South Sudan officially joins United Nations

15 Jul 2011

image South Sudanese citizens celebrate the referendum results. (© UNDP/Marcin Scuder)

The striped flag of the Republic of South Sudan was raised outside the United Nations Secretariat building in New York on 14 July, shortly after the General Assembly admitted the new country as the 193rd UN member.

“The colors of your flag represent the people, peace, the blood shed for freedom, your land and waters, with a guiding star for unity,” said Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, during the flag raising ceremony.

“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,” he added.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is among a range of international and national governmental and non-governmental agencies operating in the landlocked country, focusing on democratic governance, alleviating poverty, preventing crises and enabling recovery.

UNDP’s work concentrated primarily on professionalizing the public service, strengthening management of public resources, as well as improving the rule of law and the security of communities - the building blocks of a functioning state.

Last year, UNDP placed more than 120 experts at all levels of government to support essential functions in planning and budgeting, public finance management and all other sectors necessary for establishing and running a state.

UNDP also provided major support to the January 2011 referendum on the country’s independence through management of a US$61m fund for the purchase of ballots, voter education and registration of 3.9 million voters.

South Sudan’s population voted overwhelmingly for independence at the referendum that was held under the terms of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the decades-long civil war between the North and the South.

Moving forward, UNDP will continue to put in place structures that promote the rule of law, help to build public confidence in the new state, and ensure that basic services can be delivered securely.

“We will continue to stand by the people of South Sudan as they transition through independence and work to build a strong, stable, and responsive state,” added George Conway, the Deputy Head of the Office.