UN / SOUTH SUDAN

08-Mar-2019 00:03:14
UN Special Representative for South Sudan David Shearer told the Security Council the country’s peace agreement was holding, adding that the challenge now was to maintain the momentum of the peace process. UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / SOUTH SUDAN
TRT: 03:14
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 08 MARCH 2019, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

08 MARCH 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, United Nations:
“There are some who believe that a return to violence is inevitable. We don’t concur. This agreement has broader buy-in from parties than the 2015 Agreement. It is widely embraced by the population. We too have our concerns about the peace process, but there has yet to be a perfect process. For our part, the UN has - and will - continue to focus attention and resources on making it work. I want to stress: there is no Plan B. There is only Plan A - this Agreement - and this path forward. And, for it to have a chance to work, it needs to be supported.”
4. Med shot, delegates
5. SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, United Nations:
“We should remember that tens of thousands of South Sudanese citizens, young and old, are alive today because of the generosity of donor nations and the heroic work of humanitarian agencies. It is a reality that South Sudan s leaders often forget - or take for granted - that their country is supported by taxpayers around the world.”
6. Wide shot, South Sudanese ambassador
7. SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, United Nations:
“Peace saves lives. It also saves money. South Sudan is a country of abundance, where nobody should go hungry. The humanitarian bill, I would argue, is ultimately unsustainable.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, United Nations:
“UNMISS is very mindful of its protection mandate. Let me be absolutely clear: we will not push people out of the POC sites against their will. However, those who want to leave, we will support them, because not to means condemning them to a life in a camp. And our actions will continue to be consistent with international principles and humanitarian NGO guidelines, voluntary and dignified.”
10. Wide shot, Security Council
11. SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, United Nations:
“A key reason why people tell us they are reluctant to return home is, of course, security. Sexual violence continues to cause immense harm to women and girls across the country, most recently in northern Unity where the concentration of forces from all sides has led to horrific incidents. The violence must end, and the perpetrators be held to account. Ending impunity is a core function of government and a vital part of the reconciliation and peace process.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Akuei Bona Malwal, Permanent Representative of South Sudan to the United Nations:
“You all know that the Peace implementation is moving at a very slow pace due to inadequate funding. Nevertheless, while we hope some in the international community will assist in the implementation, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan will carry on with the implementation process using whatever means and resources available to it.”
14. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
UN Special Representative for South Sudan said the country’s peace agreement was holding adding that the challenge now was to maintain the momentum of the peace process.

Addressing the Security Council today (08 Mar), Shearer highlighted recent positive developments, including – for the first time in three years – people expressing a willingness to return home, dozens of meetings and rapprochements held across the country, and a significant decrease in overall levels of political violence.

However, he noted that the timetable set out in the agreement was well behind where it should be, adding that many bodies set up under it were still dealing with procedural rather than substantive issues. He stressed that a peace that falters would generate frustration, anger and a possible return to violence, that could equal that which occurred in 2013 and 2016.

SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, United Nations:
“There are some who believe that a return to violence is inevitable. We don’t concur. This agreement has broader buy-in from parties than the 2015 Agreement. It is widely embraced by the population. We too have our concerns about the peace process, but there has yet to be a perfect process. For our part, the UN has - and will - continue to focus attention and resources on making it work. I want to stress: there is no Plan B. There is only Plan A - this Agreement - and this path forward. And, for it to have a chance to work, it needs to be supported.”

Shearer also acknowledged that suffering continued in South Sudan. He noted that five months of a more stable environment cannot, overnight, redress the issue of food insecurity, nor the absence of health or education services.

SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, United Nations:
“We should remember that tens of thousands of South Sudanese citizens, young and old, are alive today because of the generosity of donor nations and the heroic work of humanitarian agencies. It is a reality that South Sudan s leaders often forget - or take for granted - that their country is supported by taxpayers around the world.”

The Special Representative said more than one billion USD in support last year enabled humanitarian agencies to deliver assistance to five million people. He said this year's target was 1.5 billion USD to reach 5.7 million people in need. He added, “Peace saves lives. It also saves money. South Sudan is a country of abundance, where nobody should go hungry. The humanitarian bill, I would argue, is ultimately unsustainable.”

Shearer said, with the peace deal, some displaced families are choosing to return home and rebuild their lives. However, he said a “key reason” why people are reluctant to return home remained security concerns. He said, “Sexual violence continues to cause immense harm to women and girls across the country, most recently in northern Unity where the concentration of forces from all sides has led to horrific incidents. The violence must end, and the perpetrators be held to account. Ending impunity is a core function of government and a vital part of the reconciliation and peace process.”

South Sudanese ambassador Akuei Bona Malwal said since the signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement, the overall security, peace, and economic situation in South Sudan has improved noticeably. He noted however that challenges exist adding that the implementation of the peace agreement was “moving at a very slow pace due to inadequate funding.” He said, “While we hope some in the international community will assist in the implementation, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan will carry on with the implementation process using whatever means and resources available to it.”

He called on the Council to join hand with IGAD and the African Union to convince those few opposition movements which opted out of signing the Agreement to sign and join the peace process in South Sudan.
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