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Journalists receive training on ethical reporting

Thirty (30) journalists drawn from eleven (11) different media houses in South Sudan attended a three day training that took place from 22-24 November 2016 in Juba. The purpose of the training was to familiarize journalists with knowledge and reporting skills about various UN entities, build partnerships with the media and also promote ethical reporting.

This training was organized by the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in South Sudan with technical support from UNESCO and the United Nations Communications Group (UNCG).  Agencies provided participants with information on their mandates, activities, priority areas, key messages and contacts.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Eugene Owusu, said that the country team is committed to strengthening relationships with the media and developing their capacity, because they are key to the development of South Sudan. He also said that the country team will support media forums and activities in the coming months.

“Through the United Nations Communications Group, the country team will explore more ways on how to strengthen our relations with South Sudanese media,” he said.

He also emphasized the role of the media in South Sudan especially during the current context. He added that as the country develops, all partners should come together to work towards supporting such developments.

“As this country grows and develops, so must we all for it is our role to support the country moving towards her full potential,” he added

Silvano Yokwe Alison, a reporter from Equator Broadcasting Corporation, speaking on behalf of the participants at the training, urged the UN in South Sudan to provide more capacity building and also facilitate local journalists to cover stories in hard to reach areas.

“I am calling upon the UN to give local journalists a chance to report in areas that are difficult to reach,” he said.

The training was crowned with a social event where participants, other journalists from various media houses and UN staff interacted. Each participants was also awarded with a certificate of participation.

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UNCT donates equipment to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT), on November 23, under the framework, Delivering as One, provided tools and equipment to further enable the administrative capacity and fulfillment of the mandate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC) of South Sudan.

The UNCT is an inter-agency body serving as a platform for individual agencies to plan and deliver work together. The country team in South Sudan also partners closely with the government as well as other humanitarian and development actors.

Representing the UNCT, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative to South Sudan, Eugene Owusu, presented to the Ministry one Ford Ranger pick-up truck, one Suzuki motorcycle, two desktop computers, and one laserjet printer.

Mr. Owusu explained that under the Delivering as One framework, the UNCT is working hard to support the government with the creation of a comprehensive capacity building programme.

“Delivering As One is working together to support the Government. We are looking forward to articulating a comprehensive capacity building programme,” he said.

Hon. Joseph Ayok Anei, MFAIC’s Undersecretary, received the equipment and thanked the UNCT for its support and commitment to South Sudan. “South Sudan cannot stand on its own without the support of the international community,” he said.

“We look forward from benefiting from capacity building initiatives that will empower the ministry to overcome challenges that aren’t just operational in nature,” he added. “We hope they also strengthen the capacity of the Ministry as a whole.”

Bilateral cooperation between UN agencies and South Sudanese government ministries plays an important role in the stabilization and development of the country.

“As a member state of the UN,” said the Hon. Ayok Anei, “the South Sudan is part of the UN family and as such, we look forward to working together to resolve challenges.”

Photo: UNDP

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United Nations for the people of South Sudan- UN celebrates 71st anniversary

To commemorate UN Day in South Sudan, the United Nations family together with communities of South Sudan, government counterparts, civil society organizations, and development partners marked the 71st anniversary of the UN under the theme: “UN for the people of South Sudan.”

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ellen Margrethe Løj urged South Sudanese leaders to lay down the weapons and commit to inclusive dialogue, reconciliation and justice.

“As we come together here today, to celebrate UN day, we must be steadfast in our faith that South Sudanese can put aside their differences and unite for peace. The Peace Agreement remains the most credible vehicle to revive the peace process and should be fully implemented in an inclusive manner, for all the people of this country to achieve their dreams and aspirations.” said SRSG Løj, “To achieve this aim, there must be an end to the fighting.”

SRSG Løj also urged the Transitional Government of National Unity and the parties to the conflict in South Sudan to put the interests of their people first.

SRSG Løj read the UN Secretary- General Ban Ki Moon’s message which included: “Together, we have put in place some solid foundations for shared progress – which we must build on by working even harder to empower women, engage youth and uphold human rights for all. But we have also suffered enormous heartbreak -including unresolved conflicts causing immense suffering throughout the troubled Middle East, South Sudan, the Sahel and beyond.”

