EU/South Sudan — Remarks by High Representative Catherine Ashton

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 

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