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Paris agreement: A new era of opportunity

By Ban Ki-moon

New York, December 16, 2015 (SSNA) -- Seventy years ago, the United Nations was created from the ashes of the Second World War. Seven decades later, in Paris, nations have united in the face of another threat – the threat to life as we know it due to a rapidly warming planet.

Governments have ushered in a new era of global cooperation on climate change – one of the most complex issues ever to confront humanity. In doing so, they have significantly advanced efforts to uphold our Charter mandate to "save succeeding generations."

The Paris Agreement is a triumph for people, the environment, and for multilateralism.  It is a health insurance policy for the planet. For the first time, every country in the world has pledged to curb their emissions, strengthen resilience and act internationally and domestically to address climate change.

Together, countries have agreed that, in minimizing risks of climate change, the national interest is best served by pursuing the common good. I believe it is an example we could gainfully follow across the political agenda.

The victory in Paris caps a remarkable year. From the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, from the historic Sustainable Development Summit in New York to the climate conference in Paris, this has been a year in which the United Nations has proven its ability to deliver hope and healing to the world.

Since my first days in office, I have called climate change the defining challenge of our time. That is why I have made it a top priority of my tenure. I have spoken with nearly every world leader about the threat climate change poses to our economies, our security and our very survival. I have visited every continent and met communities living on the climate front-lines.

I have been moved by suffering and inspired by the solutions that will make our world safer and more prosperous.

I have participated in every United Nations climate conference. The three Climate Summits I convened mobilized political will and catalyzed innovative action by governments, business and civil society. The Paris Action Agenda, along with the commitments made at last year’s Climate Summit, show that the answers are there.

What was once unthinkable is now unstoppable. The private sector is already investing increasingly in a low-emissions future. The solutions are increasingly affordable and available, and many more are poised to come, especially after the success of Paris.

The Paris Agreement delivered on all the key points I called for.  Markets now have the clear signal they need to scale up investments that will generate low-emissions, climate-resilient development.

All countries have agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius and, given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 degrees.  This is especially important for the nations of Africa, Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries.

In Paris, countries agreed on a long-term goal to cap global greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible in the second half of the century. One hundred and eighty-eight countries have now submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, which show what they are prepared to do to reduce emissions and build climate resilience.

Currently, these national targets have already significantly bent the emissions curve downwards.  But, collectively, they still leave us with an unacceptably dangerous 3 degrees Celsius temperature rise. That is why countries in Paris pledged that they will review their national climate plans every five years, beginning in 2018. This will allow them to increase ambition in line with what science demands.

The Paris Agreement also ensures sufficient, balanced adaptation and mitigation support for developing countries, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. And it will help to scale up global efforts to address and minimize loss and damage from climate change.

Governments have agreed to binding, robust, transparent rules of the road to ensure that all countries do what they have said they would do. Developed countries have agreed to lead in mobilizing finance and to scale up technology support and capacity building. And developing countries have assumed increasing responsibility to address climate change in line with their capabilities.

In acknowledging this historic achievement, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the leadership and vision of the business community and civil society. They have highlighted both the stakes and the solutions. I salute them for their outstanding display of climate citizenship.

Now, with the Paris Agreement in place, our thoughts must immediately turn to implementation. By addressing climate change we are advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Paris Agreement has positive implications for all the Sustainable Development Goals.  We are poised to enter a new era of opportunity.

As Governments, business and civil society begin the mammoth project of tackling climate change and realizing the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations will assist Member States and society at large at every stage. As a first step in implementing the Paris Agreement, I will convene, as requested by the Agreement and by the Convention, a high-level signing ceremony in New York, on 22 April next year.

I will invite world leaders to come to help keep and increase momentum. By working together, we can achieve our shared objective to end poverty, strengthen peace, and ensure a life of dignity and opportunity for all.

Ban Ki-Moon is the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN).

Commemorating of the Massacre of 20,000 Nuer Civilians killed in cold-blood in December of 2013 by President Salva Kiir Mayardit

By J. Nguen

December 14, 2015 (SSNA) -- Tomorrow marks the 2nd anniversary of Dec. 15th, when 20,000 innocent Nuer civilians including women, elderly and children were summarily executed by their President, in cold blood. My own mother died too in this conflict. She was innocently and had to die because she was denied access to medical attention. My uncles and nephews summarily executed simply because they were Nuer.

They were considered enemy of the State because of their ethnicity. The African Union’s Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan’s Conflict Report rightly put it that the massacre of 20,000 Nuer civilians was a “state policy” sanctioned to erase one ethnic group the map of South Sudan.

