Balázs Horváth, UNDP Country Director at RSS/IGAD Regional Initiative for Capacity Building Exit Workshop
Juba, South Sudan
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-Honourable Danhier Gatluak Kwong, Deputy Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development,
-Your Excellency Hanne-Marie Kaarstad, Ambassador of Norway
-Your Excellency Cleland Leshore, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya,
-Your Excellency Fre Tesfa Michael, Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,
-Your Excellency Major Gen. Robert Musoke, Ambassador, Republic of Uganda,
-Honourable Angeth Acol De Dut, Under-Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development,
-Civil Service Support Officers,
-Honourable Government Officials,
-Distinguished members of the international community, Ladies and Gentlemen;
I am honoured to be here on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme. Today, we recognize the tremendous progress and efforts made in the past two years by the first group of 46 Civil Service Support Officers deployed in South Sudan. You worked in over a dozen institutions including seven hospitals across the country; a fifth of you were deployed with the Ministry of Labour, Public Services & HR Development at the national level.
All of you led the way for the next 153 CSSOs, with whom we reached the planned level of CSSO deployment (199 to be exact) in 22 institutions at the national, state and county levels. Your colleagues coming after you found a better system because you helped improve the project. Despite difficult moments in the course of your work, you overcame all the challenges because of your dedication and commitment to the newest country in the world.
This is an innovative initiative of capacity building through mentoring and coaching, relying on a strong partnership among the Republic of South Sudan, the IGAD member Countries, Norway, and UNDP. It has positively impacted the lives of countless people you may never meet. Many successes have been recorded in the 15 institutions you have been working in, and much continues to happen as a result of your efforts and those of your colleagues. This Project has become a hot subject of research and discussion because it holds the promise of success in post-conflict capacity development through South-South Cooperation. You are an integral part of this success and we salute you!
The Exit Workshop that you concluded this morning will be one of the building blocks in documenting the achievements and areas of improvement for this Project. The Project Management Unit, with the able leadership of the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resources Development will produce a report of this workshop to document your efforts in the last 2 years. The report will help us learn from experience and inform future programming, not just in South Sudan but across the world.
Let me look back at the challenges you faced and the lessons you learned in the last two years. You had to deal with the lack of twins that impeded your efforts; inadequate equipment and tools; problems with accommodation and transport, among other things. Austerity also greatly affected government agencies and hampered the implementation of many activities. It was difficult, but I am proud of how we worked together to resolve these challenges and that you used austerity as an opportunity to support the implementation of cost-saving mechanisms.
We are very grateful to the Government and the people Norway for their generosity in supporting this project. Your commitment to assist the young nation of South Sudan is greatly appreciated. We are equally appreciative of the effective support from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda by seconding experienced civil servants to help build this new nation.
We thank each one of you for your dedication to support the youngest country in the community of nations. UNDP remains committed in supporting capacity building and other development efforts in South Sudan. We wish you the very best in your future endeavours as you return home to the service of your country.