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Honorable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

I am grateful for the important deliberations we have heard today. It was indeed reflective of the rough road we have travelled together over the past several months.

I must commend all of you for standing together as JMEC members, and for the support to the JMEC Secretariat. It gives us hope, and more importantly, it gives assurance to the people of South Sudan, that the road to a durable peace might be long, but certainly there is a will, and a determination to endure the journey.

Our meeting today, with a near full house, on a Saturday is a clear sign of that commitment. I want to appeal to you all to maintain this same spirit of commitment in the New Year with even more determination.

I also want to thank the Honourable Minister, Martin Elia Lumoro for his briefing today, and for the constructive responses on the part of the TGoNU. I want Hon. Micheal Makuei to convey our Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Wishes to His Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit, and to his First Vice President General Taban Deng Gai and Vice President Wani Iga. We welcome the National Dialogue Initiative, and we appeal to his excellency that it should be extended to all South Sudanese, in all walks of life, across all political and other divides, and in particular to all the estranged parties to the peace agreement.

Honorable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

I am confident that our meeting today achieved the following outcomes;

  • We welcome, and fully endorsed the Presidents proposed national dialogue initiative to complement the peace process, and ensure full implementation of the peace agreement going forward, and we acknowledged the appeal for support in this regard.
  • We received a detailed briefing on the current humanitarian situation from UNMISS, and we welcome the commitment of the TGoNU to dialogue with UNMISS to take corrective measures going forward. We also acknowledge the observation from the TGoNU that such briefings should in future emphasize key recent updates;
  • We welcome the briefing from the TGoNU on recent progress made in implementation of the Peace Agreement and the Security Council Resolution 2304. In particular, we welcome the resolutions made in the recent cantonment workshops, the launch of the national consultative committee for the establishment of the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH), as well as completion of training of the first batch of the Joint Integrated Police. I urge the TGoNU to build on this momentum in the new year, and to accelerate implementation of key outstanding tasks as provided in the Agreement;
  • We acknowledge the key role played by young people of this country, the programme of action laid down by the youth’s representative, and we look forward to constructive engagements with the youth in the peace implementation process. I encourage this spirit of partnership with JMEC, and I appeal for support of all JMEC partners and the TGoNU to the youth’s efforts;
  • We also received reports and updates from all the boards and commissions reporting to JMEC, and we fully express our support to their tasks, and commit to doing whatever is within our powers to address recurring challenges, in particular;
  • We welcome progress reported by the SDSR board, and the clear timelines and milestones set for its tasks ahead. We have noted its call for support and funding, and I appeal to our partners to support this important work;
  • I applaud the JMCC for holding continuous meetings, the recent workshops and detailed plans for cantonment, constructive engagement with UNMISS on the RPF, and we note the recurring challenges.
  • I note with concern reports of deteriorating security situation and ceasefire violations, as reported by CTSAMM, and commend CTSAMM for continuing its work amidst several challenges;
  • I also welcome the significant progress made by the JIP, and we look forward to building on this momentum.
  • Finally, we have called upon all parties, armed groups and the people of South Sudan to observe peace during this festive season and beyond. We appeal for full observance of the ceasefire by the parties, a spirit of dialogue and forgiveness amongst all South Sudanese, and look forward to a return to full implementation of the peace agreement, and adherence to agreed timelines and implementation schedule in the New Year.

Once again, I would like to conclude by wishing all of you, and the people of South Sudan, a merry Christmas, and a happy peaceful prosperous new year 2017.

I thank you

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