ECOSOC DISCUSSES ROLE OF UNITED NATIONS AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IN SUPPORTING CAPACITY OF SOUTH SUDAN
19 July 2011
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) this morning held a panel discussion on the role of the United Nations and the international community in supporting the capacity of the Government of South Sudan to manage the transition from relief to development.
Gonzalo Gutiérrez Reinel, Vice-President of ECOSOC, opening the panel, said the current panel gathered a week after the declaration of the independence of South Sudan and shortly after South Sudan officially joined the United Nations as its 193rd member. The international community had provided support to South Sudan since the comprehensive peace agreement in 2005; with independence, this support needed to be renewed and strengthened, making best use of experiences and capacities in the region and beyond. The presentation and discussion would highlight the key challenges and opportunities for the international community and the United Nations in assisting this new State in building its capacity and promoting peace and prosperity for its people.
Jordan Ryan, Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and Director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, moderator of the panel, said this was a historical and memorable moment, and one of the first international engagements of the Republic of South Sudan. Recalling the words of the United Nations Secretary-General on South Sudan’s admission to the United Nations, Mr. Ryan quoted: “Together, let us say to the citizens of our newest Member State: You now sit with us. We stand with you.” This meeting today would explore ways to continue the work of the international community that had already begun with the citizens of South Sudan.
Gier Chuang Aluong, Minister of Internal Affairs, South Sudan, said that the United Nations and the international community had done a lot during the six-year interim period and currently priorities were shifting to service delivery and strengthening the rule of law. Nothing could progress in any sector without security and while the criminal justice agency had made some important steps toward common law enforcement, these institutions were in their infancy and needed to be nurtured. South Sudan required a robust rule of law to withstand internal and external challenges. Providing effective security at the state and local levels was crucial and facilities had been established to train police officers and build on the capacities of former officers.
Dalmas Otieno, Minister of State for Public Service, Kenya, said that Kenya had contributed to capacity building by training officers and undertaking several projects in South Sudan. Development challenges were massive and the Government was really starting from scratch and had barely managed to establish a number of basic systems. The development needs of South Sudan should be addressed at an accelerated pace in order to bring governmental capacity at par with other countries in Africa. This would require a unique approach to development and capacity building, of the kind that only the United Nations system and its specialized agencies were able to offer. A unique resource mobilization approach was necessary, similar to the humanitarian resource integration process which appealed to Member States and the private sector in cases of humanitarian emergencies.
Lise Grande, United Nations Deputy Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, said that South Sudan, on the eve of statehood, was one of the most underdeveloped places in the world. The humanitarian situation remained very fragile. Southerners were returning in one of the largest, semi-peacetime movements in recent times, including more than 600,000 people on the move. The Government needed to build its capacity to manage instability. Ninety per cent of state resources were based on oil revenues and a big chunk of expenditures went to security. South Sudan represented the single biggest state-building challenge of this generation.
Angeth Acol De Dut, Undersecretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development, South Sudan, said that during the period between 2005 to independence, the Government had undertaken the fastest development of public institutions in modern statehood. South Sudan had reached a critical point of its history and faced the challenge of restarting economic growth, improving social welfare, reconstructing infrastructure, resolving residual political conflict and maintaining the rule of law. South Sudan’s development plan provided a framework for achieving key development outcomes, including security and the rule of law, social and economic development, and governance; this included a three-year strategy for capacity building and for achieving development objectives.
Mahboub Maalim, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Authority on Development in South Sudan, said that South Sudan had been in a state of conflict over the last 40 years. Issues of border demarcation, citizenship, resource-sharing and places like Abyei were still pending, and up until this morning, a continued negotiation framework had not been agreed. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development was still assessing the situation and had taken over structures for assistance and mobilizing funds; and the secretariat pledged the facilitation, support, leverage and brokerage required in a bid to try to keep the process going. It would continue planning, including the need to take the lead in the process to prepare a road map that prioritized and identified areas of interest.