The UN Day activities in Juba included exhibitions by all UN agencies funds and programmes. The South Sudanese middle-distance runner Santino Kenyi, who participated at this year’s Olympics, and other beneficiaries of the UN also gave various testimonies of what the UN has done in their lives. Likewise students from Saint Thomas Primary School and Boy Scouts and Girl Guides took part in the day’s events.

The UN Day was also celebrated in other locations throughout the country including Torit, Aweil, Yambio, Bentiu, Malakal, Wau, Bor, Rumbek ,Kuajok and Warrap with a number of activities such as peace walks, cultural dances, interschool debates and sporting activities.

Early this month on 6 October 2016, the United Nations Country Team launched their two year strategy which details their road map for South Sudan as the country struggles from the shocks of wide spread insecurity and humanitarian crisis. This short-term overarching plan will guide the UN in responding to the needs and aspirations of the country as it forges a way towards recovery during the interim period, 2016-2017.

UN Day was established in 1971 by the United Nations General Assembly adopting  resolution (2782) and is celebrated every year to acknowledge the contribution of the UN to all member states.

 

 

 

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Global handwashing day commemorated in Juba

To mark the ninth Global Handwashing Day, hundreds of thousands of children across South Sudan today washed their hands with soap and clean water to promote handwashing as an effective method for preventing diseases. The day this year is marked under the theme ‘Handwashing with soap keeps Cholera away from you and your family,’ as South Sudan continues to grapple with a Cholera outbreak that has affected more than 2,500 people and resulted in 38 deaths.

“The simple practice of washing hands with soap and water can drastically reduce diarrheal and acute respiratory infections which are a common cause of death in children less than five years,” said UNICEF’s Representative in South Sudan, Mr. Mahimbo Mdoe.unicef-handwashing-day

Following the cholera outbreak in July 2016, UNICEF and partners responded by intensifying the promotion of washing hands with soap and clean water at critical times such as after using the toilet and before touching food. UNICEF has also worked with the Government and partners in establishing cholera treatment and oral rehydration centres. This has resulted in a decline in the number of cases in Juba which was the worst hit by the disease. New cases are however being reported in Mingkaman and Fangak which calls for more action to prevent spread of the disease.

“Handwashing with soap and clean water will drastically reduce outbreak of disease like Cholera that is repeatedly destroying the lives of people in Juba and elsewhere in the country,” said Honorable Sophia Pal Gai, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation.

The decline in the number of cholera cases in the capital can be attributed to the continuous mobilization of communities, school children and individuals to wash hands with soap and clean water during critical times,” said Peter Mahal Dhieu, the Director General for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation.

This year, UNICEF and partners have reached nearly 27,195 families with hygiene promotion messages for cholera prevention, and trained more than 200 social mobilizers, 550 hygiene promoters and 1,402 community leaders on key hygiene practices. In addition, more than 48 schools – covering 23,152 children and 160 teachers – were reached with important hygiene messages and three compactor trucks were given to Juba City Council for garbage collection and disposal from cholera hotspots.

UNICEF and partners have also distributed 146,878 water purification tablets, 56,373 bars of soap, 83,782 packets of oral rehydration salts and 10,000 educational booklet to over 147,994 people. UNICEF continues to work with schools to make handwashing and good hygiene a part of daily routine.

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United Nations Country Team launches Interim Cooperation Framework

The United Nations Country Team in South Sudan, along with government leaders and other partners officially launched the Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF) at Juba Grand Hotel today. The Interim Cooperation Framework is the development strategy of the United Nations Country Team and functions as an interim framework in 2016 and 2017, which corresponds to the transitional period of the peace agreement.

“The Transitional Government of National Unity is committed to its continued cooperation with the UN, and the ICF is a welcome initiative and a sign that we can do more together to make progress. The presentation we have seen today makes it clear how it can help create new momentum and new focus in our cooperation at this pivotal moment,” said Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Hon. Mary Jervase Yak. “The ICF provides us with robust analysis and clear strategic direction that reflect the views and inputs from many different perspectives and partners.”

The newly launched ICF requires UN agencies to be better targeted, based on a strong understanding of the context and guided by the following key principles: realism in setting goals and targets in a country confronted with a significant development deficit; recovery from the serious set-backs of recent years; resilience of people, communities and institutions; reaching the most vulnerable who have been harmed most by the crisis; strengthening institutions and capacities so that they can better sustain peace and stability.

