Honourable Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly Honourable Dusman James, Chairperson of the Women Parliamentary Caucus, Honourable Members of Parliament
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. It gives me great pleasure to make a few remarks at the opening session of this workshop. The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) is pleased to partner with, and support the South Sudan Women Parliamentary Caucus in convening this workshop.
2. Theworkshopisbothtimelyandimportant.Weareatacrossroadsintheimplementationofthe peace agreement. As you are no doubt aware, we are currently engaged in a process to ‘revitalise and reinvigorate’ the peace agreement. There is a clear need to strengthen our collective approaches and strategies for sustainable peace. You, Honourable members of parliament gathered here constitute critical part of that effort. You must not let this window of opportunity close. Seize this opportunity.
3. I recognise, and have stated many times that there is also an urgent need to increase women’s participation in the peace process broadly and in the implementation of the peace agreement. I urge you to hold the parties to the peace agreement accountable to the commitments in the peace agreement on gender equality and quotas as pertains to women’s participation and engagement in ARCSS institutions and processes. You as Members of Parliament have a voice that you can deploy to advance gender equality.
Honourable Members of Parliament,
- Let me state at the outset, that I am a firm believer in the ability and power that women have to make real contributions to sustainable peace in any country. It now widely acknowledged that women are real agents of peaceful transformation in communities the world over. South Sudanese women are no exception.
- I am informed that you have recently completed statewide consultations and have made recommendations about how best to include ordinary citizens in participating in monitoring implementation of the peace agreement. The peace agreement concerns all citizens of South Sudan and they must have ownership over it. You, as the peoples’ representatives and are best placed to make this a reality. I look forward to receiving your recommendations on this.
- This workshop presents an opportunity for JMEC to share information with you on the status of implementation and discuss the vital role that you, as members of parliament can play in advancing the process of implementation. I welcome your contribution and cooperation in this process.
- I wish you successful deliberations and now have the pleasure to declare this workshop officially open.