Workshop on National Durable Solutions Strategy and Action Plan for South Sudan Initiative concludes in South Sudan

News Release

News Release  © UNHCR

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and partners, applaud progress toward lasting solutions for forcibly displaced persons as the national validation workshop for Durable Solutions Strategy and Plan of Action for Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons and Host Communities in South Sudan concluded today in Juba, South Sudan.

The two-day event attended by over 70 people, both virtually and in person, successfully marked another milestone for South Sudan’s implementation of the Solutions Initiative for the Sudan and South Sudan displacement situations,under the auspices of the IGAD Support Platform, following the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial National Technical Committee (NTC) and hosting the second High-Level technical meeting in Juba in early January, as well as the roll-out of national consultations. 

Underscoring the views of displaced communities as integral to this process, UNHCR’s Representative and UN Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. to South Sudan, Arafat Jamal, welcomed representatives of internally displaced persons, refugee returnees and host communities in Bentiu, Bor, Yei, Jamjang, Maban, Malakal, Wau and Yambio. Refugees hosted in Uganda, Kenya and Sudan also actively participated virtually.

“This is your process, and your voice matters,” noted Jamal highlighting that their inclusion is essential to its success.

“It is up to us to validate and make use of this blueprint, it is upon the people of South Sudan and out government to hold ourselves accountable in putting the provisions outline din this document into use for the good of all,” said Simon Marot, a refugee addressing the workshop virtually from Uganda. “It is upon our partners and supporters to help the people of South Sudan to stand on our feet again,” he added.

IGAD commended the Government of South Sudan for convening the validation workshop. 

“This is a bold demonstration of the commitment to sustain the momentum on the implementation of the solutions initiative for Sudan and South Sudan and the implementation of the Global Compact for Refugees,” said Philip Mwanika, Senior Political Advisor at the IGAD South Sudan Liaison Office in Juba.

IGAD intends to convene a special Heads of State summit before the end of the year to officially launch the Solutions Initiative for Sudan and South Sudan as well as follow-up on the implementation of the Nairobi Declaration and Plan of Action that was Adopted in March 2017.

Reflecting the cross-cutting challenges and collaborative spirit needed to create the conditions on the ground that would allow for sustainable solutions, including return, resettlement and reintegration, the Government of South Sudan was represented by the Office of the President and Vice President, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) and Commissioner for Refugees Affairs (CRA). In addition, government line ministries, including Gender, Land, Housing and Urban Planning, Education, Health, General Education and Foreign Affairs took part. In addition, representatives from the United Nations, EU, Switzerland, World Bank, IGAD, NRC, ICRC, civil society and development agencies participated.

Key priorities agreed upon during the validation workshop include the creation of a secure and safe environment, access to justice in areas of return, peaceful coexistence and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, provision of basic services, integration support including livelihoods aimed at reducing food assistance dependency, improved employment and other income-generating activities as well as the strengthening of government institutional capacity. 

Throughout the workshop, all participants emphasized that durable, sustainable and dignified solutions will not be possible without real peace and called for the full implementation of the revitalized peace agreement. Recognizing that there are still significant obstacles in the way of refugees returning home, any return must be voluntary. IGAD, UNHCR and Core-Group Members of the IGAD Support remain committed to supporting the respective governments in their efforts to create the conditions on the ground that will allow for safe, dignified and sustainable return and integration.

 

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