Explanation of Vote After the Renewal of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

Michael Barkin
Senior Policy Advisor
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
March 12, 2020


Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States thanks Council members and the Permanent Mission of South Sudan for their engagement to renew and improve the mandate for the UN Mission in South Sudan. For the first time in many years, the mandate for UNMISS was renewed in the context of positive developments. The United States reiterates its support for the decision by South Sudan’s leaders to form a new transitional government. We also recognize the hard work of implementing the peace agreement is just beginning, and we urge the transitional government to begin this reform process immediately.

As the new transitional government begins operations, UNMISS will continue to have a critical role to play in maintaining peace and stability in South Sudan. The mandate before us today reinforces the core mission of UNMISS: to protect civilians, support the delivery of humanitarian assistance, support the implementation of the peace agreement, and monitor and investigate human rights. The mandate also encourages UNMISS to be more mobile and responsive to emerging threats, including in areas where people may return after years of fleeing violence.

The leaders of South Sudan must remain focused on addressing the urgent humanitarian needs of their people, respecting human rights, and ensuring accountability, including for sexual and gender-based violence. There are too many people – especially women and children – whose rights have not been adequately safeguarded during this conflict, and who have lived in fear as a result. The current mandate for UNMISS enables it to be an important partner in protecting these rights, and in meeting the needs of the country’s people.

There is no bigger supporter of the people of South Sudan than United States. We want the very best for South Sudan. And we believe the renewed UNMISS mandate will help create a path toward the long-term stability and security for which the people of South Sudan have longed these many years.

Thank you.