It is indeed an honor for me to address you at this auspicious occasion. Allow me to thank the Women of South Sudan for your struggles for freedom, democracy and equality. I am aware that this year’s IWD celebration is held under the slogan #BalanceforBetter a nod to the growing global push for professional and social equality.
I am also fully cognizant of the fact that South Sudan has produced many gallant daughters who have made outstanding contributions to the wellbeing of the people and to the development of the nation. I sincerely, salute all South Sudanese women, who have marched tirelessly for peace. Their efforts have made the impossible possible to bring peace to their country. The South Sudanese women came a long way to support the HLRF and the implementation of the signed Revitalized Peace Agreement (R-ARCSS). I personally as well as IGAD recognize the remarkable role that women played in promoting community peaceful co-existence and reconciliations through the National Peace Campaign that was launched last month and their commitment to mediate among the parties as well as with the non-signatory parties through the Ad-Hoc Mediation Committee that women established with IGAD support.
I would also like to salute the parties and peace partners for the great efforts that they are putting to implement the R-ARCSS and to adhere to the 35% women’s affirmative action. Their commitment has given the South Sudanese women hope for a better future.
This year the IWD came at a time when the South Sudanese women are passing through a new momentum and are enjoying relative peace. The women had led the launching of the National Peace Campaign that to support the National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC). This was a remarkable national effort aimed at disseminating peace and building confidence among the South Sudanese people. Having women lead the campaign will no doubt have a greater impact since women are better positioned to engage in rebuilding the social fabric, facilitating community reconciliation and building confidence. In leading the campaign women have sent strong messages to their leaders that they have equal responsibility to maintain peace in South Sudan. #TimuAna enough is enough is also a great momentum for the South Sudanese non-signatory armed groups to join the peace train and allow it to move smoothly.
Finally, I would like to congratulate women for the great achievements so far and encourage you all to continue your journey and struggle for equal citizenship, parity in political and democratic participation, protection of your rights and prevention of sexual violence. I urge you to continue to work towards ensuring the development of gender-balanced: policies, strategies, budgets, laws and to aspire for gender-balanced political parties and government. Moreover, continue to fight for gender balance in media coverage, in employment, in different consultations and in democratic transitional processes.
Let us look forward to the next IWD and hope that we will be better placed than today where in South Sudan, no more new cases of SGBV are reported, women are represented at all levels by at least 35%, and the IDPS and refuges are returned to their homes and enjoy their full rights.
(February 25, 2019 - Addis Ababa) The IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Ambassador Dr. Ismail Wais, held an urgent meeting with Lt. Gen. Thomas Cirilo to discuss the timeframe and modalities for further engagements with him and his team.
11 February, 2019, Juba: The IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan reviewed the implementation of the R-ARCSS in Juba and interacted with a cross section of key partners including government, organizations and institutions charged with the implementation of the peace agreement.
07 February, 2019, Juba: The Government of South Sudan, the Government of Japan and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development signed a memorandum of cooperation to promote the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement of South Sudan (R-ARCSS).