Statement by Ambassador Inigo Lambertini, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Security Council briefing concerning the situation in the Sudan and South Sudan —
At the outset, I would like to thank Special Representative Shearer for his briefing and dedication with which he is implementing the UNMISS posture in accordance with the three-tiered approach to the protection of civilians.
I also greet and thank President Mogae for updating us today and his contribution for the international community to speak with “one voice” on the South Sudanese crisis.
Italy considers three fundamental aspects in assessing the situation in South Sudan:
– the humanitarian situation;
– human rights and the national reconciliation;
– the peace process.
The continuing violation of ceasefire forces thousands of South Sudanese, every day, to leave their houses, villages, lands. The humanitarian situation in South Sudan is an emergency involving half of the country’s population. Neighboring countries are daily called to buffer this human hemorrhage by limited means and against the risk that instability will soon spread to more areas of the region.
Working for a shared solution for peace in South Sudan also means putting an end to this wound on the African continent. It is not only a moral imperative we all have in helping South Sudan, but also a geopolitical constraint the regional actors must face.
The dramatic situation of the population in South Sudan is further exacerbated by the serious violations of human rights. The conflict fuels impunity. Gender and sexual violence, recruitment and use of child-soldiers, further compression of freedom of opinion and speech, are slowly destroying the young South Sudanese nation.
We firmly believe that, without justice, there will never be a true national reconciliation. We welcome the conclusion of the preparatory work for the establishment of the Hybrid Court, conducted by the African Union with the support of the United Nations Office on Legal Affairs. We now hope that the South Sudanese authorities will quickly follow in accordance with Chapter VII of the Peace Agreement.
Finally, Mr. President, the peace process. In the last two weeks small, but important steps forward were made at meetings held in New York. The communiqués issued after the 13th meeting of the UN-African Union Joint Task Force, the African Union Peace and Security Council and the High Level Summit convened by the Secretary-General on the margins of the UNGA Ministerial Week all converge in supporting the IGAD High-level Revitalization Forum.
Italy, as co-Chair, with Ethiopia, of the IGAD Partners Forum has been strongly supporting, both politically and financially, the efforts of IGAD for the regional stability. As we have consistently stated since our entry into the Security Council, the crisis in South Sudan is also a regional crisis. It is up to the IGAD to lead the international action for the reconciliation in the country, with the support of the African Union and the United Nations.
We therefore reiterate our support to the High-Level Revitalization Forum, agreeing that this is — I quote — “the last chance for the Parties to really achieve sustainable peace and stability in South Sudan” — end quote — as the Peace and Security Council of the African Union stated in its communiqué last 20 September.
I thank you, Mister President.