“I hope that this event marks the start of a new, strong and fruitful partnership between the Government of South Sudan, the donor community and the UN system.  We all are aware that there is a significant amount of work to do to ensure a better future for the people of South Sudan after years of conflict and crisis.  It is high time that we collectively chart a new course towards peace and prosperity for this country,” said Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ellen Margrethe Loej at the launch event.

The goal of the ICF is to support the transformation of South Sudan towards peace and stability, and sustainable development, by focusing on five highly prioritized substantive areas: enhancing the resilience of local communities; strengthening social services for the most vulnerable; strengthening peace and governance; reinvigorating the local economy; cross-cutting improvement in the status of women and youth. The United Nations Country Team is also prepared to help assist with the formation of South Sudan’s national development plan.

“What should define this country are the dreams, the hopes and the aspirations that South Sudanese have for themselves and their beloved nation. As South Sudan dreams of a better future, I want to assure you that we are in this together. If indeed peace, recovery and sustainable development is what you desire, you will find in the United Nations a committed and enduring partner,” said Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative to South Sudan Eugene Owusu.

The ICF was developed and adopted jointly by all UN organizations operating in South Sudan, in consultation with their national and international partners. The United Nations Country Team, under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, consists of FAO, IOM, OCHA, OHCHR, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNDSS, UNEP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UN Habitat, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNMAS, UNMISS, UNOPS, UN Women, WFP, and WHO.

As part of the improved coordination between agencies in South Sudan, the launch event also unveiled the new website and logo for the United Nations Country Team. The United Nations in South Sudan can be found online at http://ss.one.un.org, on Twitter at @UN_SouthSudan, and on Facebook at facebook.com/UnitedNationsSouthSudan.

Watch a short video on the new brand here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSJBWS_sIlM&feature=youtu.be 

 
For more information please contact
info.unct.ss@one.un.org
National leaders from government, military, law enforcement, civil society, and the United Nations pose for a group photo. Photo: UNDP

United Nations and Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare hold national high level dialogue on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Representative leaders from government, civil society, and the United Nations participated at a national high level dialogue on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) between September 27-28, 2016 at Dembesh Hotel in Juba.

Against the backdrop of the July 2016 conflict in Juba, the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare intends to strengthen the implementation of the South Sudan National Action Plan 2015-2020 on UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and Related Resolutions. One of the immediate effects of the conflict is the increase in reported cases of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) against women and children.

The United Nations supported the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare to conduct this public dialogue on the National Action Plan as a way of providing the national leadership with a platform to highlight issues related to the theme, “Addressing Impunity on Sexual and Gender Based Violence in South Sudan.

Full story: High-level dialogue on Sexual Gender Based Violence held in South Sudan 

Full speech by the DSRSG/RC/HC/RR: high-level-dialogue-on-sgbv-unct-final

 

The Vice President of South Sudan H.E James Wani Igga speaks at the International Day of Peace in Juba.

South Sudan commemorates the International Day of Peace

The United Nations in South Sudan joined national peace actors including the South Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission (SSPRC), National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation (NPPR), civil society organizations, INGOS and the media to commemorate this year’s International Day of Peace under the national theme: Together We Can Heal the Nation. This day is celebrated globally every year on September 21.

These celebrations were marked by a series of activities including the launch of 100 days of activism which took place on September 14, 2016 at the SSPRC. This campaign which will last until the end of the year calls for joint efforts towards addressing peace and security in the country. Other events side included youth and women outreach activities and national prayers.

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D/SRSG, Moustapaha Soumare, speaks at the International Day of Peace Celebrations at Nyakuron Cultural Center in Juba. Photo: UNDP

The official celebration held at Nyakuron Cultural Centre was marked by key note speeches from the Vice President of South Sudan, H.E. James Wani Igga, the Chairperson of the SSPRC, the Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (D/SRSG), Moustapaha Soumare. There were also colorful performances by school children and youth groups.

Speaking on behalf of the UN at the official ceremony, the D/SRSG, Moustapaha Soumare, said that peace meant a society where people lived free. “It (peace)  is about building a global society in which people live free from poverty and share the benefits of prosperity,” he said.

UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner, George Okoth-Obbo (R) and Governor of Ruweng State, Mayol Kur Akuel (L) shake hands to mark the official opening of the camp. © UNHCR/Rocc Nuri

UNHCR opens a new refugee camp in northern Unity

The UN Refugee Agency officially opened a new camp at Pamir on September 01, 2016 in coordination with local authorities and South Sudan’s Commission for Refugee Affairs to provide better protection and services to Sudanese refugees relocating from Yida settlement and new arrivals from the war-torn Nuba Mountains.

