Closing Remarks JMEC Deputy Chairperson Amb. Lt. Gen. Augostino S.K Njoroge Delivered at the Civil Society Orientation & Advocacy Training Workshop on ARCSS Panorama Hotel Juba, South Sudan, December 8th 2017
The Representative of the UNDP,
Representatives of the South Sudan Civil Society
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Let me start by congratulating all of you participants for attending this three-day Civil Society advocacy training workshop on the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS). I have been briefed on the presentations and fruitful deliberations that you have had, since Wednesday when I opened the workshop.
You have covered a great deal on how best you can speak with one voice and advocate for your rights as the civil society of this country and also had discussions on the Evaluation Report recently produced by JMEC. In addition, I am also informed that the discussions you have had, on the implementation of the Agreement have enabled you to find out ways and opportunities in which you can best engage in a more inclusive and participatory way in the implementation of the Peace Agreement going forward.
I am now confident that you appreciate the modest progress that has been made, the huge challenges that we continue to face together, and reflected on what you as the civil society can do better to support the TGoNU, JMEC and all the other institutions and mechanisms of the Agreement, to deliver on their mandate.
As the Civil Society, you should always be the bridge in your society. You are that public space between the state, the market and the ordinary households in which people can constructively debate and tackle issues.
A vibrant and constructive civil society voice is therefore critical for the realisation of peace, promotion of good governance, democratisation and the rule of law in any country.
The ARCSS if implemented is a foundational stone upon which sustainable peace can be built in this country. For this to happen, the civil society must collectively and continuously;
advocate for the rights of the ordinary citizens, be a watch dog against violation of human rights, educate the population on their rights and responsibilities, hold the leaders accountable, agitate for peaceful resolution of conflicts and dialogue, mobilise the communities and various constituents to participate in governance and development processes, and
Above all, you should be the social capital and a force for good. The civil society must rally on a common goal, set better standards, and rise above all social, political and economic vices like tribalism, partisanship and corruption-to mention but a few.
Finally, let us all use the knowledge we have acquired during this workshop to build a strong, independent, vibrant civil society voice to persuade the parties to the Agreement to honour their commitments and fully implement the Peace Agreement.
With these few remarks, it is my pleasure to declare this civil society orientation and advocacy workshop closed.
Thank you very much and God Bless