Vice-President Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday that South Sudan is “ready to begin a new page” toward more peace, development, and prosperity.
After winning independence from Sudan a decade ago, the country is still “on a path of nation-building” and attempting to implement a 2018 revived peace accord that resulted in the formation of a unity government last year.
The Vice-President noted that when South Sudan gained independence, the international community agreed to support the government’s nation-building efforts by establishing UNMISS, a UN mission in the country.
Ms. De Mabior emphasized the need of bolstering a country’s ability to govern responsibly and effectively. It’s also important to avoid “the unintended consequences of humanitarian assistance dependency,” as she put it.
She said it was now time to go from emergency to sustainable development, citing advances in peace and security.
South Sudan is also a “Youthful country” according to the Vice-President, who urged for continuous efforts to improve the capabilities of the country’s youth and women as an alternative to taking up a gun and engaging in destructive behavior.
Joint efforts by the national security forces and their UNMISS counterparts to promote rural peace and security have been encouraging, and the government is planning to launch a national youth service programme.
Ms. De Mabior reported on progress in implementing components of the Revitalized Peace Agreement, including the development of state and national authorities and improvements in public finance management.
However, she warned that in terms of executing a permanent truce and transitional security measures, “the glass remains half-empty,” citing the need for a unified army.
According to her, the security sector reform is the most difficult portion of the Agreement since it encompasses issues at the heart of the country’s violent disputes and needs ongoing dialogue.
Inclusion, collaborative investment, determination, diligence, and patience are all required to achieve long-term peace. Meanwhile, ties with Sudan have improved, albeit there are still unresolved issues around the oil-rich Abyei border region. Ms. De Mabior emphasized that her country is committed to learning from its mistakes.