IOM, Ministry of Peacebuilding Sign Cooperation Agreement

Hon. Pia Philip Michael, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Peacebuilding, and IOM’s Chief of Mission, Mr. Peter Van der Auweraert sign the MoU as Hon. Stephen Par Kuol, the Minister of Peacebuilding watches. Photo: IOM 2021/Jale Richard.

Juba—The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and South Sudan’s Ministry of Peacebuilding have signed a cooperation agreement to enhance the Ministry’s capacity to execute its mandate.

The Undersecretary in the Ministry of Peacebuilding, Honourable Pia Philip Michael and IOM’s Chief of Mission, Mr. Peter Van der Auweraert signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Monday, November 15.

“We are already cooperating with IOM on so many areas, one of those is media and communications capacity support,” said Honorable Stephen Par Kuol, the Minister for Peacebuilding after witnessing the signing of the MoU.

“We are also doing community social cohesion with IOM, and signing this MoU cements the partnership that already exists.” 

He added: “IOM is doing much for the people of South Sudan in fields of humanitarian assistance and capacity building for other institutions of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity. For all these, we cannot thank IOM enough.”

IOM supported the Ministry of Peacebuilding develop its strategic framework and supported the Ministry draft a communications strategy to efficiently communicate its peacebuilding activities.

IOM’s Chief of Mission, Mr. Peter Van der Auweraert exchanges the signed MoU with Hon. Stephen Par Kuol, the Minister of Peacebuilding.
IOM’s Chief of Mission, Mr. Peter Van der Auweraert exchanges the signed MoU with Hon. Stephen Par Kuol, the Minister of Peacebuilding. Photo: IOM/Jale Richard.

The Ministry of Peacebuilding is one of the new institutions established by the 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, to build peace and enhance social cohesion, after years of conflict in the country.

Mr. Peter Van Der Auweraert stated that one of the UN Migration’s priorities is supporting the peacebuilding activities of the government, and communities in South Sudan to bear fruits.

“Peace is at the heart of everything that needs to happen for the country to have a better future. Having a ministry dedicated to the building of peace is critical for the future of South Sudan,” Mr. Van Der Auweraert said.

“The time has come to invest more in the building of peace and development of the country so that in the coming years, the number of South Sudanese that rely on humanitarian assistance will go down drastically,” he added.

The Undersecretary reiterated that signing the MoU “cemented the partnership the two institutions have.”

“We started this engagement a couple of months ago, and we thought it was important for us to solidify this partnership with a memorandum of understanding that will define the activities we are taking forward together,” said Hon. Pia.

The MoU aims to strengthen the Ministry through five key areas of collaboration namely collaboration and coordination, strategic communication, capacity building and technical expertise, advocacy and resource mobilization, and engagement of the South Sudan diaspora.

“These five key areas are really important for coordinating the peacebuilding initiatives and implementing the revitalized peace agreement in the country,” said Benjamin Moore, IOM’s Transition and Recovery Programme Coordinator.

Through the Transition and Recovery Unit, IOM is assisting South Sudanese who have been affected by the conflict to recover and rebuild their livelihoods.

IOM’s Transition and Recovery activities are funded by USAID, the Kingdom of Netherlands, Reconciliation, Stabilization and Resilience Trust Fund, United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

This story was written by Jale Richard, IOM South Sudan Media and Communications Assistant.

SDG 16 - Peace Justice and Strong Institutions