President Kiir Closing Remarks at the The International Engagement Conference on South Sudan, Washington D.C 14th-15th December 2011

Posted: December 16, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Speeches

Washington, DC
H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President, Republic of South Sudan
Your Excellencies
Distinguished members of the Diplomatic community and invited guests
Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon!!!
It is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to address you once again.  These past two days have provided an excellent opportunity for us to discuss and review the issues and challenges facing South Sudan.  There has been a good, lively, and active discussion covering a wide range of topics.  I could not have hoped for anything else as this event has far exceeded my expectations.  Each of the topics covered addressed the issues necessary in moving South Sudan along the long road towards development.
As part of this discussion it was my great pleasure and honour to have the opportunity to set out our vision for South Sudan.  This vision has been built on our common understanding of South Sudan’s challenges, and the lessons from our recent past, in order to set out a clear and achievable way forward.  I am confident that my Government and the people of South Sudan have the capacity, the desire, and the determination to implement our plans and achieve our vision. Let me restate our inclusive vision; by 2040, South Sudan will build a united nation:
A nation that is educated and informed; prosperous, productive and innovative; compassionate and tolerant; free, just and peaceful; democratic and accountable; safe, secure and healthy; united and proud.   I am confident that this can and will become a reality with your support.
Your Execellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Yesterday, when I spoke during the opening of this conference, I concluded by noting that, The government of the Republic of South Sudan have priorities embedded in the National Development Plan clearly spelling out the roadmap which will make this vision a reality to achieve.
We have grounded our plan in the reality of where we have come from, recognising that sixty years of conflict, marginalisation and war has created innumerable barriers and challenges that must be overcome.
Our vision, and our plan, will be implemented by building on four extremely important pillars:  Good Governance, Increased Prosperity and Economic Growth, Enhanced Quality of Life, Safety and Security.  If you will indulge me, I would like to take this opportunity to review some of the key discussions from the past two days, to highlight the areas that have seized my mind, and those of my ministers, and to discuss how our discussions were based on these four key pillars.
In South Sudan we are starting from zero and we are starting with very little.  We are building the institutions of governance from scratch.  It is our objective to build a democratic, transparent, and accountable government, managed by a professional and committed public service, with an effective balance of power between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.  This good governance lies atthe heart of both nation-building and the implementation of sound policies and programmes.
In line with this objective, the panel discussion on Accountability, Transparency and Good Governance focused on ensuring that Government is transparent, that information is available to the population, and that we deal effectively and judiciously with corruption.
Just as important as these financial reforms is, the development of our human capital, in the panel discussing on Capacity Development, we discussed how to become a more efficient and effective Government.  To do this we need to build our capacity, ensuring that our public service is professional and is staffed correctly and appropriately.  This requires that we look to our partners to support the training of our civil servants, both at the State and the National Government level.  It requires that we staff the Government institution with qualified people and that we encourage our diaspora to return home to work in Government.  We intend to focus increasingly on improving the management of our Government institutions and encouraging our youth to move into management positions more rapidly. We recognise that needs are great in this area and we expect you to work with us in developing innovative and dynamic ideas and programmes.
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Over the past two days, and specifically this afternoon, we have discussed many different ways to increase the prosperity of the people of South Sudan.  My Government is committed to creating diversified, private sector-led, economic growth and sustainable development which improves livelihoods and reduces poverty for all our people.  Our National Development Plan builds on the vision of the late Dr. John Garang of “Taking towns to the people”. It emphasises the importance of using South Sudan’s rich resources to develop infrastructure, basic education and primary health services; to develop the economy with a vibrant agricultural sector, and to encourage private sector investment.
In the panel discussion on Oil and Renewable Resources you discussed how South Sudan could better harness it existing resources, and make sure that the oil wealth does not become a curse.  There was detailed discussion on the importance of improving investment in the oil industry, and I want to restate that South Sudan is not under American sanctions, and investment in the oil industry is welcome, encouraged, and will yield returns.  In line with this, we are currently in the process of passing two key pieces of legislation; the Petroleum Bill and the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill. The Petroleum Bill will provide the regulatory framework for the development and management of petroleum resources and their extraction.  It is based on international best practice and will ensure the transparent management of our extractive industries sector.
The Petroleum Revenue Management Bill will help my Government better focus our resources both for the present as well as the future.  Provisions in this Bill will demand saving significant shares of future oil revenue to provide a buffer against future volatility in oil production and prices.   Recognising that oil reserves will eventually be depleted, my Government is endeavouring to create lasting benefits for our society by providing guidelines to have efficient and effective capital investment aimed at boosting our economic growth potential both now and in the future.. More importantly, the Bill will ensure the transparency and accountability in the management of our resources, ensuring that there is a conducive, positive environment for investors.
Clearly the use of our wealth dictates how we in South Sudan think about the growth of the private sector, and our economy.  As the discussions on the private sector have demonstrated, there are many needs as well as many opportunities for investment.  While focusing on ensuring the public goods are provided – that roads are built, that electricity is present that the rule of law and due process are followed – our government is keenly aware of the need to diversify economic activities to provide sustainable development and contribute to the quality of life of our citizens. The Government cannot do this alone and our potential must be unlocked in cooperation with the private sector. As you have discussed there are very exciting investment opportunities in South Sudan and we are specifically looking for investment in the following areas: agriculture and agri-business, physical infrastructure, social infrastructure, mining and extractive industries, petroleum and gas, forestry, heavy manufacturing, telecommunications and electronic media, commercial banking, electricity, cement,  insurance, property management, and tourism and service industry development.
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to address the final two pillars of the National Development Plan together.  In all our discussions, we have constantly returned to these two issues.  We have focused on the provision of services for the people of South Sudan in the session on Integrated Service Delivery, and a constant underlying theme has been safety and security. My Government is committed to promoting the well-being and dignity of every person in South Sudan by progressively accelerating universal access to basic social services. This is not an easy task and it is one that will take time and involve improved accountability. .  At the same time, my Government, the SPLM, and the people of South Sudan are committed to preventing the return to conflict. We are committed to upholding the Constitution and maintenance of law and order, and through institutions which are transparent, accountable and respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Achieving all of the goals and objectives we have discussed and I have just recapped that a legal framework is created where the rule of law is enforceable and enforced. The Government of South Sudan has prioritised the passing of necessary legislation to allow government to function effectively. These include the Public Financial Management and Audit Bills which were recently passed, and the internal audit and procurement bills will soon be considered by the National Legislative Assembly. We shall endeavour continuing training our judges, lawyers, police, and others who will judiciously and professionally apply the rule of law in a skilled and transparent manner.
Before I concluding, I wish to focus on one last key area that my Government is paying particular attention to its resource allocation. The allocation of South Sudan’s resources, its oil wealth, and the external support we receive from the international community is a theme underlying in areas of discussion during the past two days.  How we decide to spend these resources will determine how quickly and how effectively we achieve the goals that we have set out in our plan.  We must also be honest and realistic in the allocation of resources.  Money will have to be spent on security for the foreseeable future, and will mean expenditure on the armed forces.  As I previously mentioned, we have already begun work on a clear programme of demobilisation and we must create opportunities in the wider economy for those leaving the armed forces. However, this will take time. Drastic and unconsidered cuts, which might appeal to some and appear good on paper, will undermine our fledgling country at the time when it most needs stability. As we develop we will reallocate appropriately from defense spending toward health, education and infrastructure but these will be measured and appropriate. We ask for your patience and understanding.
 
