UN body recommends South Sudan be newest member
The Security Council on Wednesday recommended the admission of South Sudan as the newest member of the United Nations, a decision which goes to the UN General Assembly on Thursday.
The move comes after South Sudan declared independence before tens of thousands of its citizens and numerous foreign leaders Saturday following nearly 50 years of war with Sudan and millions of deaths.
“The Council notes with great satisfaction the Republic of South Sudan’s commitment to uphold the proposals and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and to fulfill all the obligations contained therein,” said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Council.
“We look forward to the Republic of South Sudan joining us as a member of the United Nations and to working closely with its representatives.”
Thursday, the UN General Assembly will meet in the morning to formally announce South Sudan’s membership.
The Security Council has approved a resolution calling for the 7,000 soldiers and 900 civilians from the Sudan mission to leave by the end of August and be transferred to the new UN mission to the South Sudan and to a UN force located in the disputed town of Abyei.
The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution at the end of June to send 4,200 UN soldiers from Ethiopia to Abyei.
The international community, and in particular the United States, China, Russia and the European Union, were quick to recognize the world’s newest country, which despite its vast oil reserves is among the poorest in the world.
“The Security Council having examined the application of the Republic of South Sudan for admission to the United Nations recommends to the General Assembly that the Republic of South Sudan be admitted to membership in the United Nations,” the council said in a short statement.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon recalled that the people of South Sudan had lived through a 21-year civil war. “The toll in lives lost and people displaced can be counted in the millions,” he said.
“Now they have a country to call their own but in many ways the hard work has just begun.”
He said government institutions were weak and that “there are tremendous challenges in every front, the social services, health, education.
“As any newborn, South Sudan needs help.”
Ban stressed that the United Nations would have a vital role to play. “The UN must be at the center and the leadership and direction of the Security Council will be crucial in the months and the years ahead.”
The challenges ahead are truly daunting for one of the poorest countries on earth that was left in ruins after five decades of devastating conflict between southern rebels and successive Sudanese governments.
In addition to the chronic lack of even the most basic infrastructure, the government of South Sudan has to tackle the problem of violent conflict within its borders, which has killed more than 1,800 people so far this year.
Rampant corruption among politicians, and serious human rights abuses by the southern army as it struggles to transform itself from a rebel to a regular force, are also high on the list of concerns. AFP