Explanation of vote by Sweden at the UN Security Council Adoption on South Sudan

Explanation of vote delivered by Ambassador Olof Skoog on behalf Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Adoption on South Sudan, 13 July 2018, New York.

For millions of people in South Sudan, the long wait for their leaders to bring an end to the fighting is not over. Despite the commendable efforts of the region to broker an agreement, the parties have not yet made the compromises necessary and the fighting continues. Indeed, the ongoing efforts to unilaterally extend the mandates of Salva Kiir and the transitional parliament raises questions whether participation in the negotiations are in good faith.

The Secretary-General in his report following resolution 2418 has confirmed fighting has not ceased. In addition, the recent joint report by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) as well as reports from the Panel of Experts on South Sudan include harrowing accounts of violence against civilians, including widespread sexual and gender-based violence. The situation for women and girls is extremely difficult. This must come to an end.

With other Council members, we share a deep sense of frustration. This Council has stated its determination to ensure that the parties abide by their commitments, obligations and responsibilities. As violence and mass atrocities continue, in flagrant disregard of international law, and in violation of agreed ceasefires, the international community cannot stand idly by.

It is clear that the last thing needed in South Sudan at this moment is more weapons. Indeed, in light of the commitments to a ceasefire made in Khartoum, which we welcome, the parties should have no need for them. Instead, all efforts and resources should be urgently directed at responding to the dire humanitarian situation. Doing so would help alleviate the suffering of the seven million of South Sudanese in need of humanitarian assistance. Unhindered humanitarian access must be ensured.

As the Emergency Relief Coordinator said in May, "Ending violence is the first and single most important thing needed to alleviating human suffering." Additional weapons should not be able to reach parties that seem set on prolonging the conflict. We therefore support the imposition of a United Nations arms embargo on South Sudan, and it is for this reason that we voted in favour of today's resolution.

But a regionally brokered and inclusive political solution remains the only viable means of achieving peace in South Sudan. We commend IGAD and the wider region for their efforts towards such a political solution. This process must continue with vigour and the Council must carefully consider how to best support the regional effort to also make real difference on the ground, including by striking the right balance between encouragement and credible pressure. But most importantly, genuine goodwill and compromise must be shown by the countries' leaders, putting the interests of the people first.

The Council should stand ready to consider further targeted measures against individuals that incite violence or seeks to derail the peace process. At the same time, we should also be ready to respond to positive developments.

To give the peace effort the best possible prospect for success, it is imperative that, as we move forward now, stand unified, and speak with one voice to the parties.

Thank you.

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Lisa Laskaridis
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