SOUTH SUDAN / CONSTITUTION PROCESS

Preview Language:   Original
23-Jun-2021 00:02:40
South Sudan’s government, with the support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), organized a workshop to consult Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) on the constitution-making process, which is a key component of the country’s Revitalized Peace Agreement. UNMISS

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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / REFUGEES CONSTITUTION PROCESS
TRT: 02: 40
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NAT

DATELINE: 23 JUNE 2021, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, IDPs in the hall
2. Wide shot, participances sitting
3. Wide shot, IDPs writing
4. Med shot, delegates listening
5. Wide shot, IDPs rep. talking
6. Close up, IDPs rep reading
7. SOUNDBITE (English) James G, IDP Representative:
“A constitution should reflect judicial/justice reform because our judges should not judge South Sudanese nationals based on selective justice. We urge the government to prioritize the civil-military relations in the constitution-making process.”
8. Med shot, participances reading
9. Med shot, IDPs reading
10. Close up, IDPs looking
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Guy Bennett, Director, Political Affairs Division-UNMISS:
“The constitution-making process is the fundamental consideration of sovereignty and should be an inclusive process where all voices are heard, including yours. The constitution-making process itself is a key element of the peace agreement. Chapter 6 outlines the process which is expected to pave the way for elections at the end of the transitional period.”
12. Wide shot, delegates reading
13. Med shot, IDPs reading
14. Close up, IDP reading
15. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Guy Bennett, Director, Political Affairs Division-UNMISS:
“Public participation in these processes is premised on the idea that democratic constitutions should be created and adopted through democratic processes and not in small closed rooms by scholars and elites alone. Therefore, efforts like this to ensure the participation of IDPs and refugees is essential to fully realize their rights as citizens of South Sudan and overcome barriers to their participation in meaningful discourse and inclusion in public life.”
16. Med shot, participances reading
17. Close up, Civil society members reading
18. Close up, IDPs reading

STORYLINE:

South Sudan’s government, with the support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), organized a workshop to consult IDPs on the constitution-making process, which is a key component of the country’s Revitalized Peace Agreement.

After independence in 2011, South Sudan has been governed under the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan. The workshop – one of many planned – represents a distinct departure from previous constitution-making processes in South Sudan, which were run by political elites and legal experts with little or no public participation.

Constitutions have come to be regarded as a social contract between the citizens of a country. As such, the permanent constitution of South Sudan will reflect a series of promises between the parties to the peace agreement and the people. These promises will set the rules for South Sudan’s future of peace, stability, and prosperity.

UNMISS is working to help ensure that the constitution-making process is inclusive and enables a national conversation. The Mission operates under the assumption that if solutions to conflict and division come from the people, then a durable peace is likely to have a surviving chance. This requires the constitution-makers to build trust with the public, a trust based on transparency and democratic practice.

SOUNDBITE (English) James G, IDP Representative:
“A constitution should reflect judicial/justice reform because our judges should not judge South Sudanese nationals based on selective justice. We urge the government to prioritize the civil-military relations in the constitution-making process.”

Across the country, UNMISS staff are gearing up to support the constitution-making process by providing technical assistance where needed, including by supporting gatherings of IDPs and refugees – so that they are able to make their voices heard.

SOUNDBITE (English) Guy Bennett, Director, Political Affairs Division-UNMISS:
“The constitution-making process is the fundamental consideration of sovereignty and should be an inclusive process where all voices are heard, including yours. The constitution-making process itself is a key element of the peace agreement. Chapter 6 outlines the process which is expected to pave the way for elections at the end of the transitional period.”

Efforts are underway to ensure the participation of those who are most marginalized and disenfranchised across the country so that South Sudan’s permanent constitution fully reflects the will of the people.

SOUNDBITE (English) Guy Bennett, Director, Political Affairs Division-UNMISS:
“Public participation in these processes is premised on the idea that democratic constitutions should be created and adopted through democratic processes and not in small closed rooms by scholars and elites alone. Therefore, efforts like this to ensure the participation of IDPs and refugees is essential to fully realize their rights as citizens of South Sudan and overcome barriers to their participation in meaningful discourse and inclusion in public life.”

On 25 May, South Sudan President Salva Kiir officially launched the permanent constitution-making process in Juba.

Drafting a national constitution is a quintessential act of sovereignty. It expresses the highest aspirations of a nation and its most cherished values. An inclusive national conversation will lay a foundation for a social contract between the citizens of the country.
An engaged and inclusive process will increase the probability of a durable peace. UNMISS is working to actively assist the public in engaging throughout the process.
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