In the discussion, speakers congratulated South Sudan on its independence and hoped that the international community would provide support, given the enormous challenges faced during the transition from relief to sustainable development. Speakers expressed their will to work with and support South Sudan to improve emergency preparedness and security on the ground. Speakers also thanked the international community and specific countries, notably the United States and Norway, for supporting South Sudan during the transition period. The work of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and other humanitarian organizations in providing assistance and supplies to the people of South Sudan was noted. The presence of the United Nations operational programmes and funds was vital. More commitment and engagement, however, were needed. Speakers were concerned about the continuing security situation in South Sudan. Peace and security remained precarious. Humanitarian challenges, development and strengthening institutions were tremendous challenges.
Representatives of Egypt, Senegal, European Union, Russian Federation, United States, Australia, International Labour Organization, Ghana, Sudan, South Sudan and Algeria took the floor in the discussion.
ECOSOC will reconvene at 3 p.m. this afternoon to open its Humanitarian Affairs Segment and take up the issue of special economic, humanitarian and disaster relief assistance. It will hear a statement by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator on this issue, and then hold a general discussion on it.
Panel Discussion on “The role of the United Nations and the international community in supporting the capacity of the Government of South Sudan to manage the transition”
GONZALO REINEL GUTIERREZ, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said in recent years the Economic and Social Council had addressed a range of issues related to transition from relief to development. The panel discussion today was titled “The role of the United Nations and the international community in supporting the capacity of the Government of South Sudan to manage the transition.” The panel was gathering a week after the declaration of independence of South Sudan and shortly after South Sudan officially joined the United Nations as its 193rd member. The presentation and the discussion would highlight the key challenges and opportunities in assisting this new State in building its capacity and promoting peace and prosperity for its people. The international community had provided support to South Sudan since the comprehensive peace agreement in 2005. With independence, this support needed to be renewed and strengthened, making the best use of the experiences and capacities in the region and beyond. The panellists would express their views on how the international community at large and the United Nations in particular could better support the efforts of the Government and people of South Sudan.
JORDAN RYAN, Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and Director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, moderator of the panel discussion, welcomed the Government officials of South Sudan participating by video conference and said that this was a historical and memorable moment, and constituted one of the first international engagements of the Republic of South Sudan. Mr. Ryan acknowledged the important role played by Kenya in providing support for South Sudan and the participation of Mr. Jan Grauls and Mr. Gonzalo Gutiérrez Reinel, co-chairs of the session, in the discussion. Recalling the words of the United Nations Secretary-General on South Sudan’s admission to the United Nations, Mr. Ryan quoted: “Together, let us say to the citizens of our newest Member State: You now sit with us. We stand with you.” This meeting today would explore ways to continue the work of the international community that had already begun with the citizens of South Sudan. In the context of the World Bank development report on conflict and the report of the independent advisory board on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict under consideration by the Secretary-General, the key role of civilian capacity in order to build lasting peace and the importance and complexity of building lasting partnerships had been emphasized. It was crucial to build national capacity. Many lessons on north-south cooperation had been learned from experiences in other countries in which donors and agencies had worked together; these experiences were currently enriching the work carried out in South Sudan and contributed to fostering opportunities for building a strong South Sudan.
Statements by Panellists
GIER CHUANG ALUONG, Minister of Internal Affairs, South Sudan, thanked the United Nations for undertaking this important exercise hosted by the Economic and Social Council. It was high time for the people in South Sudan to interact with the international community in the new phase of transition for South Sudan. South Sudan had achieved many successes in the six-year interim period from 2005 to 2011. The main focus had been on relief but now the focus was on transitioning to development. The people of South Sudan had been subjected to much suffering over the last decades. The United Nations and the international community had done a lot during the six-year interim period. Now, in building the State of South Sudan, the priorities were shifting to service delivery and strengthening the most important institution, the rule of law. Nothing could progress in any sector without security. As the Minister of Security, Mr. Aluong said he had been working for the last six years to build the capacity of the law enforcement agencies. The criminal justice agency had made some important steps toward common law enforcement. However, these institutions were in their infancy and needed to be nurtured. South Sudan required a robust rule of law to withstand internal and external challenges. In moving to a professional police service, there was much work to do. Some 20,000 men and women police officers had been trained over the last five years. There was a need to demobilize armed forces and integrate them into South Sudan so new scenarios of insecurity did not arise.
