Collaboration and Dialogue are key to achieving peace in South Sudan

Mar 3, 2016

Photo (above): Participants of the Collaborative Leadership and Dialogue (CLD) refresher workshop discussing about the importance of leadership for dialogue.

On 27 February 2016, leaders representing different sectors of South Sudan including the Peace and Reconciliation Commission, Parliament, Ministry of Defence, Council of Churches, and civil society organizations, met for the second time to discuss collaboration between diverse stakeholders involved in South Sudan’s peace process. Organized by the South Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission (SSPRC) in partnership with UNDP, this Collaborative Leadership and Dialogue (CLD) refresher workshop is a follow-up to the first CLD workshop held in Juba from 17-20 August 2015. Its aim is to enable participants from the first CLD workshop to refresh the vision of CLD, review the action plan, and reflect on activities carried out following the first workshop.

Addressing the participants on behalf of UNDP South Sudan was Country Director Balázs Horváth, who kicked off the session by stressing the importance of collaboration in the long-term process that will relate immediate issues to an overall vision.

“It creates a safe space where diverse people with different views can come together, set aside narrow interest, and discuss issues openly to find ways of helping each other solve a larger problem or achieve broader goals,” he declared.

During the first session the participants shared their experiences and point of views on how to approach the peace and reconciliation process in the country.

“I felt very sad because there are people who want to do something good for this country with the support of UNDP, but we are in a very complex situation. Dialogue is something good and we need it but it is difficult in this context. I want this group to be effective with leadership and dialogue,” said one of the participants.

“We should stop identifying ourselves as from this-or-that tribe, we have to see ourselves as South Sudanese to build our nation. We have to move away from tribal identity and identify ourselves as South Sudanese. We have to think about what we are here for and not where we come from,” added one of the civil society representatives.

Conducted under UNDP’s Community Security and Arms Control (CSAC) project and funded by the DFID, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland, the workshop provides an opportunity to continue the dialogue on pertinent issues of South Sudan and strategize future engagement of the group in promoting collaborative leadership and dialogue approaches.

“A second multi-stakeholder CLD workshop will be held in Juba in the coming week. On the last day of the four-day workshop, the two CLD groups will be brought together to exchange experiences and jointly reflect on how they as leaders of their country can best use collaboration and dialogue to create a common vision for the nation and build a sustainable future”, concluded UNDP Peacebuilding Specialist, Julia Odumuyiwa.  

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