Juba, Republic of South Sudan

9 July 2012

Secretary-General's message on the First Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of South Sudan [delivered by Ms. Hilde Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan]

I extend my warmest greetings and best wishes to the Republic of South Sudan on the first anniversary of its independence. I had the honour of attending the independence ceremonies last in year in Juba, and was deeply impressed by the country’s commitment to peace. The people of South Sudan have made tremendous sacrifices to reach this historic juncture, and I congratulate them for realizing their long-held aspirations.

South Sudanese can now proudly walk the world stage as citizens of a country that is a member of the United Nations and the African Union. They can now plan things for their children that they themselves could not dream of. Now, their sights are set clearly on the future – a future in which a democratic South Sudan strives to improve the living standards of its citizens and plays a constructive role on the world stage.  

A lot has been achieved since independence, but a lot also needs to be done. The road ahead will not be without challenges, but I am confident that with the resilience of its people and the wisdom of its leadership, South Sudan will overcome any obstacles and succeed in becoming a prosperous nation, based on human rights and the rule of law, and living in harmony with its neighbours near and far.

As we mark this momentous occasion, I know that all South Sudanese are worried that relations with Sudan have deteriorated. The United Nations is doing its utmost, in partnership with the African Union, to help the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan settle all pending differences peacefully. UNMISS, the UN Mission, has had its mandate extended and will continue, with UN agencies, funds and programmes, to support the Government’s efforts to protect its civilians and consolidate peace throughout the country. We are strongly committed to the work of building a thriving and stable South Sudan. 

Congratulations again to the leadership and people of South Sudan on this historic day. May South Sudan enjoy greater well-being with each Independence Day, and may all its citizens live in harmony and peace. South Sudan Oye!