Swiss Cooperation Office and Consular Agency, Embassy of Switzerland in South Sudan

In South Sudan, Switzerland is represented through a Cooperation Office in Juba, Central Equatoria, under the jurisdiction of the Embassy of Switzerland in Addis Abeba (Ethiopia). It is in charge of Humanitarian Aid, Development Cooperation, and programmes sponsored by the Human Security Division (HSD) of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).

Increasing presence since 2005

Switzerland looks back at many years of partnership with former Southern Sudan and, since 9 July 2011, with the Republic of South Sudan. The Swiss engagement started with aid operations in the region in 1994. After the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, Switzerland increased its presence and established a Programme Office of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Juba in 2006.

Swiss House in Juba

The establishment of the Programme Office in 2006 was followed by an extensive rehabilitation of the compound,  also known as the Swiss House, between 2008 and 2010. This set the basis for Switzerland’s future engagement in the country, and gradually led to the expansion of the Programme Office into a Cooperation Office in 2011. Currently, 5 Swiss expatriates and 18 national employees are working at the Swiss House in Juba. 

The team of the Cooperation Office in Juba is working with a holistic Whole-of-Government Approach, based on Switzerland’s Cooperation Strategy for South Sudan 2017 – 2020 that focuses on food security and livelihoods, protection of civilians and promotion of human rights, as well as peace- and nation-building.

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Human Rights Day 2017

In exactly one year from today, on 10 December 2018, Switzerland together with the international community will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which 70 years after its adoption, remains of unequivocal relevance. Human rights are a necessity for our societies, an invaluable ingredient to boost peace and stability and to foster sustainable development. Human rights are at the heart of the values represented by Switzerland and its political model, which is founded on the principles of democracy, non-discrimination, gender equality, peaceful coexistence, and mutual respect among people having different religious, linguistic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Switzerland calls upon its partners to join it in making this Human Rights Day 2017 a day of unequivocal relevance for the promotion and the protection of human rights.

 

Continued human rights violations and abuses all over the world

Every day, the world is witness to numerous, and sometimes horrendous human rights violations. Torture and ill treatment are still regularly used worldwide. Women continue to face discrimination and violence, although being granted equal rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A shrinking space for civil society is accompanied by increased harassment and persecution of human rights defenders in violation of their fundamental freedoms while 2018 will mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Recognizing the key role human rights defenders play in protecting and promoting human rights, Switzerland will continue to engage for their better protection and the strengthening of the civil society space, and calls upon South Sudan to join it in this endeavor.

Human rights, sustainable development, and peace and security are indivisible, interrelated and interdependent

Human rights are a necessity for our societies, an invaluable ingredient to boost peace and stability and to foster sustainable development. More than seventy States have signed the so-called “Appeal of June 13th”, initiated under the leadership of Switzerland, to put human rights at the heart of conflict prevention. The Appeal highlights the interlinkages between human rights and peace and security, explores the crucial contribution of human rights to strengthen conflict prevention, and advocates for maximizing the international community’s engagement in this regard. In line with the Appeal and to strengthen the UN system’s ability to prevent and respond to serious human rights violations and complex crises, Switzerland also supports the implementation of the Human Rights Upfront Action Plan by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development provides a new reference framework for Switzerland’s international cooperation. Human rights are an essential component of the Agenda and its implementation, especially with regard to the promotion of peaceful, just and inclusive societies (SDG16).

Switzerland’s commitment for human rights

Switzerland works to strengthen cooperation with other States in the conduct of its bilateral human rights and development cooperation. Beyond the cooperation with other governments, it is in Switzerland’s interest to cooperate with all actors capable of contributing to the greater respect and adequate promotion of human rights.

Geneva plays a major role in the development of international human rights and humanitarian norms and standards. It offers multiple platforms for exchange between key actors in international human rights governance. The presence of OHCHR headquarter, the Human Rights Council and the dynamism of the local academic community as well as the more than hundred human rights NGOs based or represented in Geneva confirm Geneva’s position as a leading center of human rights policy debate.

As host State of the headquarters of some of the largest multinational corporations and sports federations in the world Switzerland recognizes its particular duty to encourage the private sector to respect and protect human rights and to remedy for their abuses. Switzerland calls upon all entities domiciled on its territory to respect human rights including in their operations abroad, in particular in fragile or conflict affected contexts. To this effect, Switzerland encourages and facilitates dialogue between the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and governments, seeking ways to implement sustainable solutions for strengthening the contribution of business to the respect of international human rights and humanitarian law, to peace and to stability, while maintaining a framework that is favourable to investment and sustainable development.

Switzerland calls upon its partners and the international community to join it in making this Human Rights Day 2017 a day of unequivocal relevance for the promotion and the protection of human rights.

Independent report sponsored by IOM and Switzerland

On 5 May 2016, an independent report, “If We Leave We Are Killed: Lessons Learned from South Sudan Protection of Civilian Sites 2013–2016,” was launched in Juba to take stock of the Protection of Civilian response to date and offer guidance for future action. The report, authored by Michael J. Arensen, was produced with the support of IOM and Switzerland. 

Independent report

Since 9 July 2011, the Republic of South Sudan is part of the consular district of the Embassy of Switzerland in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On behalf of the Embassy, the Swiss Cooperation Office in Juba offers the following consular services: Travel Advice, Living in South Sudan, Information on Switzerland and Schengen visa.