of political will by parties to implement the agreement.

Let me assure you, the United Nations is absolutely committed to working with you all as a partner. We will stand alongside the parties as they move forward in peace. We will use our resources and our presence across the country to support reconciliation and peacebuilding.

It is my hope that we will reach the day when the presence of UNMISS is no longer required and it can depart leaving my colleagues here from the UN agencies to help secure South Sudan’s development.

In 2011, the citizens of South Sudan celebrated the historic achievement of independence and recognition as the world’s newest nation. Sadly, the hopes and dreams of that moment were lost in the outbreak of the war that has plagued this country for five long years.

This ceremony is a chance for the leaders here today to restore that hope and to secure a peaceful and prosperous future for their people.

I wish them well in their endeavour.

Communications & Public Information Section
Spokesperson: Francesca Mold mold2@un.org