Thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity to interact with the panel, and thanks also to Ambassador Momen, Ambassador Stevens, Mr. Serrari, and our other distinguished panel members, for their briefings and presentations. Your interventions promote usefully a strengthened relationship between the PBC and ECOSOC, and we appreciate and value the linkage between peacebuilding and socio-economic development. The Peacebuilding Commission by design draws seven of its 31 members from the ranks of the Economic and Social Council, and as a member of the Peacebuilding Commission, the United States appreciates the collaboration of all its partners in this endeavor.
ECOSOC has the Charter-driven mandate to improve coordination among UN development-related entities. The objective is to have impact in the field, and this is needed sorely in immediate post-conflict settings. We support PBC efforts to improve such coordination among the various entities all seeking strong futures for post-conflict, fragile states. And we agree that partnerships with the World Bank and the African Development Bank, plus Special Representatives of the Secretary-General on the ground, are contributing to a more coherent approach to peacebuilding support. The Commission’s June collaboration with the UN Global Compact spawned ideas for partnering with the private sector more effectively at the country level - including with G7 plus as mentioned by Ms. Garrasi - to promote responsible private investments in post-conflict environments.
I have a few specific comments on South Sudan.
The African Union has played an essential role in the political settlement that led to the establishment of South Sudan. Yet security and stability in the region will continue to depend on the commitment of both the governments of Sudan and of South Sudan to work together to seek peaceful solutions to their differences. While the violence continues, the people of Sudan and South Sudan continue to pay the heaviest price for the ongoing conflict and attacks in civilian areas.
The United States remains very concerned over the current situation in Jonglei, where over 100,000 people remain vulnerable. While we are encouraged to know that some humanitarian agencies were able to conduct surveys and food distributions in the past week, thousands are in great need and humanitarian access is essential.
The U.S. welcomes the arrangements reached by both Sudan and South Sudan on the implementation of all nine agreements both parties signed last September. As mentioned by our colleague in Juba, an important element of the peace agreements commits the parties to the resumption of oil production and the opening of the border for trade, which are vital for the economies and long-term stability and prosperity of both countries. In this regard, Sudan’s unilateral threat to cut off South Sudan’s oil shipments was a violation of the spirit and the letter of the two countries’ September 2012 agreements, which committed both countries to move forward on oil and trade relations irrespective of concerns in other areas.
In a letter dated June 9, 2013, President Mbeki and the AU High-level Implementation Panel proposed practical measures to the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan to help them honor their commitments to each other. We understand the parties have accepted this proposal. The United States and its Troika partners have expressed support for these steps as the only viable way forward, while making clear that implementation of each of the September 2012 agreements must be unconditional and proceed independently of one another, so that delays on any one issue does not obstruct progress on others.
The U.S. government continues to be a strong financial partner and ally with the Government of South Sudan and the UN as we work together to ensure lasting peace and prosperity for the country.
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