In a joint effort, the European Union Delegation to South Sudan and UNDP South Sudan have signed a €3 million (US $3,281,400) agreement to help create a fair environment for elections in South Sudan. This project, led by UNDP, aims to strengthen national institutions and processes to ensure that elections in the country are credible, peaceful, and inclusive.
Elections are an important part of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS). According to the roadmap, these elections are scheduled for December 2024. They mark a significant step in moving South Sudan towards democracy, good governance, and development.
The European Union Ambassador to South Sudan, Timo Olkkonen, emphasized that holding elections alone is not enough. It’s crucial to have an environment that encourages trust and acceptance of election results, along with meaningful participation from citizens. He stated that this involves respecting human rights, ensuring equality and inclusivity in participation, providing access to information, establishing appropriate legislative frameworks, and having independent institutions. Security is also essential to create a safe context for elections to occur.
At the same event, Titus Osundina, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, highlighted the importance of the partnership between UNDP and the European Union. He explained that this collaboration enables them to support an environment that lays the foundation for fair, inclusive, and peaceful elections. UNDP is working in partnership with UNMISS, UNESCO, and UN Women to deliver comprehensive support.
The Secretary-General of South Sudan’s National Electoral Commission (NEC), Yoannes Amum Nyiker, was present at the signing of this partnership agreement at the European Union Delegation Conference Hall.
This project will strengthen various entities, including NEC, the Political Parties Council (PPC), the judiciary, media, and the police in their roles related to elections. It will also support civil society, including women, youth, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented groups, in engaging in electoral processes. The project will encompass the development of the electoral legal framework, resolution of election disputes, broad and inclusive civic and voter education, human rights monitoring during elections, election security, and conflict prevention.