Juba — The Japanese government has earmarked $300,000 to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in support of South Sudan's constitutional review process.
The grant, provided through the Japan-UNDP partnership fund, will reportedly support the country's constitutional review body in holding its public consultations, support media strategies, and aid printing and distribution of the 2011 Transition Constitution.
Hilde Johnson, the UN special representative to the Secretary General in South Sudan thanked Japan for its support, urging partner countries to emulate the former in assisting the new nation.
"South Sudan, as a newborn state, has been striving for the development of a constitution that reflects the will of its people. We are pleased to support this important exercise which will contribute to the further promotion of democracy, good governance and rule of law in South Sudan", said Takeshi Akamatsu, Japan's ambassador to South Sudan.
On this part, however, the UNDP country director stressed that the support given by the Japanese government will help its South Sudan counterpart reach out to its citizens and listen to their views to be reflected in the country's constitution.
"This will strengthen democracy at the grass roots level and enhance the credibility of democracy in South Sudan", said Balázs Horváth.
In January last year, South Sudan's President Salva Kiir issued a decree for the formation of the national Constitutional Review Committee headed by Prof. Akolda Ma'an Tier and deputized by William Othwon Awer.
The 45-member committee, comprising members from political parties and civil society organisations is mandated to formulate the country's permanent constitution.
Since 2009, however, Japan has reportedly contributed over $14 million to support various UNDP programmes in South Sudan, including the elections and referendum exercises, support to democratic governance, rule of law, and community security and arms control.