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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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New York, 14 July 2011 - Secretary-General's remarks at flag raising ceremony for the Republic of South Sudan

Mr. President, Your Excellency, Vice President Machar of the Republic of South Sudan, And to all the citizens and friends of South Sudan, Distinguished Members of the Delegation, Foreign Minister, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It reminds me of the very historic independence ceremony which was held last Saturday in Juba. Many people – hundreds of thousands of people – standing under a very beautiful sky, under very hot sun, but moved and hopeful and deeply touched and excited. This reminds me of exactly the same.

I am very pleased to be part of this historic flag-raising ceremony.

This is your moment, Mr. Vice President.

Just days ago, I stood among hundreds of thousands of the people of your country.

Together, we watched your flag rise for the first time over your new capital, Juba.

Now that flag will rise for the first time over our shared capital – the capital of the international community – here at the United Nations.

The United Nations is very pleased to welcome our 193rd Member State -- the newest nation in Africa, the newest nation on earth.

The colours of your flag represent the people, peace, the blood shed for freedom, your land and waters, with a guiding star for unity.

On behalf of the international community, and all the peoples of the world, we salute that flag.

We will work with you to realize all the hopes and dreams it represents.

We wish you justice, peace, and prosperity.

We will stay with you on the long road ahead.

Like your flag, let us rise. Let us rise, together, to the challenge.

Mabruk. South Sudan Oyee.


Statements on 14 July 2011