Ambassador DiCarlo: We just heard from SRSG Hilda Johnson from the mission in South Sudan. Council members just concluded a discussion about the difficult security and humanitarian situations in South Sudan, particularly in Jonglei state, and we also discussed UNMISS’ ongoing work to address these challenges. We are united as a Council in our hope for South Sudan to thrive as a stable, independent, and prosperous country, at peace with itself and with its neighbors and with equal rights and protections for all its people. And UNMISS, of course, has a crucial role to play in helping South Sudan to develop effective democratic institutions, as well as establish security, stability, rule of law, and protect human rights.
As a Council, we’re committed to ensuring that UNMISS has the capabilities, resources, plans, and resolve to intervene directly to protect civilians under threat of violence, while we note that there are some very difficult logistical challenges to UNMISS, particularly in Jonglei. Members also expressed concern about violations of human rights that were referred to in Secretary General’s report.
And finally, Council members condemn the deadly December 2012 and April 2013 attacks on UNMISS and reiterated the urgent need for South Sudanese authorities to complete their investigations into those attacks and to hold the perpetrators accountable. I’m happy to take a couple questions.
Reporter: Sure, yeah. You mentioned Jonglei, but I wanted to know if whether--these issues of the governors of Lakes State and Unity State will be relieved of their function. Some people are saying it’s kind of a sour note in terms of the second birthday coming up. And also some press freedom issues. Something called Sudanese Radio that was taken off the air for criticizing the government and any issue of sort of the government’s own limitation of allowing elected officials to remain in governorships and freedom of press come up?
Ambassador DiCarlo: That issue was not raised by the SRSG. She did raise a number of issues, however, about the need to help develop institutions, to work with the South Sudanese in this regard—to develop capacity. We spoke a great deal about Jonglei – obviously, Jonglei State – and the need to protect civilians.
Reporter: Ambassador, I understand that Syria came up under other matters. Could you discuss the limitations of the Syrian government [inaudible] participate and also…
Ambassador DiCarlo: I’m sorry, I can’t hear you.
Reporter: Did Syria – Syria came up [inaudible]. Did you discuss the Syrian government’s limitation to Mr. Sellström and [inaudible] Damascus? And also with the situation in Egypt [inaudible] so much [inaudible] so many deaths now. Has anyone requested a briefing?
Ambassador DiCarlo: Thank you. First, I’ll take your second question first. No one has requested a briefing on Egypt at this point. On the issue of Syria, we did not discuss the issue of Mr. Sellström‘s investigation. Council members have discussed this issue before as part of an overall Syria session. I just want to say in my national capacity, you know the views that we have espoused on this issue, that we are calling on the Syrian government to allow Mr. Sellström and his team to enter Syria and to investigate any and all credible allegations of possible use of chemical weapons. Mr. Sellström is in Washington today to consult further. Thank you.
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