ON THE OCCASION OF SOUTH SUDAN INDEPENDENCE CEREMONY
Juba, South Sudan, 9 July 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, I am particularly proud and honored to be with you today and to represent, on this historic occasion, the whole community of nations of the General Assembly.
Thanks to the sons and daughters of this land, and thanks also to the commitment and the support of the United Nations, we are witnessing today the birth of a new nation.
The United Nations has a long-standing commitment to Sudan. The United Nations is eager to continue its close and long-term partnership and to assist South Sudan in its effort for nation- and institution-building as well as for sustainable development.
Today, we are living a historic moment: a new country is formally declaring its independence and this new State will become a Member of the United Nations.
This is a remarkable achievement. A long-standing conflict has been stopped and grievances put aside. This stands as an example for the rest of the world for peaceful settlement of conflict, for peace, and cooperation between countries for the benefit of their people.
We must spare no effort to ensure that this process is a success. This is crucial for the history of the region and of its people. Peace and stability will have positive effects for the entire region and the continent.
Sudan and South Sudan’s best interest is in cooperating and living in harmony. The United Nations is ready to support the two partners in this endeavor. It is ready to support them to implement peaceful solutions to the outstanding issues for the peace process.
I call on the international community to continue to stand with Sudan and South Sudan, and to intensify its efforts to improve the provision of basic services, to foster agriculture and food security, to promote democratic governance, and enhance capacity-building.
The community of nations, united in the General Assembly, is looking forward to welcome South Sudan as the youngest member of the United Nations. While South Sudan will indeed be the youngest Member state, I am honored and privileged to stand here today on this land of extraordinary history and legacy.
The General Assembly will proceed swiftly to the necessary steps for full membership, upon receipt of the recommendation of the Security Council.
As President of the General Assembly, it will be a great privilege and honor for me to welcome the membership of South Sudan to the United Nations. On that day, the sound of the gavel will be echoing for long. On that day, in New York, at the headquarters of the United Nations, the flag adopted for South Sudan will float as high and as proud as any other flag. From now on, future generations will sing the national anthem of this “land of great abundance”, promising to keep South Sudan in “peace and harmony”, so that justice, liberty and prosperity, will forever reign. From that day, the United Nations will indeed count one more Member, its one hundred and ninety-third Member.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This is a precious moment. This is a beautiful day for Africa. I wish peace, security and prosperity for South Sudan, for Sudan and for the whole community of the United Nations.
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