"Today we also had a chance to stop the violence by implementing an immediate arms embargo on South Sudan. On this we failed."

Ambassador Peter Wilson, UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, statement on adoption of resolution 2304.

Ambassador Peter Wilson

Thank you Mr President

The United Kingdom welcomes the adoption of resolution 2304 today. This is a vitally important decision. It needed to be taken now.

Through this resolution we have created a protection force under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan…. a protection force which IGAD called for, a protection force which the African Union called for, a protection force which the Government of South Sudan agreed to in principle …

This resolution should strengthen the UN’s ability to protect people, to save lives. It should mean a safer and a more secure Juba. It should mean that food, supplies and support can reach people who are so desperately in need. It should mean the road back to the political process.

But the key word there, Mr President, is ‘should’.

All these things can only happen if the Government of South Sudan make good on their promises. They bear the primary responsibility to help their people.

This means the Government supporting, not obstructing, the Special Representative and United Nations troops. It means the Government engaging quickly on the practicalities of a protection force. And it means the Government holding to account anyone responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses – including rape.

We welcome the continued support of IGAD and the African Union to help the Government fulfil these important commitments.

Mr President.

Many outside this Chamber today will ask whether we have done enough, when hundreds of people have been killed in Juba in the past month… When hundreds of women and girls have been raped or gang raped. When tens of thousands have been forced to flee their homes.

Because behind each and every one of these unspeakable acts lies unspeakable violence … violence perpetrated by those with guns, against those without.

So yes, today we have agreed to strengthen the United Nations mission – which should save lives if this text is implemented fully. But today we also had a chance to stop the violence by implementing an immediate arms embargo on South Sudan. On this we failed. We must and we will return to this issue.

Thank you.

Published 12 August 2016