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
We have been sitting, and discussing all of these issues for the past two days.  I do not wish to keep you in your seats for much longer.  As I noted at the beginning of my speech, South Sudan has a National Development Plan.  This Plan is our road map for developing our country and I hope that this vision has not been lost in all our discussions. This Plan recognises the importance of providing security to the entire population of South Sudan and, it outlines how we we’ll achieve economic growth and provide services to the people of South Sudan. We intend to see this Plan through and we ask for your support, for your support, but most importantly for your partnership. We have a very long road ahead of us in creating development, reducing poverty and increasing the prosperity of the people of South Sudan.  But not a single challenge along this road is intractable. Together, we can find solutions that will ensure that South Sudan’s long history of conflict is indeed over and put our country among the just, peaceful, and prosperous nations of the world.
Your Execellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge the presence of the many heads of key international companies.  I sincerely hope that over the past two days you have seen South Sudan as I see my country, as a land of promise – not a land of conflict, fragility and disaster.  I hope that when you visit you will continue to see the many opportunities for investment that South Sudan possesses.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank our partners who have graciously organised, and supported the Republic of South Sudan in hosting this conference.  It would not have happened without the support of the Troika and specifically the United States Government.  To all of the conference organisers, both in South Sudan and in the United States, my sincere thanks on behalf of the people of South Sudan.   I also wish to once again emphasise my Government’s appreciation to all of you who have attended for the past two days, the Ministers, Ambassadors and Heads of Delegations. Thank you for taking the time.  To the American People and to the Congress of the Unites States of America, thank you once again for your generous support over the many years of conflict and we look forward to it in the many years of peace ahead.
In conclusion,
Let me emphasise what I hope is now clear. South Sudan is a country with amazing potential. It is a country with resources and a plan.  South Sudan has a huge potential to take leap forward through significant investments in new technologies, in telecommunications and alternative sources of energy.  If you are willing to think creatively and innovatively you will see the investment opportunities that South Sudan possesses and I know that you will be as excited as I am.
South Sudan is open for business for those who would venture and explore new horizons
God Bless You All

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