Human Rights Council 48th Session
Item 4: EID with Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan
Statement delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden)
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I have the pleasure of delivering this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic Countries [Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, and Norway].
Violence and insecurity are the fundamental obstacles to improving the human rights situation in South Sudan. We welcome progress in implementing the Peace Agreement, such as opening the Transitional National legislature, but the pace is too slow. In the vacuum, human rights violations and abuses such as arbitrary and extrajudicial killings, abductions, conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, and detentions continue. Peace should mean more than just the absence of war.
All major armed groups are responsible, but the Government of South Sudan has the primary responsibility to protect the population. We urge the parties to make immediate progress on arrangements to improve security and rule of law.
We are deeply concerned by measures taken by the Government [of South Sudan] to restrict freedom of expression, assembly, association, and media freedom in response to planned demonstrations last month. The government [of South Sudan] must show their commitment to civil and political rights by allowing peaceful public discourse to take place.
Finally, a strong UN human rights mechanism is still needed in South Sudan. We urge the government to continue its history of cooperation with the Commission in recognition of this fact.