Opening Remarks by H.E. Festus G. Mogae, Chairman of JMEC Delivered at the ARCSS Implementation Status Review Workshop 25th September 2017
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen;
- I welcome you all this morning to this very important and timely JMEC Evaluation Review Workshop on the status of implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
- This is a moment of great significance within JMEC’s monitoring and evaluation mandate. For the last twenty two months since November 2015 we have together faithfully executed our mandate as an oversight body.
- We have had very frank, honest and sometimes emotive conversations in our nineteen Plenary meetings to date. Together we have urged the Parties to adhere to the Peace Agreement, including the agreed tasks, timelines and implementation schedules.
- On numerous occassions we confronted, without fear or favour, the violations that unfortunately have characterised the life-span of this Peace Agreement and equally, where there has been progress we have commended the Parties responsible.
- More importantly, we have stood by the people of South Sudan, highlighted their plight and provided a forum for all Agreement stakeholders to engage the Parties and appeal for the immediate restoration of peace.
- Pursuant to Chapter VII of the Peace Agreement, we have dutifully reported as JMEC to the TGoNU, IGAD, African Union and United Nations on the status of implementation of the Peace Agreement, pointing out any progress or lack thereof, and with very practical recommendations for their consideration.
- We have submitted special reports to the IGAD leadership on key incidents and specific issues that have impacted on the implementation of the Peace Agreement, and engaged proactively with the Parties, South Sudanese stakeholders, regional and International Partners and Friends of South Sudan.
- Regrettably, the citizens of this country are yet to enjoy the peace dividend that the implementation of the Peace Agreement was expected to deliver.
- The renewed conflict since July 2016 has not only impeded progress in the implementation of the Peace Agreement but also reversed many of the gains that had been initially made.
- Conflict escalated, Parties fractured, new groups emerged, and civilians continued to be displaced and endure threat of food insecurity amidst a dire economic situation.
- It is in this context, therefore, that IGAD following our recommendation decided to initiate a process for the revitalisation of the Peace Agreement.
Honourable Ministers, Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen;
- As you are aware, early this year in March 2017 we took a deliberate step of enhancing our oversight role with the formation of six JMEC Working Committees. Their tasks are to continuously review and assess progress towards the implementation of the Peace Agreement, evaluate, support and recommend remedial actions to be undertaken.
- The Working Committees have held a combined total of 38 meetings to date, engaged bi-laterally with the TGoNU and other stakeholders, and invited briefings from key Agreement Institutions and Implementation mechanisms.
- The Committees have prepared their evaluation reports and today we shall together consider and reflect on their findings. These findings will form a basis for JMEC’s report to IGAD on the status of implementation of the Peace Agreement which is instrumental to the success of the revitalisation process.
- I hope that the Committees’ assessment shall enable the Parties, the region and all South Sudanese stakeholders to pursue the revitalisation process from an informed point of view, and encourage them to take concrete steps to revitalise the implementation of the Peace Agreement without further delays.
- I commend all the Chairpersons of the Working Committees, their members and observers for the dedication, commitment and diligence they have maintained in evaluating the progress, or lack thereof, in the implementation of the Peace Agreement. I also commend the TGoNU for its cooperation and participation in the Working Committee meetings. I urge the Committees to continue their good work.
- From the briefings I have received, I have full confidence in the approaches that were adopted, and now invite you all to listen to their presentations and constructively engage in the spirit of finding lasting solutions to the conflict in South Sudan.
I thank you.