UN Day Marked in South Sudan

Thousands of UN staff today took part in a series of nationwide ceremonies and events with South Sudanese partners to celebrate the commitment and the dedication of the UN family to support peace and development in South Sudan.

UN Day Marked in South Sudan
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for South Sudan, Ms. Hilde F. Johnson. [Gurtong | File ]

By Teddy Chenya

JUBA, 24 October 2012 [Gurtong] - Regarding the occasion, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for South Sudan, Ms. Hilde F. Johnson, said, “Let us all together today pledge to do more to make a difference. Let us rededicate ourselves to achieving lasting peace and prosperity that the people of South Sudan deserve.”

The UN is one of the country’s largest partners with more than 20 different organizations and a peacekeeping mission. The peacekeeping mission provides support for peace consolidation, capacity building and protection of civilians.

UN Agencies have mobilized US$ 750 million this year for development programmes and humanitarian action. These funds are used for life saving assistance to more than 200,000 malnourished children under five and other communities in need, and the UN also helps to build capacity and secure people’s livelihoods for the future.

In the health sector, UN partners have supported 19,000 women with antenatal services and ensured 14,000 deliveries have been attended by skilled health workers. More than 150 midwives have been trained to help reduce South Sudan’s maternity mortality rate, which is among the highest in the world.

In education, the UN and partners have built 18 schools, 99 classrooms and renovated 155 classrooms in recent months. Improving the literacy rates is an important priority for the UN in South Sudan, where almost 80% of the population cannot read or write. “A population that is educated fully provides the best basis for building South Sudan”, SRSG Johnson said.

The UN has helped 2.5 million people with food assistance this year. Seeds and tools have been distributed to more than 60,000 households, and over 2,000 farmers were trained in agricultural practices in 76 farmer field schools throughout the country.

The UN family is also working to support the Government of South Sudan on multiple issues such as promoting reconciliation; the protection of civilians; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants; support for the establishment of new institutions; promoting human rights for all; the reform of the security sector and the strengthening of the rule of law.

As the UN Secretary-General, Ban-Ki-moon, stated in his message on the occasion of UN Day, “The United Nations is not just a meeting place for diplomats.  The UN is a peacekeeper disarming fighters, a health worker distributing medicine, a relief team aiding refugees, a human rights expert helping deliver justice.”

In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly declared 24 October, the anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations, as which "shall be devoted to making known to the peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations and to gaining their support for" its work.

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