Because of this poorly thought out policy, my people, people of South Sudan were ruthlessly murdered in their houses on a door –to –door search killing sphere in Juba and across South Sudan. They died bravely and with humility because they were not armed and did no provocation or had no political agenda but had to be executed because they were Nuer.

Their killers foolishly thought destroying their souls was an affliction on the Nuer Nation. Yes, immediately it was and as a result I will never see my uncles, nephews and mother again. However, because of this twisted foresight thinking and exhortation of righteousness, South Sudan went in flame. Across this young nation, almost everyone is in anguish of sort.  

As a result, the foundation of our nation is now challenged, wobbly to the core risking free fall at any time. On a personal note, at the onset of this conflict, I promised my nation and my people that “I’ m alive not dead.” I promised I will use my talents to reverse the course of these horrific crimes.

I promised my dead mother that I will write about your innocent demise to ensure that your blood and spirits will not go in vain. My goal was to expose and hold those who committed these crimes to account and do away with impunity.  Others and I took this noble task with humility. We have written articles to inform the world that you were innocently murdered, with no apparent cause.

To some extent, we have made a head way given the African Union’s Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan’s Conflict Report, but I must state that there is must more to be done, which still required our collective actions.

President Salva Kiir and his thugs, militia allies from Bul Nuer, Darfur and SPLA -North rebels have committed horrific atrocities across Nuer Nation against innocent civilians. Crimes punishable by death when one is found alive or dead!

Therefore, I need not to remind you that Nuer women, young girls and elderly women were raped and burned alive after rape. I need not to mention that young Nuer boys were castrated and young Nuer girls had their breasts cut off and left for dead. And I need not to say to you that elderly men in Unity State and Juba were forced to eat and drink the blood of their dead relatives and killed afterward. Finally, with gruesome brutalities, Nuer women were subjected to jump on fire for show and gang raped with sharp objects and allowed to blood to death. These are heinous crimes committed by South Sudanese against their own fellow citizens.

It’s true that the scene of everlasting tragedy is set. To ease this tragic precedent, I call on all South Sudanese both at home and in Diaspora to commemorate December 15th of the Nuer massacre together as one people and condemn the wrong and those who took part committing these heinous crimes against our nation and our fellow countrymen and men.

J. Nguen is a South Sudanese concerned citizen living in Canada. He can be reached This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Two years after Juba Massacre: Can the social fabric be enhanced?

By Tor Madira Machier

December 14, 2015 (SSNA) -- Today, the 15 of December 2015, marks exactly two years since a state-sponsored, planned and calculated massacre against the Nuer people was executed. In a move which seemed to be a discourse for the annihilation of the Nuer people. Thousands of Nuer men, women, children and elderly people were executed and massacred pursuance to a "state policy" as reported and confirmed by the released report of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS). However, it also mark a critical and a high time in the implementation of the signed Compromise Peace Agreement signed on 17 August and later on 26 the same month by Machar and Kiir respectively - an anticipated chance for the possibility of ending the two year old civil war.

But can the social fabric be enhanced? The answer needs not the ignorance of a future violence not only at the national level, but too, at the grassroots.

At the national level, the existence of a vast number of tribal council of elders, and more notably, the Jieng Council of Elders, (Which will be possibly adopted later by other tribes there by igniting another political battles between South Sudanese tribes fighting for the throne) which aim at advising political leaders on the basis of tribal scenarios make possible the anticipation of a future violence between the tribes.

The Transitional Government of National Unity due early next year should put forward a nationwide oriented policy on how the South Sudanese people should reconcile. But, there would be also a little possibility of returning to the table of love and humanity, both from the grassroots and from the national government. Old ethnic faults which were the recipe for the Juba Massacre need productive approaches to be solved. Because the more they exist, the more the country collapse based on ethnic lines. The current civil war has put in to consideration ethnic dimensions of the South Sudanese people, but we want to develop our nation, we do not have time. But inspite of this, we keep wasting that small time on wars since the inception of the Republic of South Sudan in 2011.

Some fools may think that the current civil war had harmed certain side, but it infact degraded the country as whole both economically, socially and politically. Those who were killed by President Salva Kiir and his cohorts in Juba are South Sudanese killed on the basis of ethnicity and a loss to all the people of South Sudan.

The social fabric has been destroyed. We want to revive it. And without a constructive national agenda, the social fabric is in danger.

So let this war be a reminder for us that only we say ‘never and never again' that this beautiful Republic of South Sudan be the same again.

Tor Madira Machier is a South Sudanese columnist living in Cairo. He can be reached through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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