Ban welcomes new agreement with Inter Parliamentary Union

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today signed a new partnership agreement with the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) that will further strengthen the collaboration between the two organizations in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“The Members of Parliament are the ones who really listen to the real voices from the people on the ground and they represent the wishes and views and aspirations of the people,” Mr. Ban said at a press encounter at the signing of the agreement.

“Let’s work [closely] together […] to meet the expectations and aspirations of the people,” said Mr. Ban citing what he referred to as the 5-Ps – people, planet, peace, prosperity and partnership.

In further remarks, the Secretary-General also spoke on the crisis in South Sudan.

Mr. Ban recently travelled to the Rwandan capital Kigali, where he met with several African leaders from International Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). In discussions on the South Sudan crisis, IGAD leaders recommended strengthening the mandate and capacity of the UN Mission in the country (UNMISS).

IGAD is an eight-country trade bloc in Africa comprising Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.

Today, Mr. Ban said that although the actual violence in South Sudan might have stopped for the time being, the threat of reoccurrence remains.

“We have to make sure that there is continuing cessation of the violence,” he said, expecting and urging the leaders of South Sudan to, “sit down together and make a firm commitment that they will work as one team, the President and the First Vice-President.”

Mr. Ban also voiced serious concerns about sexual violence against women and girls as well as at attacks on UN humanitarian facilities and the looting of a UN World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse by the SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army). The warehouse contained humanitarian food assistance for some 220,000 people.

“This is totally unacceptable,” he emphasized and called for the perpetrators to be held accountable.

The Secretary General also thanked UNMISS peacekeepers, UN staff, humanitarian workers, non-governmental organizations, and media for continuing their work under very difficult and dangerous circumstances.

UN News Centre, 21 July 2016, http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=54527#.V5HVKJO7ikp