Posts Tagged ‘and noble institution’

Your Excellency, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, Vice President of the Republic,
Rt. Hon. James Wani Igga, Speaker of the Joint National Legislature and the National Assembly of the Republic,
Rt. Hon. Joseph Bol Chan, Deputy Speaker of the Joint Sitting and Speaker of the Council of States of the Republic,
Honourable Deputy Speakers of both Houses,
The Honourable Chief Justice of the Republic,
Excellencies, Members of the Executive Caretaker Cabinet,
Honourable Members of this Joint august House,
Religious Leaders,
Representatives from all branches of government and states of the Republic,
Distinguished Members of the Diplomatic Community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This day is yet another momentous occasion for our nation.  The convening of this First Joint Sitting of our two houses: the Council of States and the National Assembly is a historical episode in our life time.  These two houses constitute the National Legislature, which is the supreme authority in the land.  The interests of the people are fully represented in this noble institution.  Thus, allow me the opportunity to congratulate you and welcome you to the first sitting of this august house.
Before I proceed ahead to share with you what I consider to be the pertinent issues of this epoch, please let us rise up and pay tribute to all those who perished in order for this nation to be born. Foremost amongst these heroes and heroines is our great leader and hero, Dr. John Garang De Mabior, whose fond memories are still vivid in our minds (Minutes of silence).
Thank you very much!
Rt. Honourable Speaker,
Honourable members of this august House,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On July 9th, 2011, we ended a long period of misfortunes by the formal declaration of our independence.  We have been occupied, colonized, marginalized and denied our dignity and humanity.  This sitting clearly demonstrates the result of our long struggle and the beginning of a new journey for peace, democracy and prosperity. The independence we celebrated a few weeks ago is a great achievement for our people.  I am grateful to have witnessed the birth of our nation and to you all comrades, congratulations for being pioneer citizens of this new nation!  We are indeed a lucky lot because history has favoured us to be alive to witness this great moment of emancipation.  Let us recreate ourselves, let us find new ways, new thinking and be ready to learn in order to adequately meet new challenges.  We should not take anything for granted. Instead every challenge should be considered an opening for greater opportunities and triumphs.  I urge all of you to seize the opportunities and accept the challenges of the future.
The freedom we have just achieved endows us with power and mandate.  In return we must manage what is given to us with utmost care and responsibility.  Moreover, as a sovereign body representing the sovereign will of the people of the Republic of South Sudan (RSS), it is incumbent upon this august House to manage the affairs of this land in order to deliver on what we promised to our people.  While debating matters of national interest, it is important that we put the well being of our people and nation first.  Our people have waited patiently for so long.  It is time we act and we do so without delay.  Therefore, the two houses must complement each other rather than compete against one another.  This is expected of you in the conduct of business and this is critical for nation-building.
As a people who have navigated from far it may not be easy to forget the pains of the past.  Our hearts are still heavy with the anguish of history.  That notwithstanding we must be brave and wise enough to resist revisiting the past and we must embrace the future.  We will not forget the past but the sacrifices of our martyrs will keep us consoled to be worthy of freedom and concentrate all our energies on nation-building.  If we deviated away from the core objectives of our liberation struggle, the sacrifices made by many will be for nothing.  We were able to achieve our objectives because of the sacrifices of our martyrs and the long suffering of our people.  The rewards of our heroes and heroines lie in our future and in the realization of our vision.  And it is also in this future and in the realization of this vision that we can fulfill the pledges we have made to our people.
Rt. Honourable Speaker,
Honourable members of this august House,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our dreams and hopes can only be met through hard work so that they can become a reality.  A democratic and stable South Sudanwill contribute to regional and international peace and prosperity. Remember, our independence also has its burdens and we must be ready to face them headlong.  As I have pointed out in my past appeals, the worst experiences of the past and those of other nations must be considered in order for us as a new nation not to repeat them.  We should not defend ourselves by using the failures of others as a threshold.  Let us build our country by striving towards what others have achieved successfully.
