UNITED NATIONS, July 14 (Xinhua) — Surrounded by masses of UN personnel and media in the blazing sun, South Sudan’s flag was raised here on Thursday marking the admission of world’s newest country as the 193rd member of the United Nations.
The flag is rising “over our shared capital, the capital of the international community, here at the UN,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said addressing the audience at the flag-raising ceremony.
South Sudan’s Vice President Riek Machar hailed the day as ” historic” and “emotional.”
“We’re humbled that we’re now part of the world community,” Machar said.
The flag with a triangle at the hoist, a gold star in the triangle, and colors — black representing the South Sudanese people, white standing for peace, red embodying the blood shed for freedom, green symbolizing the land and blue to present the waters of the Nile. The gold “star of Bethlehem” in the triangle represents the hope of the South Sudanese people.
From now on, the South Sudanese flag “will fly as high and as proud as the flags here in New York and around the world,” President of the UN General Assembly Joseph Deiss said while addressing the crowds.
Mauritius decided to make space to the flag of the UN’s youngest member, which Deiss described as “a symbolic gesture expressing the solidarity and the friendship that must prevail in our nations.”
Deiss underlined that the UN is eager to continue its close and long-term partnership with Sudan and South Sudan, and supports the two countries in introducing “peaceful solutions to the outstanding issues for the peace process.”
The General Assembly president also touched on how South Sudan will enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as any other member state.
Ezekiel Lol Gatkouth, who is head of government of Southern Sudan mission to the United States, danced in front of the crowds after the flag was raised.
Other people attending the ceremony include U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice and head of UN peacekeeping Alain Le Roy.
The UN General Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved a resolution admitting the newly independent Republic of South Sudan as the 193rd member of the UN.
The African country declared independence last Saturday in its capital Juba. Its independence is the result of the January 2011 referendum held under the terms of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the decades-long civil war between the North and the South.