Statement delivered by Mr. Mulugeta Abebe, UNDP Deputy Country Director for Operations during the closing ceremony of the training for the new Emergency Call Centre
- Your Excellency, Aleu Ayieny Aleu, Minister of Interior and Wild Life Conservation,
- Your Excellency, Juma Steven Lugga, Under Secretary Ministry of Telecommunication,
- Your Excellency, Gen Pieng Deng Kuol, Inspector General of Police
- Your Worship, The Mayor of Juba,
- Representatives of the Mobile Service Providers,
- Distinguished guests from the International community,
- Colleagues from UNMISS and UN agencies
- Staff and trainees from South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS),
- Colleagues from the Media, Ladies and gentlemen
It gives me a great pleasure to be present here this morning, for this special ceremony, as we celebrate the fruits of our collaborative endeavour together. The Government's capacity to enforce the rule of law and enable law and order for the citizens of the country is one of the basic building blocks of a successful state while insecurity is the main impediment to the expansion of basic services and economic growth. Realizing the importance, the Government has prioritized making rule of law accessible to the people, to promote safety and security and paving way towards establishing peace and harmony.
The Interim Constitution entrusts the SSNPS with the maintenance of law and order in South Sudan. UNDP is deeply committed to supporting the Government of the Republic of South Sudan in its state-building efforts. We are proud of the long-standing partnership we have had with the Ministry of Interior since 2006 to strengthen the capacity of the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS).
In the 2013 Perception Survey of 11 Rule of Law institutions in South Sudan which was carried out with UNDP’s support, it was realized that Police was one institution to which over 70% of the population turned to, during times of emergency. UNDP through its Access to Justice and Rule of Law Programme, aims to support the nationally-led process for peacebuilding by strengthening the rule of law institutions especially the Police and Prisons.
The December crisis tested the SSNPS capacity to respond to the public during emergency. Experience has shown that lack of established mechanism to enable the community to access the Police service in times of need resulted in lack of trust between the Police and the Public. After the crisis, along with other UN agencies, UNDP has reviewed its programmes to respond to the need for stabilization and early recovery. Towards that end, UNDP, has supported the establishment of the first ever Emergency Call Center (ECC) in South Sudan in Juba.
Today, we are very pleased to observe the closing ceremony of the training of 500 Police personnel to make the Call Center functional round the clock and to respond to emergencies swiftly, professionally and effectively. With the commissioning of the Emergency Call Center (ECC), the public will be able to access the Police through a toll free number and the Police will be able to respond to emergencies quickly and professionally.
I take this opportunity to congratulate our partners— the Ministry of Telecommunication, all mobile service providers, GIZ and the City Council of Juba, who have joined hands to implement this project. Successful training of the Police personnel is one more step towards the realization of our joint efforts to make Juba a safer city.
I commend the SSNPS leadership for showing commitment towards promoting safety and security for the residents of Juba. It is an important gesture that will go a long way in rebuilding social contract and community trust between the public and the government in general and the Police in particular. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of Japan for their generous support towards the establishment of the Emergency Call Centre and capacity development of the concerned technical and operational staff. This project is unique in nature not only because it is the first of its kind in South Sudan but it is also a distinctive example of partnership and synergy between the Government, development partners and the private sector.
UNDP will continue to work closely with the SSNPS, Ministry of Interior and Wild Life Conservation and other partners to provide support and promote safety and security and access to justice for the people of South Sudan.
Finally, on behalf UNDP, I would like to congratulate the trainers and the trainees for the successful completion of this important training. I am sure their hard work and commitment will ensure professional functioning of the Emergency Call Centre (ECC) round the clock as envisaged and create a conducive and secure environment for post-conflict reconstruction and sustainable development.