As we move forward, the most serious challenge and responsibility we face is what we can deliver for future generations?  What would be the best way to honour our heroes and heroines?  I said it during Martyrs Day and I will repeat it here that there is nothing material to offer worth the sacrifices of our martyrs.  What is worth the ultimate sacrifice they made is for us to build this nation.  Nation-building requires cohesion, hard work, honesty and altruism.  While I will continue to urge you to work harder, I am already at work.  My next government will do the best it can to enhance the welfare of its citizens.  Building a nation is not an easy enterprise.  It takes time and in most cases those who build hardly reap the fruits of their own labour.  Thus, let us keep in mind that we are here to serve our people and not to enrich ourselves.  It is our duty to ensure that future generations must not experience the sufferings we have endured.  In other words, let us end the promises and deliver the basic services to our people. Misfortunes of the past should end with us and let us set a brighter future for our people.
Rt. Honurable Speaker,
Honourable members of this august House,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Together with the honourable members of this august Assembly, we must now focus on delivery of basic services to meet the great expectations of our people.  This is only possible if we have a government whose first, second and final priorities are public interest, public interest, public interest!  Let me make it clear once again that those individuals who are not willing and ready to make the sacrifices necessary to help our people will not be part of this government.  Most important, the people of South Sudan will not sit ideally and allow corruption and abuses of public resources to continue unabated.  You will agree with me that the people ofSouth Sudan have not only suffered for far too long but they have also waited for basic services for too long.  They cannot wait much longer.  It is time for delivery and it is also time to put the public interest as the number one priority.
I take this opportunity to announce to this august Assembly that I will appoint the new Government of the Republic of South Sudan this week and according to constitutional requirement I am sending the list of the new cabinet to you for approval.  The Ministers that are selected will have to work very hard and be disciplined.  The new Government will work towards the ambitious goals set in our National Development Plan, and I will set them to task.
Firstly, for South Sudan as a new nation to develop, we need education.  No country has ever achieved development without educating its population.  It remains a major challenge that only a minority of our children in South Sudan have access to education.When it comes to girl’s education, it is even worse.  All children in our independent country must have the opportunity to go to school.  To do this there is a need to scale up education enrolment quickly all over the country.  Together with our development partners we can achieve this.  We will also encourage our communities to help build schools.  To demonstrate our seriousness, within the first 100 days of the new government 30 new primary schools and four new secondary schools will be under construction.  Together with our development partners, we will also launch a Teachers Training Development Programaiming at training 7000 teachers in the next three to five years.  We are also going to build higher education institutions in the coming years.  We cannot afford to lose our next generation leaders because of the absence of higher education institutions.
Secondly, the lack of good health care system in South Sudan has made our nation the most difficult place to live, especially for children and senior citizens.  Many people still die because of preventable diseases.  Let us be honest, you and I, and indeed our family members can afford to go out of the country to get treatment.  But this is not the case for the millions of our people. And it is not because of war, rather because of the absence of health services.  It is time to change that by providing basic health services for all our people in the villages, Bomas, Payams and Counties.  Through community health programmes we can distribute anti-malarial bed nets to more people and save the lives of our children and their mothers.  And we will start now.
Similarly, within the first 100 days of the government and together with development partners, we will make sure that 600,000 children are vaccinated against deadly diseases, including measles,particularly in the four states of Unity, Northern Bahr El Ghazal, Warrap and Upper Nile.  And the good news is that 30 community midwives will finalize their training and be ready to be deployed to the rural areas.  I also intend, with the support of this august House, to construct 100 small health care centers within the first year of this Administration.
Thirdly, South Sudan cannot develop without infrastructure.  Our country is vast, and our communications are limited.  Only through the use of roads and rivers can communities connect, agricultural production takes off, businesses flourish, the economy grows, and services are delivered. Infrastructure is at the heart of our development plan.  Together with our development partners, we will invest in roads and bridges, and in river transport.  But also here, we need our people to give a hand.  They can help rehabilitate and construct feeder-roads.  With the focus of this august Assembly, together, we can make it happen.
