Statement by Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, during the Security Council Meeting on Peace and Security in Africa: Visit of the Deputy Secretary-General to Horn of Africa, 4 November 2019
At the outset, I would like to congratulate the United Kingdom on assuming the presidency of the Security Council for the month of November, please be assured of South Africa’s support for your efforts this month. On a slightly different note, I would like to congratulate the English Rugby team for their performance at this year’s Rugby World Cup and final. In all sports, our teams have historically had a healthy competitive spirit, and this was again illustrated at this year and past weekend’s Rugby World Cup.
We would like to thank the Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) for her briefing as well as Ambassador Fatima Mohamed, the Permanent Representative of the African Union. We commend the joint visit to Sudan, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia by Ms Amina Mohamed with the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Ms Bineta Diop, and the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa, Mr Parfait Onanga-Anyanga. The focus of this joint UN-African Union trip, on women, peace and security and the international commitment in pursuit of peace, stability and credible elections in these countries, was important.
South Africa would wish to commend the role that the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), as well as international partners have been playing in facilitating state building and peacebuilding processes in the Horn of Africa.
As we said in the recent past, the winds of positive change are blowing in the Horn of Africa. The frontiers of peace and peaceful neighbourliness are expanding and, in the process, touches many nations and ordinary people. Those still fragile, auger well for silencing the guns by 2020.
It is in this context and peace overtures ahead that South Africa appreciates you Madame DSG and Ambassador Fatima Mohamed and your colleagues both at the UN and AU of your extensive visit and numerous engagements held with policy makers, activists and ordinary people during your just ended trip to the Horn of Africa.
We also acknowledge the role played by Prime Minister Abe together with IGAD, in facilitating the Sudan peace agreement and transition process.
In terms of the peace process in South Sudan we would like to note the progress made to date towards the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement to Resolve the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).
We wish to highlight the need for the parties to strictly adhere to the deadline of 12 November 2019, to form the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity and emphasize that there can be no delay or postponement of the set deadline.
My delegation further wishes to underline in this regard the importance of ensuring that the political processes in the Horn of Africa is sustained. South Africa reiterates that the gains achieved can be strengthened and sustained only through continued dialogue and cooperation between the countries of the region. We reiterate that the steps taken so far are a major milestone in Africa’s endeavours to Silence the Guns by 2020 and to promote deeper regional and Continental integration in line with Agenda 2063.
We agree with you DSG that “women’s inclusion contributes to the development of responsive decision-making processes, that ensure sustainable development. We also share your view that “In situations of conflict, and in preventing violence, women’s mediation and peacemaking efforts have been proven to be more effective”.
The involvement of women in UN peacekeeping roles within the military, police and civilian components in conflict remains negligible despite the adoption of UNSCR 2242 (2015), which calls for the doubling of the numbers of women in military and police contingents of UN peacekeeping operations over the next five years.
We are encouraged, however, with the Security Council’s unanimous adoption of resolution 2493 (2019) on 29 October 2019, under our presidency of the Council, urging States to recommit themselves to the Women, Peace and Security agenda including by creating safe environments for women leaders, peacebuilders, human rights defenders and political actors around the globe.
In conclusion, we must continue to support the narrative that women, including young women, are agents of change. As we have heard today, and we have seen in many examples across the world, they have the greatest transformative effect on societies including peacebuilding and nation building.
Let’s avail resources for elections, implementation of peace agreements and similar processes taking place in the horn of Africa.
I thank you.
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