Speech/statement | Date: 20/09/2017 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
By Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende (New York, 20 September)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende's address at the High-Level Event on South Sudan in the margins of the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The people of South Sudan are victims of a man-made disaster.
They remain neglected by their own government and caught in the cross-fire of a conflict where no-one seems to be willing to respect international law.
You already know the shocking statistics of the humanitarian situation. I will not repeat them.
I will make four points:
First, the violence against civilians must stop.
Not least the widespread sexual violence against women and children.
Impunity for such crimes is completely unacceptable.
Second, all armed actors must stop violent attacks on aid workers.
We cannot tolerate deliberate attempts to cut off whole communities from aid.
Humanitarian actors must be allowed to reach people in severe need.
All parties to the conflict must comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law.
This includes the obligation to ensure safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need.
Third, the international community has to continue its humanitarian support.
We must address the urgent needs for protection, food, water, health and education.
Norway has provided 36 million USD in humanitarian aid in 2017. This includes support for the South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.
Fourth, the only way to end this disaster is through a political settlement.
No level of humanitarian support can solve the crisis in South Sudan.
I repeat our call for all groups to immediately commit to a ceasefire and to the Igad process to revitalise the 2015 peace agreement.
Words are not enough, we need to see action.
The support of the region is highly valued. I urge South Sudan's neighbours to continue to convey united and clear messages to the warring parties.
Norway will do all it can to support the South Sudanese people.
We will continue our work with the US and the UK in the Troika, and our cooperation with Igad, the AU, the UN and the rest of the international community.
While the international community stands ready to assist, it's the leaders of South Sudan themselves who have to act to stop the current humanitarian crisis.
The people of South Sudan deserve a better future.