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UNGA president urges protection of children’s rights in South Sudan

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Saturday, June 15, 2024

Dennis Francis, President of the UN General Assembly briefs reporters after being elected. (Photo/Courtesy).

The President of UN General Assembly Denis Francis calls on the South Sudan government and partners to invest in opportunities for realizing the rights and potential of children in the country.

Denis Francis, who jetted to South Sudan for a three-day visit, made the remarks at a press conference, on the eve of the International Day of African Child on June 16.

The Day of African Child is focused on spurring support for the right to education and to raise awareness of the challenges that young people face in the continent.

Francis underscores that children in South Sudan face many difficulties yet they represent the country’s aspiration for a brighter future of peace and prosperity.

“I felt it essential to hear directly from children here in South Sudan – who while they face the biggest brunt of many challenges but also represent our hope and aspirations for a brighter future peace and prosperity in this country,” he said.

The UN official noted that 70 percent of children in South Sudan are not in school due to multiple crisis including conflicts, poverty and climate crisis.

“This affects their right to development, excludes them from future work opportunities – and exposes them to further violence, abuse and exploitation.”

South Sudan has the world’s third-lowest literacy rate and about 2.8 million children out of school— the highest proportion of out-of-school children globally.

Mr. Francis said failure to educate children does not only put their future at risk but the foundation of a country.

He commended UN agencies for their efforts to enhance access to education for all children across South Sudan, by renovating and building classrooms, training teachers, and distributing textbooks.

He said the UN support to education in South Sudan reflects its true mission and commitment to children’s right to education – as a viable means in building societies, respecting and promoting human rights, the rule of law and tolerance, and addressing the root causes of conflict.

He further said: “We stand with all those living through, or recovering from, instability or conflict. We stand with the people of the Republic of South Sudan – including those who are internally displaced, not by any choice of their own.”

“And we stand with people and communities living on the frontlines of some of our gravest challenges – be it natural, manmade or otherwise.”

 

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