The Women, Peace and Security Working Group of South Sudan (WPS Working Group) submits this statement on behalf of its members, by Embassies of Norway, Sweden, Canada, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK, United Nations (UN Women, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA and UNMISS), EU Delegation, AUMISS, IGAD, RJMEC, and institutions established under the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS). The WPS Working Group welcomes the Government of South Sudan’s commitment to review the South Sudan National Action Plan 2015-2020 and launch the new National Action Plan on WPS for the period 2022- 2026.
As we commemorate the 21st anniversary of the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on Women, Peace and Security, the WPS Working Group underscores the link between gender equality, as enshrined in the peace and security framework, and South Sudan’s path to sustainable peace and development. The WPS Working Group calls on the Government of South Sudan to fully implement the provisions of all Security Council Resolutions related to Women, Peace and Security. We also highlight the importance of fulfilling the commitments and accountability frameworks charted in the National Action Plan on WPS, the Joint Communique of the Republic of South Sudan and the United Nations on addressing conflict-related sexual violence, as well as other international commitments such as CEDAW, ICPD@25, CRC, CRPD, and the Beijing Platform for Action. The WPS Working Group will stand in solidary with the Government of South Sudan in this crucial work and is ready to assist.
The Republic of South Sudan committed to implement all provisions of the UNSCR 1325 in its 2015-2020 National Action Plan. The plan aimed at strengthening women’s meaningful participation in decision-making processes at all levels. This contributed to the inclusion of women in peace negotiations under the R-ARCSS, and a requirement that 35% of leadership positions should be filled by women. The WPS Working Group recognizes the increase in participation of women in the 2021 Reconstituted National Legislative Assembly. However, the commitment of a minimum of 35% representation of women has not been achieved yet. Women play a critical role in building a peaceful, cohesive and prosperous South Sudan. We therefore urge the Government of South Sudan to recommit to the 35% quota in all its institutions; and ensure full implementation of R-ARCSS in view of women’s participation.
The National Action Plan, which is focused on strengthening the participation of women in peace and security efforts and creating an enabling environment for women’s leadership and participation needs to be supported through increased and sustained funding in the national budget.
The WPS Working Group would also like to highlight the critical role that civil society and women’s groups play in the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. We urge the Government to listen to and engage with civil society, particularly women-led and women’s rights organizations.
The WPS Working Group also urges the Government to address harmful traditional gender norms that impede the attainment of gender equality in South Sudan and women’s meaningful participation in social, economic and political spheres. The Government should enact the Anti-Gender Based Violence Bill to ensure accountability and end impunity, including for conflict-related sexual violence. We urge the Government to continue support to the Gender Based Violence courts and call on the Government to ensure justice mechanisms are accessible and survivor-centered. We also call on the Government to create an enabling environment and opportunities for women in the private sector to promote inclusive economic empowerment and growth.
Delegation of the European Union to South Sudan
British Embassy Juba
Embassy of Canada to South Sudan
Embassy of Sweden in South Sudan
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in South Sudan
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Sudan
Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD)
Royal Norwegian Embassy in Juba
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)