As delivered by First Secretary Paul Bjørndal (Norway).
Norway is appalled by the grave and widespread human rights violations and abuses in South Sudan.
Once again we have to acknowledge that there has been no improvement since the Council last met. Instead, human rights violations continue on a shocking scale with civilians and aid workers being deliberate targets of violence.
Norway condemns these violations and abuses in the strongest possible terms. We ask all parties to the conflict to respect basic human rights and international humanitarian law. However, we would also underline that the primary responsibility to protect its population lies with the sovereign Government of South Sudan.
We therefore urge the Government of South Sudan to take immediate, concrete and visible steps to end all violations of international humanitarian law and to hold the perpetrators of such violations accountable. Norway believes there is a pressing need for justice and accountability in South Sudan and we encourage the African Union to establish the Hybrid Court described in Chapter 5 of the Peace Agreement, as soon as possible.
Finally, we would ask the parties to the conflict to return to the political process and to participate constructively in the IGAD revitalization process. Ending the violence must be our shared priority.
Thank you, Mr Vice-President.