Statement at the High Level Meeting On South Sudan

The UN General Assembly, New York, 29 September 2015

Foreign Minister Børge Brende's statement at the High Level Meeting On South Sudan in New York on 29 September.

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If someone had told me, during independence celebration in 2011, that at the UN General Assembly in 2015 would have a meeting on a level 3 humanitarian crisis in South Sudan - partly caused by infighting within the SPLM - I would not have believed them.

But unfortunately that is the situation we are facing now.

This not only saddens me, -- but it also makes me determined not to let this continue.

The people of South Sudan deserves better than this – they deserve a future of reconciliation and mutual understanding, they deserve social and economic development.

It has been a horrific war. The atrocities will be investigated by an African Union hybrid tribunal. Those responsible will be held accountable.

Despite the signing of the IGAD Peace Agreement, fighting has continued. There is no real trust, goodwill or cooperation between the parties.

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I have four main messages here today:

First: With South Sudan on the brink of disaster, the Peace Agreement is the only way back from the edge.

Second: The transitional period should serve as a springboard for the reconciliation.

It is time to put the people first. Personal ambitions and narrow interests - be they ethnic or political - must be put aside.

Third: the UN appeal remains severely underfunded. Only about 50 % of the funds needed have been provided.

We must step up our joint efforts to alleviate the suffering of the people. The current crisis is not the fault of the children of South Sudan.

Fourth: The elections at the end of the transitional period must be independently monitored, and the outcome fully respected by all parties.

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Norway has stood firmly by the people of South Sudan for more than half a century, and we will continue to do so.

We will maintain our political and financial support for the efforts of IGAD and the countries in the region

We have started to lay the foundation for long-term development cooperation, focusing on education and energy.

South Sudan has oil, water, fertile land, and hardworking people. It does not need to be poor.

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In conclusion, a final point.

The solution to the conflict in South Sudan can only be found by South Sudan itself.

The international community cannot create peace from the outside; we can only assist.

Peace must come from within.

Thank you