The period of transition required support. Police services required training in order to gain the confidence of the people. Before the formation of the Government in 2005, people were drawn from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and other armed groups to be integrated into the armed forces. These people needed to be trained, or if they could not be integrated into the armed forces, demobilized. The reintegration and capacity development of former combatants was vital. International assistance was also critical in this area. The reconciliation of communities affected by years of conflict was just beginning. In some states, counter-insurgency between communities was ongoing. There was a lot of cross-border migration, including people crossing across the border with Kenya. This could not continue because arms were used in these situations the past, including AK-47s, causing significant disasters. Issues between South Sudan and Kenya needed to be resolved. Other problems were arising in the northern border region, as armed groups were entering South Sudan. This was another area that required reflection so security issues could be put to rest. Efficient and transparent systems had been established at the state and local levels. Much attention was being paid to policing levels at the state and local levels so communities felt protected. If they did not feel protected by the Government, the communities would look for protection with armament, which would be a problem for the Government. Two training centres had been established in South Sudan. One training centre had just graduated 6,000 police officers. Another training center had built the capacity of former officers in the armed forces. Mr. Aluong looked forward to continuing these trainings with international partners and the United Nations, but the training centres needed to be improved; training for bush security was not sufficient to meet international standards. Mr. Aluong hoped to have positive contributions from the international community in discussing these issues.
DALMAS OTIENO, Minister of State for Public Service, Kenya, said that Kenya had contributed to capacity building by training officers and undertaking several projects, among them establishing training schools for financial officers and public administration officers in Sudan. Given the importance of managing the transition from relief to sustainable development, the United Nations Secretary-General had been keen on providing support for the transition of South Sudan towards sustainable development. As he made it clear during the celebrations on 9 July 2011, the Secretary-General said that South Sudan alone could not meet the challenges it faced nor realize its potential; this would require partnerships and engagement with the international community and most especially its own neighbors. It was timely that the Council addressed the challenges faced by South Sudan and the international system should work for those in need and the most vulnerable, in Africa and the least developed countries. The development challenges for South Sudan were massive. The Government was really starting from scratch and it was barely managing to establish a number of basic systems. In order to build the infrastructure and capacity to be able to provide basic public services, expertise was necessary; and there was no better source of expertise for facing development challenges than in the United Nations. South Sudan was a unique case and the challenges for development should be addressed at an accelerated pace in order to bring governmental capacity at par with development levels in other countries in Africa. Large numbers of populations had been displaced from South Sudan and had the experience of living in other countries and continents. They would be returning to South Sudan after independence with great expectations concerning the capacity of the Government to perform at an accelerated pace and meet political demands. This would require a unique approach to development and capacity building, of the kind that only the United Nations system, and its specialized agencies, were able to offer.
The first task at hand would be to contribute to the formulation of a long-term vision, including expectations. There were many questions at present: would South Sudan be able to meet the Millennium Development Goals, build infrastructure, and provide education and other basic services? Roads were needed; energy generation, transmission across the country, including hydroelectric generation, were necessary; airports needed to be built; and investments on oil refineries and exploration were necessary. The development challenges were massive and the capital investments required as well. After a long-term vision had been articulated, a five-year strategic plan completed with an implementation matrix would be necessary. If the United Nations Development Programme led the way along with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, it would be expected that the Council coordinated the work. Over $ 20 billion in capital were estimated to be needed in order to achieve this. Therefore, traditional funding mechanisms, including the preparation of proposals and convening of donor conferences, would take too long. A unique resource mobilization approach was necessary, one of the type that in Kenya was called harrambe (let’s pull together) approach, similar to the humanitarian resource integration process which appealed to Member States and the private sector in cases of humanitarian emergencies. It was necessary to identify the United Nations agencies with the expertise to contribute to the development of the vision and implementation plan; and the mobilization of resources for its implementation, reaching into all regions and necessary sectors. If the United Nations system resolved to treat this case as a unique development agenda and contribute from day one, the expertise of United Nations agencies could make a valuable contribution to address the huge needs in capacity building for sustainable development.
