The International Engagement Conference for South Sudan, held Dec. 14 and 15 in Washington, D.C., provided a forum for the new nation’s leaders to reach the international community.
The conference was attended by more than 550 South Sudanese and donor participants. In partnership with the U.S. government, MSI helped to organize the event and coordinate logistics.
For the first time, South Sudanese government ministers had a forum to present their development goals, challenges and opportunities to major donors, creating a framework for international coordination for work in the country.
Speakers at the conference included South Sudan President Salva Kiir, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, as well as the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, U.S. Senator John Kerry and musician and former Sudanese child soldier Emmanuel Jal.
President Kiir outlined his country’s development goals. Subsequent sessions focused on the main transition goals of South Sudan, such as the management of oil revenue, good governance and social service delivery.
These discussions included committing to transparency and accountability in laws and finance, improving conditions to assist private-sector growth and creating an effective regulatory framework that invests oil and agricultural revenues back into human capital development.
The conference garnered considerable international press coverage, including print, broadcast, and webcast:
•The Guardian: Humanitarian needs must take priority in South Sudan, warn aid agencies
•The Daily Beast: South Sudan’s Women: Building the World’s Newest Nation
•NPR: South Sudan: Will Oil Lead it Out of Poverty?
•The Wall Street Journal: US to Hold South Sudan Aid Forum
•Sudan Tribune: Netherlands pledges €75 million annual support to South Sudan