United Nations Day in Juba, South Sudan, wasn’t a typical celebration this year. It was a heartfelt coming together of UN personnel, government representatives, civil society organizations after a year that saw this young nation grappling with subnational violence and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conversations, cultural performances, and catchy beats ensured that this sunlit day was exactly what it was supposed to be—a festivity shared by all stakeholders who have built partnerships for peace and development to enable South Sudanese communities to shape a brighter future for themselves.
Addressing the event, Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior, Gender and Youth Cluster spoke eloquently of the ongoing support given by the UN as South Sudan starts drafting a permanent constitution, aiming to usher in a new era of democracy, development, and durable peace.
On this special day – United Nations Day – let’s seize this opportunity to redouble our efforts to support South Sudanese in rebuilding the peaceful and prosperous future
“Ten years ago, when our flag was raised in the UN it was a joyous time, even more than when we raised the flag here in Juba. To become a member of the global community is very important and a beautiful thing,” she said. “We, as South Sudanese, often create our own problems; we kill ourselves, we harm ourselves. It is time now that we make things right and open a new page.”
The Vice President thanked the UN for its consistent support to all communities across the country, by protecting civilians and saving lives through humanitarian assistance. “In 2013, everything went wrong in our country and for those scars to be fully healed, we need patience. Most importantly, we need to engage young people in developing their country,” she stated.
For his part, Guang Cong, the UNMISS Deputy Special Representative-Political (DSRSG), commended South Sudan for taking concrete steps towards building a sustained peace, including the reconstitution of the Parliament, the historic appointment of the first female Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, the drafting of a bill on the constitution-making process, and efforts to progress economic reforms.
He assured national counterparts that the UN family here remains committed to the ideals of peace, unity and development.
“On this special day – United Nations Day – let’s seize this opportunity to redouble our efforts to support South Sudanese in rebuilding the peaceful and prosperous future they deserve,” averred the DSRSG.
The event concluded with a rousing peace song performed by popular local singer, WJ Deking, which had the attendees on their feet, cheering and swaying to the rhythm.
UN Day is annually commemorated on 24 October.