LISE GRANDE, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, a.i., South Sudan, said she would share an overview of the situation in South Sudan. South Sudan, on the eve of statehood, was one of the most underdeveloped places in the world. Some of the scariest statistics in the world emerged from South Sudan. The population was overwhelming poor and under-educated. Only 40 per cent of the population had attended school and only ten per cent had completed school. Ninety-two per cent of women could not read or write. A 15 year old girl in South Sudan had a higher probability of dying in child birth than completing school. And yet, in few other places, had so much been done over such a short period. In the past six years, 32 ministries and 17 independent commissions had been established. A fully functioning assembly was in place. Governors’ offices and assemblies had been established. A national referendum had taken place. The number of children attending school had quadrupled.
The United Nations in South Sudan had been supporting these operations in State take-off and accountability. The humanitarian situation remained very fragile. On the eve of independence there were 30 separate emergency operations in the south. In 2010, there were 500,000 people on the move in the south. Hundreds of thousands were returning from the north. Since the referendum in January, there had been some conflict incidents in the South, including 330 incidents in the first six months, resulting in more than 200,000 displaced people. The United Nations was continuing to plan for the worst case scenario. Southerners were returning in one of the largest, semi-peacetime movements in recent times, including more than 600,000 people on the move. Humanitarian operations were stretched for resources but their capacity was in good shape. When moving towards development, the transition needed to be managed with a clear sense of direction. The conditions in the south did not permit closing down humanitarian operations, which would continue to be required over the first years of statehood. As the south entered statehood, 80 per cent of services were provided by agencies external to the Government. The Government was committed to internalizing these activities, but the transition had to be managed in a way that did not crowd out development initiatives. In order to do that well, unstable areas needed to be made stable. The Government needed to build its capacity to manage instability.
Ninety per cent of State resources were based on oil revenues and a big chunk of expenditures went to security. The people of the South deserved a new deal. The Government had established its first three-year plan. The South wanted to increase primary enrollment, decrease the maternal morality rate and ensure that families received direct cash transfers. With 92 per cent of women unable to read and write, South Sudan was committed to a mass literacy campaign. In a survey of families of South Sudan, the United Nations asked questions about the deadly decisions and the United Nations was working to remove the deadly decisions for poor families. The key in South Sudan was to help the Government with programmes that were simple, and at scale. South Sudan represented the single biggest state-building challenge of this generation. South Sudan was facing this challenge with an incredibly large capacity deficit. Addressing capacity gaps was one of the key elements of South Sudan’s development programme. The United Nations was promoting surge initiatives aimed at addressing the capacity deficit: the Rapid Capacity Placement Initiative, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Regional Capacity Enhancement Initiative and the Africa Union Initiative. Corruption was also a serious issue that the Government had to address.
ANGETH ACOL DE DUT, Undersecretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development, South Sudan, said that in 2005 when a comprehensive peace agreement was signed and South Sudan was granted semi-autonomy, it had few of the capacities required for governance and security. The human resource base was severely impacted by years of war and the Government’s ability to provide basic services was limited. During the period between 2005 to independence, the Government had undertaken the fastest development of public institutions in modern statehood. A number of key governmental institutions and infrastructure were now in place. However, institutions remained fragile and individual capabilities were limited. With the achievement of full independence, South Sudan had reached a critical point of its history and faced the challenge of restarting economic growth, improving social welfare, reconstructing infrastructure, resolving residual political conflict and maintaining the rule of law. Institutions for governance and statehood needed to be extended and strengthened. The Government had privileged a strong focus on education at all levels, focused on formal education as well as alternative education systems, addressing those that due to the war did not receive education.
