Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Remarks at Security Council meeting on the Republic of South Sudan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Security Council, 13 July 2011

Mr. President,
Your Excellency, Dr. Riek Machar Teny,
Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan,
Distinguished Members of the Council,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I want to congratulate the Council for taking another important step on the historic journey of nationhood for the Republic of South Sudan. We are now on the eve of welcoming our 193rd Member State to the United Nations.

Let me just say very quickly how proud I was to attend the Independence Day celebrations in Juba.

It was an exciting and deeply moving occasion.

The people of South Sudan endured a 21-year civil war. The toll in lives lost and people displaced can be counted in the millions.

Now they have a country to call their own. But in many ways, the hard work has just begun.

Institutions of government are weak. There are tremendous challenges on every front – social services, health, education.

On the day of its birth, South Sudan ranks at the bottom of almost all human development indicators.

Like any newborn, South Sudan needs help.

Our responsibilities are enormous and the role of the UN is vital, but it is complicated.

We have a mission in Darfur. Our mission in Sudan now must be liquidated. Ethiopian peacekeepers have deployed in Abyei. The situation in Southern Kordofan is deeply troubling.

Resolving these tensions is absolutely vital.

A viable South will need a viable North – and vice versa. Together, South and North must face their common future as partners, not rivals.

We must continue to help – to help the new nation become a nation - to help the region consolidate the gains.

This is the ultimate test of peace building and of nation-building.

The UN must be at the centre – and the leadership and direction of the Security Council will be crucial in the months and years ahead.

Thank you for your commitment. Thank you very much, Mr. President.