Within the first 100 days of the new government two roads and two airstrips will be opened in Unity and Warrap states.  The repairs of Juba Bridge and the construction of a new bridge on theNile donated by the Government of Japan will get underway.  The rehabilitation of four roads will be in process, three in EasternEquatoria State, Warrap and the Pagak-Mathiang road in Upper Nile.
Fourthly, no country can develop without abiding with basic principles of justice and rule of law.  South Sudanese have been at the receiving end of aggression, injustices, arbitrary detention and absence of law and order during decades of war.  Now similar incidences have occurred among our own police and security institutions.  As I said on Martyrs’ Day, this has to end. Criminality should cease or else those who perpetrate suffering to others will be subjected to the strong arm of the law.  It is time to put our own house in order.  We need to strengthen law and order, both within our own institutions and among citizens.
Within the first 100 days of our new government, 50 new police stations located throughout the country, will be opened. Two prisons will also be completed.  Again together with our development partners the Government will do more.
Fifthly, no country can ensure peace and security and protect its citizens without a modern and professional Army.  As a new and independent country, we will complete the transformation of the SPLA into a national army.  For this to happen successfully, the Government must put in place programs that would provide new opportunities for former SPLA soldiers.
 Within the first 100 days, we will launch our new programme for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR). We will provide tailored programmes to give them a new start.
These are just but few caveats for the beginning.  We have got more daunting tasks in front of us – development, development and development!  And development does not only come with the donors or with oil money.  As I said earlier it requires hard work and discipline.  For example, the Republic of South Sudan should never depend on imports of food or handouts.  We are endowed with fertile land.  I said it and I will repeat it now; we must till the land to produce food.  This is a moral responsibility for citizens – work, work, work and work!  I want to reiterate again, a prosperous nation is not made up of indolent citizens, because laziness is useless.   As pioneer members of this joint august Parliament, I call upon you all to help mobilize our communities to service in order to help develop our nation.  We can only achieve our ambitious development goals if all of us dedicate ourselves to develop our country and pull together with unity of purpose.
On Independence Day I made it clear that from now onward we do not have any excuses or scapegoats.  It is our responsibility to protect our land, our resources and ourselves and to develop our country.  Moreover, the goat is dead therefore there is no one to blame!
Rt. Honourable Speaker,
Honourable members of this joint august sitting,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
For South Sudan to succeed, we need to abide with the principles of transparency and accountability.  Only then can we build a strong foundation for our new nation.  Another word for corruption is stealing and it is called ‘stealing’ because money which should have gone to build our country is stolen by selfish persons.  Those who engage in corruption are undermining our country and the sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan.  To borrow from our liberation laws, join me in defining corrupt persons as the enemies of the people.  We must therefore fight corruption with dedication, rigour and commitment. And that is why, on Independence Day, I pledged to the people, the nation and the heads of state and government present that I would do all that I could to remove this cancer.
Most important, let me put a human face on what corruption does to our people and country.  With the amount of funds stolen over the past six years and half; we could have saved thousands of our citizens from unnecessary deaths and suffering, building more than a dozen of schools and hospitals, and feed many of our citizens.
At this juncture, allow me to take permission from this august Assembly to outline key priority expectations of your business in the first 100 days.  This requires us to change the way we have been doing things and become more disciplined.  For example, timekeeping has been one of the worst vices of the old Sudan.  This honourable legislative body has loads of work to deliver to this nation, critical amongst which is legislation itself.  We must pass crucial laws to cement our sovereignty and independence.   There is need to work even extra harder in order to expedite the process of legislation and achieve the following:
One, in the first 100 days I will make sure that the new Government of the Republic of South Sudan passes 5 essential laws to establish full transparency and accountability in the management of our financial resources, natural resources and oil. Thus, we will send to Parliament a Public Financial Management and Accountability Act, a Procurement Act, an Internal Audit Act, a Petroleum Act for regulating the management of oil resources, and an Oil Revenue Management Law for sustainable and transparent management of the oil income.