Rapid scaling up of capacity in service provision was necessary, only a fraction of public servants had education and university degrees. In November 2010, the Government had established an action plan intended to strengthen governmental capacity as it reached full independence; however, many of the core governmental functions would continue to require support beyond July. South Sudan’s development plan provided a framework for achieving key development outcomes, including security and rule of law, social and economic development, and governance. It included a three-year strategy for capacity building and for achieving development objectives. Part of the strategy for addressing capacity challenges had been undertaken with the support of the United Nations and the African Union, including a volunteer programme and civil servants coming from Kenya and Uganda. A protocol for capacity development was in place along with a compact including the donor community. It provided for technical assistance and indigenous capacity development, direct engagement and mentoring roles, and accountability mechanisms. These were some of the challenges and current initiatives to address capacity needs in South Sudan with support from the international community.
MAHBOUB MALLIM, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Authority on Development in South Sudan, said to understand the predicament in South Sudan, the political reality on the ground needed to be assessed. South Sudan had been in a state of conflict over the last 40 years. In January 2005, a peace agreement was signed. The road had been very bumpy up until the referendum in January 2011. Although independence had been celebrated on 9 July, issues of border demarcation, citizenship, resource-sharing and places like Abyei were still pending. Mr. Maalim hoped that a continued negotiation framework would be signed, but up until this morning, none had been agreed to, which was worrying. The Government of South Sudan had not had time to design services for its people. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development was still assessing the situation and had taken over structures for assistance and mobilizing funds. The political issues were the hardest part. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development wanted to be part of the good will of States and the United Nations in building capacity. The secretariat pledged the facilitation, support, leverage and brokerage required in a bid to try to keep the process going. It would continue planning, including the need to take the lead in the process to prepare a road map that prioritized and identified areas of interest. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development appealed to the international comity to be cognizant that in traveling the bumpy road, there had to be good will toward the National Congress Party and President Bashir in Sudan. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development made an appeal to the international community to consider the possibility of removing Sudan from the terror list, offering debt relief, lifting sanctions and supporting the United Nations Security Council’s deferment of the International Criminal Court’s case against President Bashir.
Speakers in the question-and-answer session on supporting the capacity of the Government of South Sudan congratulated South Sudan on its newly gained independence and thanked the panellists for the timely and informative discussion. Speakers hoped the international community would provide support to South Sudan, because the challenges the country faced during the transition from relief to sustainable development were tremendous and urgent. Speakers expressed their will to work with and support South Sudan to improve emergency preparedness and security on the ground. Speakers also thanked the international community and specific countries, notably the United States and Norway, in supporting South Sudan during the transition period. The work of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and other humanitarian organizations in providing assistance and supplies to the people of South Sudan was noted. The presence of the United Nations operational programmes and funds was vital.
More commitment and engagement, however, were needed. Speakers were concerned about the continuing security situation in South Sudan. Peace and security remained precarious. Humanitarian challenges, development and strengthening institutions were tremendous challenges. Speakers asked panellists to discuss the situation in the field and to mention the most important two to three things that should be addressed immediately. Speakers asked how the Government of South Sudan could find solutions for the situation of internally displaced people and whether a sectoral approach was the appropriate manner for addressing this multifaceted problem. In transitioning from peace to development, the panel had emphasized building up government capacity to deliver services and ensure security, however civil society also had a role to play in the emergence of a nation. Speakers asked for the panel’s views on the scope of international assistance for supporting the role of civil society in South Sudan’s transition. Speakers asked what role the Economic and Social Council could play in supporting South Sudan. They asked if South Sudan presented a special situation for implementing the United Nations delivering-as-one framework.