The new camp, some 80 km south of the contested border with Sudan, is ready to accommodate up to 20,000 people at the moment. UNHCR and partners have so far demarcated 5,000 family plots, built a primary school and a health care centre. Drinking water is available through a sun-powered water pumping system and teachers are on site to start classes as soon as the school term resumes.

UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner George Okoth-Obbo, who was on a 3-day visit to South Sudan from Geneva, cut the ribbon together with the Governor of newly formed Ruweng State, Mayol Kur Akuei, Acting Commissioner for Refugee Affairs, John Dabi and UNHCR Director of Africa Bureau, Valentin Taspoba. Representatives from the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and World Food Program (WFP) attended the official inauguration.

“Our aim is to ensure that refugees access to quality services according to international standards, but our long-term strategy is to provide them with the tools and means that enable them to become more self-reliant and less dependent on humanitarian assistance,” says Okoth-Obbo. “This means boosting education, investing in agriculture and skill development opportunities.”

In addition to hosting the newly opened Pamir, northern Unity has two other refugee settlements: Yida, right next to the contested border with Sudan, with a population of 59,000 people and Ajuong Thok, home to more than 40,000 refugees. The latter camp received some 10,000 new arrivals from South Kordofan in first eight months of 2016 as well as more than 4,400 refugees who had previously registered in Yida.

“With Ajuong Thok at full capacity, we had no option but opening a new camp,” says Okoth-Obbo. “We cannot thank enough the authorities and communities of South Sudan for being so generous and hospitable to the refugees. Without their support, we never would have been able to extend protection and assistance to refugees in the first place.”

Governor Akuei said that refugees and local communities have been living together peacefully for the past five years, sharing land and resources. “We appreciate the great cooperation with UNHCR and we hope that this partnership will go a long way as to also benefit our communities, who are often in worst conditions than the refugees”, he said.

 

Youth at the innovation workshop

Youth innovation challenge for peace launched in South Sudan

The United Nations Development Programme’s new Youth Innovation Challenge for Peace launched official activities on Thursday with an introduction workshop designed to explain the competition process, rules, and innovation principles. More than 120 young people gathered to learn about the competition, which aims to spark out-of-the-box innovative ideas on engaging young South Sudanese in peace building and as agents of change.

“We want to see South Sudan through your eyes- the eyes of young people who have fresh points of view and the creativity to tackle the complex issues you and your peers face”, said UNDP Acting Country Director Jean-Luc Stalon in opening remarks to participants at the workshop.

The Youth Innovation Challenge is organized by UNDP’s Community Security and Arms Control Project to specifically recognize the strength of youth-led initiatives and the impact of home-grown ideas on societies emerging from conflict.

Full story: http://www.ss.undp.org/content/south_sudan/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2016/08/25/youth-innovation-challenge-for-peace-launches-in-south-sudan.html

UN Humanitarian Chief condemns violence against civilians and aid workers in South Sudan

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, concluded his three-day mission to South Sudan today, calling for all parties to uphold their responsibilities to protect civilians, amidst fresh fighting that has displaced tens of thousands of people in multiple locations across the country.

“The people of this country have suffered far too much, and for far too long,” said USG O’Brien. “I am outraged by the heinous acts of violence that have been committed against civilians, including by members of the armed forces, and call for swift and decisive action to halt these abuses and bring the perpetrators to account.”

The humanitarian situation in South Sudan is catastrophic. More than half of the population – some 6.1 million people – are in need of humanitarian assistance. An estimated 4.8 million people are severely food insecure across the country, with a quarter of a million children facing severe acute malnutrition. Forced displacement remains a defining feature of the crisis, with some 1.6 million people internally displaced, and more than 900,000 having fled to neighbouring countries, including more than 60,000 who fled to Uganda in July alone. Protection of civilians is a paramount concern, with extensive reports received of rape and other forms of sexual violence during recent fighting, including in Juba and Wau.

Full story:

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/f2c222dd83de60ecbebe45951/files/160803_Press_Release_SouthSudan_USG_O_Brien_condemns_violence_against_civilians_and_aid_workers.pdf