Date: 4 June 2012
Juba, June 6, 2012 (SSNA) -- We, the undersigned members of the Civil Society Resource Team on the Constitution of South Sudan, are writing to announce the start of a series of citizens’ consultations that we will be holding across the ten states of South Sudan.
In October 2011, the Resource Team launched the Civil Society Constitution Consultative Process, which aims to solicit input from citizens at the grassroots level on what they would like to see included in the Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan. To prepare us for this undertaking, the Resource Team underwent a thorough capacity enhancement process with constitutional experts in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa, in addition to a number of trainings in Juba.
Today in Torit, we begin to collect and collate the views of South Sudanese citizens on what they think should be included in the constitution. As we embark on these landmark deliberations, the Resource Team wishes to reaffirm our commitment to the declaration that we made in Yei on the 27th April 2012, after a one-week consultative process. Our stated goal, as expressed in that declaration, was to contribute to “a sovereign, democratic, peaceful and prosperous South Sudan governed by a pro-people constitution that reflects the values, aspirations, interests and priorities of the common citizen’s of South Sudan (Zol Maskin).” We remain committed to that ideal.
We would also like to thank his Excellency, the President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, for accepting civil society’s request to include six members of civil society on the Constitutional Review Commission. The resource team had a consultation with the six Commissioners this past Saturday, and they have assured us that they will represent the will of the people of South Sudan while undertaking this historic undertaking. We congratulate them on their swearing in and express our confidence in their ability to articulate and promote the views of civil society in the constitution-making process.
- Agency for Independent Media (AIM)
- Association of Media Women in South Sudan (AMWISS)
- Equatoria Rehabilitation and Development Association (ERADA)
- Generation Agency for Development Transformation-Pentagon (GADET-Pentagon)
- Institute for the Promotion of Civil Society (IPCS)
- Organization for Nonviolence and Development (ONAD)
- South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms (SSANSA)
- South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA)
- South Sudan Law Society (SSLS)
- South Sudan Women Lawyers’ Association (SSWLA)
- Standard Action Liaison Focus (SALF)
- Sudan Domestic Election Monitoring and Observation Programme (SuDEMOP)
- Sudanese Network for Democratic Elections (SuNDE)
- Voices for Change (VFC)
Notes to editors: The Civil Society Resource Team is a technical committee composed of members of South Sudan civil society that is specifically mandated to provide technical input on matters pertaining to the constitution and the constitution-making process.
TOWARDS THE CONSTITUTION ‘ZOL MASKIN’
Recalling our long struggle for freedom, democracy and justice;
Encouraged by and taking into account the statement of his Excellency the President of the Republic of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit made on the occasion of the swearing in of the members of the National Constitutional Review Commission that, “civil society have special role to play in the drafting and deliberation of our constitution. The civil society must ensure that the proposals suit the needs of the South Sudanese society. Without assistance of the civil society our constitution cannot succeed.”
Reaffirming our commitment to contribute towards a sovereign, democratic, peaceful and prosperous South Sudan governed by a pro-people constitution that reflects the values, aspirations, interests and priorities of the common citizen’s of South Sudan (Zol Maskin)
Acknowledging that the process of constitution making is complex, challenging and requires effective public participation and above all political goodwill;
Committed to broadening our scope and outreach by enhancing our cooperation with all stake holders, including those in the Diaspora, the faith based institutions, trade unions, women and youth, professionals, media and the general public;
We the undersigned representatives of the Civil Society having met in Yei between 23rd to 27th of April 2012 call upon;
- The civil society organizations and all stakeholders to join in this endeavour to ensure a South Sudanese-led constitution process that is inclusive, open, transparent and credible.
- The government of the Republic of South Sudan to support the South Sudan National Constitutional Review Commission to undertake and accomplish its work within the constitutional time frame.
- All stakeholders and international community to financially and technically support this civil society led citizen’s constitution consultation process