I wish to begin by congratulating Mozambique on assuming the Presidency of the Council this month. I am confident that under your leaders, the Council’s work this month will be crowned with success. I also congratulate Malta for its tremendous efforts last month. I thank Special Representative Nicholas Haysom and Director Tareq Talahma for their briefings. I welcome the presence of the Permanent Representative of South Sudan at today’s meeting.
The year 2023 is a crucial year for South Sudan as it implements the Revitalized Agreement and advances the political transition. We welcome the Government’s enactment of key legislation such as the Constitution Making Process Bill. We welcome the graduation of the first batch of elements of the Necessary Unified Forces and the steady headway achieved in implementing the Agreement. We also welcome South Sudan’s ratification of four international conventions, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which is testimony to the Government’s commitment to the rights of citizens. These are vital to improving the country’s national governance structure and are indispensable for a smooth electoral process. We encourage all parties in South Sudan to continue to remain politically engaged and implement the Revitalized Agreement and the benchmarks set out in the roadmap with a greater sense of urgency to be fully prepared for the political transition and the smooth holding of elections.
At this critical time, the international community should continue to exercise patience, and render more support and encouragement to South Sudan to help it overcome the difficulties in the Agreement’s implementation and electoral preparations with tangible actions. UNMISS, the African Union, IGAD and regional countries have been playing important roles in South Sudan’s peace process. We note that the government has submitted a request to the United Nations for electoral assistance. We look forward to a clearer and more targeted electoral support program to be agreed between UNMISS and the Government of South Sudan. We also call on the international community to provide political, technical, and logistical support to the IGAD-supported Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission and Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism to ensure their continued smooth functioning
Recently, we have seen escalated violence across many regions in South Sudan, including Upper Nile, Jonglei and Equatoria. The security and humanitarian situation there is worrying. We call on all parties concerned to immediately cease hostilities and settle their differences through dialogue and negotiation. The Government’s deployment of security forces in the Nile corridor has helped stabilize the local situations, fully demonstrating that the country’s security must be maintained by its government. The international community should focus on assisting South Sudan in its efforts to accelerate the security sector reform, advance the deployment of unified forces, implement the mandate emanating from Chapter II of the Revitalized Agreement on security arrangements, among other things. The Council sanctions on South Sudan have restricted the Government’s security capacity to protect civilians and must be lifted immediately.
UNMISS has made important contributions to peace and stability in South Sudan. As one of the main TCCs to UNMISS, China stands ready to work with fellow TCCs and PCCs to continue our unremitting efforts to advance the peace process in South Sudan. It merits our attention that the mandate of UNMISS has been expanding in recent years, some parts of which are clearly beyond the competence of a peacekeeping mission and others may undermine the trust between the Mission and the host government. We hope the Security Council will concentrate on the core mandate of peacekeeping operations when discussing the draft resolution on the renewal of UNMISS mandate, abide by the three principles of peacekeeping, and set out realistic arrangements in light of the most pressing tasks in South Sudan.
China is a steadfast supporter of the peace process in South Sudan. We attach great importance to the economic, social, and humanitarian situation in the country. In our assistance to and cooperation with South Sudan, we always adhere to a people-centered approach and set great store by livelihood-related projects that benefits the local people. We have just signed a new round of agreements with South Sudan on well drilling and water supply projects, which we expect will provide improved water supply facilities for local residents, leading to better quality of life and greater agriculture advancement.
I thank you, Mr. President.