In order to be more effective, the work of different development and humanitarian actors should be based on a common transition strategy. In order to avoid disruption in service delivery, the current capacity of development actors such as the United Nations and non-governmental organizations should be maintained until the Government could take up the reigns in service delivery. To ensure service delivery, development funding should be fast and flexible enough to address emerging challenges. Speakers asked what could be done to ensure flexibility and accessibility. The establishment of different funds to target specific areas, including food and basic needs and security, could support South Sudan to pursue its development vision and strategic plans.
New opportunities were opening up in the transition from a humanitarian situation to development. Transition would not succeed without a clear strategy and national ownership. A multi-party democracy, based on constitutional arrangements, the rule of law and economic aspirations was needed to build the fundamental pillars of the society in South Sudan. South Sudan was well endowed with resources. The route towards development faced serious challenges but also considerable opportunities. Sustainable development had to be one of the key priorities for a peaceful and prosperous South Sudan. A healthy relationship and cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan and at the regional level would be important for achieving these goals. One speaker requested that the international community support the Republic of Sudan in lifting sanctions and providing debt relief. Speakers asked for the views of the panellists concerning long-term planning for development assistance in South Sudan.
Taking the floor were Egypt, Senegal, European Union, Russian Federation, United States, Australia, International Labour Organization, Ghana, Sudan, South Sudan and Algeria.
MAHBOUB MAALIM, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, South Sudan, reiterated the importance of questions concerning the coordination of various responses and existing initiatives in South Sudan, in particular, those on the subject of peace and security. Concerning the issue of capacity gaps raised by the European Union, it was necessary to go beyond bureaucratic obstacles and actually provide resources through the existing financial mechanisms. The International Organization for Migration was running a successful programme for initial reintegration and it would be convenient to begin with this component and later follow up on service delivery. Among the remaining priorities, up-scaling social service delivery, including basic services such as health and education, addressing remaining political issues and finally undertaking a peace and conflict resolution or peace building on South Sudan were all crucial. Civil society should complement these efforts but should not replace the governmental architecture for service delivery in order not to repeat the proliferation of civil society without real service delivery that took place in Somalia. Corruption had become a problem also in the private sector and civil society and it was important to be very careful about this.
DALMAS OTIENO, Minister of State for Public Service, Kenya, underlined the importance of constituting a task-force or other mechanisms for coordinating efforts and working with the Government of South Sudan during the transition. An integrated plan to manage the transition was necessary, a five-year plan or strategy including an implementation matrix. In many cases, donors came with their priorities and restricted the funding to this end. For this reason planning and coordination in the context of integrated activities were important. South Sudan would require flexible funding directed to priority in accordance with the action plan and the task-force working jointly with the Government of South Sudan. This would be necessary to avoid white elephants; to ensure that projects were coordinated and that plans were completed with active participation from the Government of South Sudan. There was so much missing that expertise would be crucial first of all in order to find out exactly what was needed the most, how to provide for it and in which order. This expertise could only be obtained through the United Nations system, on the basis of its experience in the rest of Africa; and in order to ensure that plans were complete, saving resources and avoiding unnecessary risks, enhancing accountability and sufficient transparency mechanisms. The remaining question was who would initiate action. Finally, in this major effort Sudan should not be left out. As neighbours, their problems might increase as South Sudan began to move in one direction or the other. Humanitarian efforts should continue until there was a successful transition towards full governmental capacity in South Sudan but it should also take place according to plan. The donor community sometimes came along with their interests, sometimes institutional and in many cases personal; for this reason an integrated transition process was all the more necessary so that many of these issues should be discussed early enough and did not obstruct implementation.
