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South Sudan ‘heading towards lasting peace and stability’, UN General Assembly told

South Sudan ‘heading towards lasting peace and stability’, UN General Assembly told

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 27 Sep 2019, 10:40 am

New York: Through the cooperation of the leaders of South Sudan, First Vice-President Taban Deng Gai on Thursday told the United Nations General Assembly that his country could become “a beacon of hope and peace”.

“Last year, I stood here representing a country many skeptics had considered was on the brink of deteriorating into violent conflict,” said Taban Deng Gai, adding that now, “South Sudan is heading towards lasting peace and stability”.

He credited success in the ongoing implementation of the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement to the engagement of different parties, and urged the international community to support efforts to bring non-signatories “on board”.

Gai told the Assembly that a face-to-face meeting between President Salva Kiir and Rick Machar earlier this month offered an opportunity to deliberate issues and pave the way for the new Government of National Unity by 12 November.

“The Transnational Government of National Unity will continue to consolidate peace including preparations for elections at the end of the Transnational Period”, he said, calling upon UN Member States “to extend much needed support for the new incoming Government”.

Security situation

As the Government and parties to the peace accord had worked diligently to implement its provisions, Gai said, the country’s overall security situation is stable.

He elaborated on several peace initiatives under way, including dialogues at grassroots, regional and national levels, which have made “significant strides towards reconciliation and healing” among the country’s diverse communities.

To consolidate peace on the ground, ensure democracy and accountability and fight impunity, Gai believed in a “complementary three-track approach” that included people-to-people peace initiatives, national dialogue and the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

Turning to Abyei,Gai said his Government is “gravely concerned” about the security situation there and urged the Secretary-General to quickly appoint the UN Interim Security Force’s (UNISFA) Civilian Deputy Head. 

As Gai congratulated neighbouring Sudan for its ability to amicably resolve the political impasse “that many feared would get out of hand.” He drew a round of applause when he said: “We are one people in two independent countries united through our historical, cultural and social ties”.

Photo caption and credit: UN Photo/Laura Jarriel Taban Deng Gai, First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly’s General Debate. (26 September 2019)

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm