Launch of the 2018 Regional Refugee and Humanitarian Response Plans on the South Sudan Situation

The representative of the Kenyan Government,

High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Filippo Grandi,

USG for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Mark Lowcock,

Ambassadors, High Commissioners,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the United Nations Office at Nairobi for the launch of the 2018 Regional Refugee and Humanitarian Response Plans on the South Sudan Situation.

I am pleased that UNON has been chosen as the venue for this important event. As you know, this compound hosts a wide range of UN agencies, funds, programmes and other entities that have, for decades now, been providing humanitarian, development and other assistance to vulnerable populations in the region, including in South Sudan.

It is therefore fitting that this launch is taking place at this vital hub for UN operations.

This Launch comes at a very critical time:

-       As you know, the conflict in South Sudan has entered its fifth year this year. Fighting and violence have spread, including in new areas, forcing people to flee in alarming numbers.

-       The United Nations and the African Union have entered a new era of partnership never reached before. This launch is taking place 2 days after the just concluded 30th AU Summit where it came out very clear that the United Nations is aligned with IGAD and the African Union in relation to South Sudan. IGAD and the AU have expressed their commitment to guarantee the success of the High-Level Revitalization Forum of the Peace Agreement (second phase set to begin on 5 February) and to make sure that the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities is respected.

-       They didn't exclude tougher measures if this was not the case. The United Nations has expressed its readiness to support any decision taken by the regional and continental bodies in order to make sure that, as the Secretary-General put it recently in Addis, “true accountability in relation to the violation of the cease fire or the international humanitarian law are effectively addressed”.

-       The United Nations is also engaged, along with other stakeholders and partners, in the redesign of the larger peacekeeping forces, including the one in South Sudan, in order to be a better tool in addressing the challenges.

Today’s joint launch is also a testimony to the tireless efforts of the UN to address the plight of the people of South Sudan.

I take this opportunity to thank Kenya, and the other countries of the region, for their hospitality and generosity in hosting refugees from South Sudan, and indeed from several other countries.

I wish this launch all success.

Thank you for your kind attention.