Remarks by Minister-Counselor Sun Zhiqiang at the UN Security Council Briefing on South Sudan

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December 13, 2022

Mr. President,

I thank Special Representative Haysom, Ambassador Biang, and Ambassador Gituai for their briefings. I welcome the presence of the Permanent Representative of South Sudan at today’s meeting.

The Revitalized Peace Agreement is crucial for South Sudan to establish a national governance framework and achieve peace and development. The signatories of the revitalized agreement have agreed to a roadmap to extend the transitional period, providing a new opportunity for South Sudan to fully implement the peace agreement and complete the transition. China welcomes the positive progress registered over the past three months in constitution-making and the restructuring of key institutions, and encourages all actors in South Sudan to put the interests of the country and the people first, maintain political engagement, and continue to promote the implementation of the revitalized agreement in accordance with the parameters set out in the roadmap.

The support of the international community is indispensable for the peace process in South Sudan. At the request of the AUPSC, the UN, the AU, IGAD, and RJMEC formed a trilateral technical task force on the making of the permanent constitution and on electoral support. This initiative will help South Sudan implement the key provisions of the Revitalized Peace Agreement. At the same time, the RJMEC and the CTSAMVM should receive adequate and sustained funding. After the withdrawal of a major donor, China swiftly dispersed its annual contribution to the mechanism, and will continue to provide support to relevant monitoring bodies within our capacity.

Mr. President,

Given the recent escalation in violence in Upper Nile and Jonglei and attacks by militias on IDP camps, the security situation is worrying. China urges all militias to immediately cease violence, stop harming civilians, and refrain from militarizing major river. We welcome the statement made by the leaders of South Sudan for resolving the conflict and deploying Defense Force to relevant regions. We encourage the Government to continue to take measures to ease tension and promote national reconciliation. We also appreciate the efforts of UNMISS to stabilize the situation and protect civilians.

The key to improving the security situation in South Sudan is to enhance the security capabilities of the Government. Since this past September, several cohorts of the Necessary Unified Forces have graduated, an achievement which deserves recognition and welcome. At the same time, however, we must bear in mind that South Sudan is still facing economic difficulties regarding the equipment and deployment of the graduated NUF units, and the implementation of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration and Security Sector Reform. The country will still need financial and technical support from the international community. It must be pointed out that the Security Council sanctions against South Sudan are already overtaken by events. Certain sanction measures fail to achieve their intended effect, and on the contrary, impose limits on South Sudan’s ability to bolster security. As we have heard in the statements made by our A3 colleagues, the Council should listen carefully to South Sudan’s call for lifting the sanctions, and respond positively in a timely manner.

Mr. President,

South Sudan is currently facing an increasingly dire humanitarian crisis, with two thirds of its population facing food insecurity, and nine out of ten states affected by heavy rains and floods. In addition, the Ministry of Health has declared a measles outbreak. The international community should increase humanitarian and economic assistance to South Sudan. China welcomes the signing of the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2023 to 2025 between the UN and South Sudan. We believe that this framework would contribute to finding a holistic and comprehensive solution to South Sudan’s challenges through development efforts.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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