SOUTH SUDAN / CONSTITUTION MAKING PROCESS

17-Sep-2021 00:03:36
As South Sudan makes the long journey from winning independence a decade ago through a long and brutal war to rebuilding its economy and democracy, people across the country are beginning an important debate about a new permanent constitution. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / CONSTITUTION MAKING PROCESS
TRT: 3:36
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 07 SEPTEMBER 2021, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN
SHOTLIST
07 SEPTEMBER 2021, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

1. Wide shot, delegates in hall
2. Med shot, delegates in hall
3. Close up, Merekaje tryping
4. Close up, Merekaje
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Lorna Merekaje, civil society representative:
“To me, a people-driven constitution-making process end product is a process whereby people are allowed to speak; but also a conducive environment is created for everybody to air their views and aspirations in regard to what kind of constitution we want. And not to forget, a constitution, at this moment, is not just South Sudanese developing a constitution or it is not that we are renewing a social contract, in the first place, we need to cultivate and establish a social contract.”
6. Various shots, guests attending the workshop
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Guy Bennett, Director, Political Affairs Division, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“The constitution-making process is very important. And, as I said to you earlier, with the inauguration of the TNLA (Transitional National Legislative Assembly) and the Parliament, you now have that legislature. And this is the moment to make sure and to support widespread consultations throughout the country, so everybody feels included and able to project their own voice.”
8. Med shot, Guests listening
9. Close up, Delegates listening
10. Close up, Civil society listening
11. Close up, A guest writing
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Nathaniel Oyet Pierino, Deputy Speaker, Revitalized Transitional National Legislature:
“Without requisite political, financial and administrative support from the RTGONU (Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity), the constitution-making process shall be wishful thinking. It shall never proceed or succeed.”
13. Various shots of delegates in the hall
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Oyet Patrick, Journalist:
“We are always called to come and cover events, either the peace process or the constitution-making process and then inform the public. But we do not have a representation in these institutions to advocate for our voices. For example, one of the things we want maintained and, if anything improved, in the new permanent constitution is freedom of expression, access to information and removing laws that we think will actually limit the freedom of expression.”
15. Med shot, guest listening
16. Close up, civil society member
17. Close up, guest writing
STORYLINE
As South Sudan makes the long journey from winning independence a decade ago through a long and brutal war to rebuilding its economy and democracy, people across the country are beginning an important debate about a new permanent constitution.

SOUNDBITE (English) Lorna Merekaje, civil society representative:
“To me, a people-driven constitution-making process end product is a process whereby people are allowed to speak; but also a conducive environment is created for everybody to air their views and aspirations in regard to what kind of constitution we want. And not to forget, a constitution, at this moment, is not just South Sudanese developing a constitution or it is not that we are renewing a social contract, in the first place, we need to cultivate and establish a social contract.”

To support public debate, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) worked in partnership with a local Non-Governmental Organization to host a special two-day workshop. Participants included political leaders, universities, think-tanks, civil society, women and youth groups, media, and international partners in the peace process.

SOUNDBITE (English) Guy Bennett, Director, Political Affairs Division, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“The constitution-making process is very important. And, as I said to you earlier, with the inauguration of the TNLA (Transitional National Legislative Assembly) and the Parliament, you now have that legislature. And this is the moment to make sure and to support widespread consultations throughout the country, so everybody feels included and able to project their own voice.”

Legislation has been drafted and will ultimately be voted on by the newly reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly. Political leaders say it is critical that any deficiencies are identified now so they can be remedied prior to the law being adopted. It’s also vital that the process is supported by the Government.

SOUNDBITE (English) Nathaniel Oyet Pierino, Deputy Speaker, Revitalized Transitional National Legislature:
“Without requisite political, financial and administrative support from the RTGONU (Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity), the constitution-making process shall be wishful thinking. It shall never proceed or succeed.”

It is also important that all sections of society have the opportunity to understand the new constitution and actively participate in crafting it, including the media who have an important role in raising awareness.

SOUNDBITE (English) Oyet Patrick, Journalist:
“We are always called to come and cover events, either the peace process or the constitution-making process and then inform the public. But we do not have a representation in these institutions to advocate for our voices. For example, one of the things we want maintained and, if anything improved, in the new permanent constitution is freedom of expression, access to information and removing laws that we think will actually limit the freedom of expression.”

All participants agreed that honest, transparent, and inclusive debate is the only way to secure a durable constitution and democratic future for South Sudan.
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