|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-fifth General Assembly
108th Meeting (AM)
When South Sudan Started Its Journey, Says Its Representative upon Country’s
Admission to United Nations, It Could Hardly Imagine Road Would Lead Here
Rising Flag outside UN Symbolizes Rising Hopes of South Sudanese, Where,
At This Moment, in This Place, World Welcomes South Sudan, Says Secretary-General
The Republic of South Sudan was admitted as the 193rd Member of the United Nations this morning by a General Assembly resolution adopted by acclamation upon the recommendation of the Security Council.
“When we started our journey, we could hardly imagine that the road would lead us to this point, however much we may have hoped for it,” Riek Machar Teny, Vice-President of South Sudan, said as he delivered his country’s first statement to the Assembly.
Stressing that it was now time to forward together to fulfil his people’s aspirations, he pledged that South Sudan would be a responsible member of the international community and respect all of its obligations under international law. He further underscored that after many years of war, South Sudan intended to be a force for peace in the region.
“We do not harbour bitterness towards our former compatriots,” he said, underlining the need to agree on mechanisms for continued cooperation, demarcation and mutually beneficial management of the common border, as well as the final status of Abyei. South Sudan would also continue to work together with Sudan to seek justice for the people of Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Sudan’s Ambassador, Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, congratulated and welcomed the Republic of South Sudan to the United Nations and reiterated his own Government’s belief that the peoples of North and South Sudan “are from the same house; it has just become a little bigger”. While those peoples were turning a new page in their relationship, that would not diminish the fact that they shared the same culture, history and lands, he stated.
“This is the way in which we will continue our relationship together,” he said, reiterating President Omer al-Bashir’s pledge that Khartoum would continue to do everything possible to support the development, growth and stability of South Sudan.
Immediately following South Sudan’s admission and the seating of its delegation among the Member States in the Assembly Hall for the first time, Assembly President Joseph Deiss of Switzerland hailed the event as an historic and joyous moment for Africa, as well as for the community of nations. “Today we are firmly entrenching South Sudan in the community of nations in the same way and with the same rights responsibilities as other Member States,” he said.
As the final stage in a process that was launched years ago, South Sudan’s admission set an example of peace and cooperation for all people, he said. In that context, he paid tribute to Sudan for honouring the outcome of South Sudan’s independence referendum and for being the first nation to recognize the birth of its new neighbour State.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared: “At this moment, in this place, the world gathers to say in one voice, ‘welcome South Sudan, welcome to the community of nations’.” Just days ago, he had witnessed the independence celebration in Juba, and he said he had felt the energy, potential and pure joy of the world’s newest nation. To his eyes, the rising flag symbolized the rising hopes of the South Sudanese people.
“All those who endured the long civil war; who lost so many loved ones; who left their homes and fled their communities; all those who had held fast to hope. Now they have reached an important milestone,” he said, adding that their journey would continue. The tasks ahead would be great, but so too was the country’s potential. Citing the promise of South Sudan’s abundant natural resources, arable lands, the waters of the Nile, and, of course, its proud and hard-working people, he said: “We pledge to help South Sudan shape its future, as we help the region consolidate the gains.”
Saluting the courage and commitment of the leaders of both North and South — respectively, President Omer al-Bashir and President Salva Kiir Mayardit — the Secretary-General stressed that it was imperative that they resolve outstanding differences with the same pragmatism they had shown thus far, particularly on matters of borders, sharing of resources and migration, which should be dealt with as soon as possible. “The well-being and future prosperity of each depends on the other. South and North share a common destiny — they must see a future as true partners, not rivals,” he said.
Pledging the continued commitment and partnership of the United Nations, the African Union, international civil society groups and the wider international community, Secretary-General Ban said: “Together, let us say to the citizens of our newest Member State, you now sit with us; we stand with you.”
Introducing the draft resolution on the South Sudan’s admission to the United Nations on behalf of the African Group, Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development of South Africa, said history had ordained all gathered with a rare and distinct honour to witness today’s event. The resolution had the unanimous and full support of the all African Member States, as well as the African Union, he said.
Welcoming South Sudan as the newest member of the United Nations were representatives of Rwanda (on behalf of the African States), Kyrgyzstan (on behalf of the Asian States), Estonia (on behalf of the Eastern European States), Brazil (on behalf of the Latin and Caribbean States), Luxembourg (on behalf of the Western European and Other States) and the United States (as the host country).
* *** *