Explanation of Vote at the Adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2459 Renewing the Mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

Ambassador Jonathan Cohen
Acting Permanent Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
March 15, 2019


Thank you, Madam President. The United States thanks Council members for their efforts to strengthen the UNMISS mandate to ensure the Mission supports the people of South Sudan in their pursuit of lasting peace, security, and stability.

The mandate reinforces the core mission of UNMISS: to protect civilians, support delivery of humanitarian assistance, monitor and investigate human rights, and support the peace process. Importantly, it also calls for UNMISS to strengthen its sexual and gender-based violence prevention activities, responding to the growing trend of horrific sexual violence in South Sudan.

Madam President, the position of the United States on South Sudan’s revitalized peace agreement has been clear and consistent. The U.S. remains deeply concerned by the lack of political commitment from parties at the national level to fully implement all tenets of the agreement. Having seen previous peace agreements in South Sudan fail to hold and the country fall back into conflict and instability, the United States and the South Sudanese people expect South Sudan’s leaders to demonstrate a clear commitment to the implementation of the agreement through rhetoric and action.

As we have stated before in this Council: We call on South Sudan’s leaders to fully adhere to ceasefire agreements; negotiate security arrangements and power sharing agreements; agree to transparency standards for peace process funding; take action against gender-based violence; cease the obstruction of ceasefire monitors; permit unhindered humanitarian access; release all political prisoners; establish the AU Hybrid Court; and open up political space for peaceful dissent.

Building on the accomplishments of Resolution 2436 on peacekeeper performance, we are pleased that the Council reaffirmed in this resolution its support for the development of a comprehensive and integrated performance policy framework that identifies clear standards of performance for evaluating all UN personnel working in and supporting peacekeeping operations.

In conclusion, Madam President, there is no bigger supporter of the people of South Sudan than the United States, and we believe the renewed UNMISS mandate will help create a path towards long-term stability and security in the country.

Thank you.