Women from across South Sudan champion for a woman led Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Following a three day National Women’s Open Day forum held in Juba, UNMISS Special Representative of the Secretary-General, David Shearer, on Thursday received a list of recommendations calling for women to play a concrete and leading role in the security and peace process in South Sudan.
The forum, which was attended by more than 150 women from across the country, was based on the UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security which reaffirms the important role of women in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction. Among the recommendations was a call to the United Nations to urge the government of South Sudan to appoint a woman to head the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Speaking at the closing event, SRSG Shearer applauded the women for presenting comprehensive and thoughtful recommendations, stressing the need to ensure that they are implemented.
“The recommendations are professional and they cut to the important issues facing South Sudan. Women have a better grasp of the real issues and they must be involved in a much integral way for South Sudan to move forward,” said Shearer.
Shearer said that wherever there has been a strong presence of women in a peace deal, the deal has gone with much greater success. He added that UNMISS will encourage as much as possible for women to become involved at a real level, and not at a token level, to be able to drive things forward.
Mary Nginzo, a Member of Parliament from Western Equatoria State officially handed over the recommendations to the SRSG calling on him as the head of the UN Mission, as a husband and father to two daughters, to support and facilitate the implementation of the recommendations in order to build a peaceful and stable South Sudan.
The SRSG underlined efforts deployed by UNMISS to improve the security of vulnerable groups, particularly women and children. Such efforts include holding training workshops for the SPLA and police about their rights and responsibilities as armed combatants with regard to women, and to raise awareness of issues such as using sexual violence as a weapon of war, warning that those who commit such atrocities will be tried and brought to account.
“UNMISS is on the ground and is responding through human rights reporting and getting UN Peacekeeping troops out to the local communities to create the condition of safety for people,” said Shearer.
The three day forum was organised by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.