“We Are Committed To Maintaining Peace” Kiir Assures UN Members

“We remain strongly committed to maintaining peaceful and mutually beneficial relations with all States and particularly with our neighbours,” says President Salva Kiir at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 23rd September 2011.

“We Are Committed To Maintaining Peace” Kiir Assures UN Members
President Salva Kiir Mayardit delivering his first Speech at the UN General Assembly in New York [©Larco Lomayat]

By Larco Lomayat                  
NEW YORK, USA - 25th September 2011 – On his third day visit to New York to attend and address the UNGA on Friday, 23rd September 2011, President Kiir delivered a historic speech for the first time as President of the Republic of South Sudan at the United Nations General Assembly. 

The speech was strong and President Kiir was applauded by world leaders at the UNGA when delivering his historic speech.
 
In his speech, President Kiir said, “As an emergent nation that has been embroiled in conflict during different periods of time and all of which add up to a total of more than five decades, the Republic of South Sudan stands in dire need of all the help it can get”.

President Kiir also said, “In the external domain, we remain strongly committed to maintaining peaceful and mutually beneficial relations with all States and particularly with our neighbours.”

As scheduled and for the first time after the Independence of the Republic if South Sudan on July 09, 2011.  South Sudan was officially recognized by the UN on July 14, as the United Nations 193rd Member State.

Below is the full speech of the President Kiir at the UN General Assembly:

Speech of H.E. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit,

The President of the Republic of South Sudan on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly, New York,

Session No. 66

September 23, 2011

Mr. President of the United Nations General Assembly

Mr. Secretary General of the United Nations

Heads of the Delegations

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

I wish at the outset to avail myself of the opportunity and privilege of addressing your stellar gathering, to reiterate on my own behalf and on behalf of the people of the Republic of South Sudan our most sincere and profound gratitude to the entire international community for the warmth with which our state has been welcomed into the community of world nations.

My people back home in South Sudan, and I personally here with you in New York, regard this significant moment, as yet another milestone on the long list of our achievements.

I would like to seize this rare opportunity, once again to salute many of you, who stood with us during our long struggle.

We are indebted to many friends in this great hall without whose efforts, it would not have been easy for us to arrive where we are today. We owe a debt of gratitude to the IGAD countries, the Troika states, the friends and partners of IGAD, who waged peace for Sudan that culminated in the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005.
 
As an emergent nation that has been embroiled in conflict during different periods of time and all of which add up to a total of more than five decades, the Republic of South Sudan stands in dire need of all the help it can get. In most post conflict situations, nations would normally expect to rebuild. This is not the case for us.

Even before the ravages of war could set in, our country never had anything worth rebuilding. Hence we characterise our post conflict mission as one of construction rather than reconstruction and we therefore hope that the overwhelming outpouring of support and sympathy that greeted our independence from all corners of the globe, will translate into tangible development assistance for South Sudan. Our march out of the abyss of poverty and deprivation into the realm of progress and prosperity is going to be a long one and that is why we need you to partner us on this difficult journey.

Mr. President, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Although nature has endowed our country with abundant resources, notably oil and other mineral wealth, we hardly produce anything for ourselves; at least not yet. We are determined to diversify the economy of our country and lessen our precarious and near total dependence on oil. Our strategy is to use the oil as a catalyst to unlock the potential we have in other areas especially in agriculture. Oil is a non-renewable resource that will inevitably be depleted at some point in the future but we know that the land, water and human resources at our disposal will continue to be our country’s true inexhaustible fountain of wealth. The ambition of the people of South Sudan is to be able to transform their country into a regional agro-industrial powerhouse and without a helping hand from others; the attainment of this goal will indeed remain a tall order. Much as we need external assistance it is our passionate wish that it will be offered on terms that will also respect our political and economic choices.

The Republic of South Sudan is not under any illusions that economic development and prosperity can be achieved in the absence of a climate of peace and stability. We shall therefore strive to promote peace and harmony not only internally but also between all our neighbours and us. Inside South Sudan we have set up broad-based Executive and Legislative Organs of Government that are inclusive of key political parties. We did that despite the fact that our party, the SPLM won a landslide in the last elections.

We were not deterred from installing such an accommodative Government by the fact that we do not even yet have in place, the requisite legal framework governing political party activity.

We took these steps not only because of our commitment to political pluralism but primarily because of our strong conviction that measures of inclusion such as these, foster peace and harmony.

Mr. President, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the external domain, we remain strongly committed to maintaining peaceful and mutually beneficial relations with all states and particularly with our neighbours. In this regard I wish to affirm that the Republic of South Sudan fully adheres to the principle of absolute respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states including the Republic of Sudan. Therefore the Republic of South Sudan hereby categorically restates that it has not and will not interfere in any domestic conflict situation in the Republic of Sudan. However on account of the fact that conflict areas in the Republic of Sudan border our country and any spill-over effects from these could negatively impact our own security, we urge the Government of Sudan to seek a peaceful resolution to these conflicts.

We would like to emphasise in particular that the reinstatement by the government of Sudan of the recent Addis Ababa Framework Accord on the situation in Southern Kordofan State and political relations between the Government and the opposition, could go a long way in promoting the restoration of peace in the areas bordering South Sudan.

There are a number of outstanding issues that have carried over from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). We hope to expeditiously resolve them so as to ensure complete normalisation of relations between the two states and the start of a new era of positive and mutually beneficial relationship that will be predicated on the commonalities shared by the people of the two states.

We therefore urge the Government of the Republic of Sudan to consent to the speedy demarcation of the border between the two states with the help of the international community.

We hope Khartoum will no longer object to such an arrangement given that South Sudan is now a sovereign state. We would also like to plead with the Government of the Republic of Sudan to agree to the submission of our dispute over the ownership of a number of border areas, to international Arbitration. The Government of the Republic of South Sudan applauds the cooperation of the government of the Republic of Sudan in paving the way to the full implementation of UNISFA and hopes that the two countries will reach agreement sooner rather than later, on the resolution of the Abyei issue in line with the relevant provisions of the CPA.

Mr. President, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On the economic front, South Sudan wishes to declare that it is willing and ready to continue serious negotiations with Khartoum. This will be done with the aim of reaching mutually acceptable arrangements that will guarantee for the Republic of Sudan a fair income, from the use of Sudan’s Oil export infrastructure.

In terms of governance, we have moved to rectify some of the defects in our system by strengthening the pillars of good governance. A number of key Bills, notable among which is the ‘Public Financial Management Bill’, are now making their way steadily through the legislative process. The passage of such laws will help promote accountability and transparency and ultimately curb corruption and the unwarranted loss of public revenue.

In conclusion the new Republic of South Sudan vows to become an active member of the global family of nations, making its contribution to fostering world peace and prosperity for the benefit of all humankind.
 

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