Remarks by High Representative Catherine Ashton at the South Sudan’s Independence Day celebration, 9 July 20111
It is a great honour to be here in Juba to celebrate the birth of the Republic of South Sudan. This is my first visit to Juba. I’m sure it will not be the last.
The European Union and its Member States warmly congratulate the people of South Sudan on their independence. I would also like to congratulate His Excellency President Salva Kiir on having been sworn in as the President of the Republic of South Sudan.
The EU was a witness to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The peaceful Referendum was a true reflection of the democratically expressed wishes of the people of South Sudan. On this historic day, the European Union and its 27 Member States welcome the Republic of South Sudan as a new independent state.
Creating a new state is never easy. The European Union itself includes a number of nations, some created by the separation of a single state into two, which only came into existence, less than twenty years ago. We know this can be achieved peacefully, but we know it is a challenge.
So we understand that the world’s newest state will require international support to become a secure, peaceful and prosperous country, able to meet the needs and expectations of its people. We will be your partner in achieving this, not just now, but for the long term. This partnership will be focussed on helping the people of South Sudan, through working together with their government.
This is why it is important for South Sudan’s leaders to embrace pluralism and diversity and lay the foundation for a democratic, fair and inclusive society, based on the rule of law and respect for human rights.
Council of the European Union