Swedish statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on UNMISS
National statement delivered by Ambassador Olof Skoog on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, 24 January, 2018, New York.
I would like to begin by thanking Under-Secretary-General Lacroix, Chairperson Mogae, and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Muller for their candid and sobering briefings to the Council. We remain deeply concerned about the security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan. The Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access, signed on 21 December, offers some hope that an end to the fighting is within reach. We hope this opportunity will be fully grasped.
Ending the seemingly unbreakable cycle of conflict, displacement and hunger endured by the people of South Sudan will require leadership, courage and commitment. The time has come for the violence to end once and for all. We strongly condemn all violations of the peace agreements reached between the parties. And, we call on all parties to immediately and unconditionally implement their obligations in good faith.
We welcome the fact that the CTSAMM has been able to conduct timely investigations and to report on violations of the agreements. UNMISS should do what it can to support this effort. (And I'm proud to say that The European Union has decided to support the CTSAMM with EUR 5 million.)
The international community and the countries of the region are determined to ensure that the parties abide by their obligations and responsibilities. This has been clearly voiced, both by this Council in its Presidential Statement of 14 December and in the African Union Peace and Security Council Communique of 20 September last year.
We commend IGAD for its preparation of the High-Level Revitalisation Forum, as well as the support provided by the African Union. The conclusion of its first phase, with the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, shows that constructive dialogue and compromise has the potential to yield progress. But As we have previously stated, the Forum represents a unique window of opportunity to reinvigorate the peace process. To grasp this opportunity, all parties must recognise that only a political solution can bring an end to the conflict.
It is imperative that this Council continues to stand unified behind the High Level Forum, not least in view of the start of Phase II, which will be tasked with addressing some of the most difficult and contentious issues. The legitimacy - and future achievements - of the Forum will depend on transparency and inclusiveness of the process. In this regard, the full and effective participation of women is crucial, as is the active participation of civil society.
The humanitarian and human rights situation in South Sudan remain serious, threatening the lives and undermining the dignity of millions. Violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law, including attacks on hospitals and schools, the use of access to food as a weapon of war, recruitment of children, and horrifying levels of sexual and gender-based violence, are unacceptable and must come to an end. We welcome the steps taken so far to establish the Hybrid Court, which will act as a strong deterrent against atrocity crimes.
And I must say we really appreciate and support the humanitarian efforts and fully agree with Ursula in her call for action.
And call on all of us to step up our humanitarian support.
The millions of South Sudanese caught up in this brutal and futile war have waited for over four years for an end to the conflict and an opportunity to rebuild their lives and their country. The High Level Revitalisation Forum has opened a space for peace, reconciliation and recovery. All parties must now fully engage and take this opportunity to set South Sudan on the path to sustainable peace and to end the suffering of the population.