Several of these laws are already prepared, and all of them will hold international standards.  This is an essential part of putting our new Republic on a solid foundation cemented by the blood of our martyrs.  I call upon you, the National Legislature of the newRepublic of South Sudan, to process and pass these laws without delay.  We need them to take effect as soon as possible.
Two, implementation of these Acts is essential.  Within the first 100 days, the Republic of South Sudan will develop an implementation plan to put these policies into practice.  This includes rules of procedures for our public service and large-scale training of staff. Here, we will have to ask for external assistance and support.  We need to be ready to implement expeditiously as soon as Parliament passes these laws.
In the first 100 days, the Audit Chamber and the Anti Corruption Commission will also be strengthened.  We will have audits underway in three of the most significant spending government ministries and agencies.  We will take action on their findings and as I have pointed out before there will be no loopholes for people who are addicted to mishandling public resources.  There will be no sacred cows this time round.  Moreover the Anti-Corruption Commission has already been granted the right to independent investigations but the institution itself also requires restructuring. I will urge the Commission to make use of this right within the first 100 days.  The Commission and its members will have my full support as President of the Republic.
Three, implementation always starts at home with us as political leaders.  In all South Sudanese communities stealing is seen as deeply shameful!  We all know what happens in our cultures and communities, particularly, if one is caught stealing?  The community will start composing songs against you, and the whole family will be disgraced. Your children will have difficulties getting married respectably, and you cannot even become a chief or be in any position of authority.
I always wonder what has happened to these core values of our communities.  It seems that people have forgotten them.  This has to change and with determination it will change.  We must set new standards to be eligible for public office.  When the government is appointed I will make these standards clear to the public, and I will expect every Minister and civil servant to abide by these standards. The Republic of South Sudan will expect nothing less from those who serve our newly independent country.
With these actions, I hope we will have taken the first critical steps to put our new country on a solid footing.  Remember no government performs well without checks and balances.  The primary role of Parliament is, therefore, essential in this process. I request you, our Parliamentarians and our international partners, to assist us and to hold us responsible in the implementation process of these pledges. I will report back to you on all these deliverables when our first 100 days have passed.  I promise you that this time, we will deliver.
Rt. Honourable Speaker,
Honourable Members of this Joint Assembly,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
I shall be remiss if I do not say something about the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), particularly about the issues that are still outstanding.  I would like to reassure all that Abyei is not a forgotten cause because we will remain actively seized of the matter until a final resolution is found.  We are all aware that the United Nations Security Council has authorized the deployment of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) in order to ensure resettlement of the people of Abyei back in their homes.  I trust that a final solution will be found that will reflect the true will of the people of Abyei.  I am equally committed to ensuring peace and security along our common borders and the spirit of good neighbourliness is one of the guiding principles of our foreign policy.  The massive attendance of the world during our independence celebrations is testimony that we are a friendly people.  We will continue to engage with all our neighbours, particularly with the leadership in the Republic of the Sudan to build strong relations because we share a long border.
Finally, I would like to repeat what I said during the declaration of independence.  Let us continue to celebrate our hard won freedom but we must always be sober to wake up the following day and work.  I reiterate my appeal to this august House that this new nation is yours and let us commit ourselves to build it with optimism.  Hard work is a virtue and in just a matter of time, we will prosper.  There is nothing impossible and as it is said: ‘If there is a will there is a way’.  The role of government is to provide a conducive atmosphere while citizens must join hands and work. We will issue comprehensive priorities for the next five to ten years as soon as the new cabinet is constituted.
Let me say this again we cannot prosper as a nation without the unity and harmony of our people.  We must accept our diversity and use our difficult past experiences to grow.  We must work harder and harder so that in five years change must be apparent. Government will ensure that there is no hindrance or obstacle and people should go about doing their businesses in safety and without any kind of fear.
As for you the honourable members of this joint august House, legislation is your first order of business and I wish you all well in this national duty.  I am always available and my office is there to attend to urgent national needs and emergencies.
Let us start to work right away.
Thank you all and may God bless South Sudan!