LISE GRANDE, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, a.i., South Sudan, said a development structure and a humanitarian structure were present in South Sudan. Discussions were proceeding on consolidating the two structures, led by the African Development Bank and the World Bank. The Government of South Sudan was to be presented with options on consolidating the two structures. The Government had a development plan for the next two and a half years that focused on four critical pillars, which should serve as a basis for further discussions. There were currently five pooled funds, some of which were successful and others which had struggled. These funds needed to be assessed, adjusted and evolved. No matter what, there needed to be sectoral basket funds and structures for humanitarian assistance and security. The Government had prioritized 19 crucial government functions, out of 144, including budgeting, procurement, treasury, and payroll. The Government had asked that support be focused on these 19 critical functions and 41 international partners had aligned themselves to this request. By 9 July, 17 of those 19 functions were firmly in place. The United Nations family would be submitting country documents to start up programmes based on the development plan of the Government of South Sudan. The United Nations system would align with the integrated strategic framework of the Government of Sudan to link programmes as a whole, and base efforts on a division on labour and comparative advantage. The Government of South Sudan was going to reduce the main four pillars of the development plan, each with four priorities, to the five most important things. The United Nations, the Government and development partners would then marshal collective support for those priorities. During the interim period, human activities were shut down for a time because there was so much optimism about transitioning from recovery to development. Because of this dismantling, in the last 18 months the United Nations family and non-governmental organizations had to construct a whole new coordination team. Transition modalities for planning and funding could not crowd out critical development work. Best practices from other countries, such as Mozambique, Ethiopia and Kenya, were being studied intensely to make the transition period successful.
JORDAN RYAN, Assistant Administrator, United Nations Development Programme and Director, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, said a major thing the international community could do was provide funding for the Resident Coordinator’s office. A fund to support the Humanitarian Coordinator was often present because work responded to emergency situations, and thus, things moved quickly. A fund for the Resident Coordinator was needed to support the transition and respond quickly and flexibly to emerging needs. Regional components could contribute with cooperation and support. It was important to build on the programmes that already existed. Letting Juba take the lead was the way forward. Regarding transition financing, there were important papers coming out in September and much attention was being paid to the issue. It was time to get it right. South Sudan needed jobs, jobs, jobs. It also needed to heighten the sense of security and the sense that the government delivered services. The people of South Sudan needed to know that being a citizen meant something - it meant being part of society and expecting a responsible government. It would take a long time to meet these objectives. The global community had to work together in South Sudan so the country would become a success story, even a rapid success story.
JAN GRAULS, Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, said that by organizing this meeting a few days after the independence of the Republic of South Sudan, the Council had shown that it could be relevant. Concerning challenges and commitments, Mr. Grauls emphasized the commitments put forward by the donor community, the regional actors and, as heard by videoconference, from the Government of South Sudan. The United Nations family seemed to be ready to act and he congratulated the commitments shown so far. Nonetheless the challenges ahead remained formidable - economic and political issues and security - as Lise Grande had indicated. First, the capacity gap remained perhaps the greatest challenge facing the young nation; it should be kept in mind in the upcoming years that there were no quick fixes and that the issue of core governmental functions was key. Secondly, the need for speed and flexibility including funding was also crucial. But primarily the international community must keep its attention focused on South Sudan and this was a role for everyone, the international community, civil society, the United Nations family, and the donor community. The question was how the international community could best accompany South Sudan during the transition and develop a medium and long-term strategy. While a lot of work had been done, this was just the start. Many elements were missing as Minister Otieno indicated, particularly as they went beyond the three years ahead. The issues of delivering as one, coordination, coherence and who would initiate action in the field were important questions, although they were not thoroughly discussed. The Peace Building Commission could be involved and while the idea had been floated, the Government had not indicated its intentions so far. South Sudan as a post conflict country could benefit from the expertise of the Peace Building Commission in countries in a post conflict phase which were not yet eligible for other development assistance mechanisms, a period of great fragility in security and political terms. Finally, the importance of the relationship between Sudan and South Sudan would become increasingly important in the upcoming months and years. This relationship would be key for the future of South Sudan and the region.
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