The Security Council is living through a historic moment today. We have recommended a new Member State for admission to the membership of the United Nations, bringing it to 193. The independence of South Sudan is a major event in the history of Africa. It represents a positive conclusion to 50 years of war that brought great suffering to all the peoples of the Sudan and led to millions of deaths. There are now great hopes for peace, which shows that negotiation and dialogue are more effective than arms and military confrontation.
This new birth of an African State is the first since the period of decolonization. It represents a success for the Sudanese population as a whole and, of course, for the people of South Sudan, who in January voted unanimously for independence. It is also a success for the Government of the North and the Government of the South, which, despite the difficulties encountered, have implemented the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005. And, finally, it brings relief to the international community, which never wavered in its support for this process and now sees the possibility of a fresh start. I would underscore here the outstanding contribution made by President Mbeki and by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Menkerios.
France has invested a great deal in those efforts. It supported the Naivasha process that led to the signing of the CPA in 2005. It voted for the various resolutions that accompanied its implementation, and it never ceased to engage in dialogue with the North and the South, especially when the pace of discussions among the parties to the CPA had slowed. We recognized this new State at the same time as did the African Union and all the States members of the European Union (EU), and we established diplomatic relations with it on 9 July.
France will stand alongside South Sudan in ensuring the integration of this new State into the community of nations and within the United Nations, as well as within its regional environment and the multilateral financial institutions.
A number of challenges remain to be met in order for South Sudan and the Sudan to develop and to establish harmonious relations. The two countries must conclude the outstanding negotiations while ensuring, along with the authorities of South Sudan, the protection of civilians. The United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) will support South Sudan in the undertaking of its responsibilities. We fully support Ms. Johnson in that mission.
In the North, certain regions remain a source of concern, such as Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states. We hope that the Sudan will agree to the presence of the international community there. In the South, national reconciliation must take place, and the security of all inhabitants must be ensured. We must move from the centralized logic of the war years towards a pluralist democracy and build the infrastructure and institutions necessary to enable the people to emerge from poverty. The conflicts that are still being resolved today by force of arms must be settled peacefully, through democratic institutions. To that end, frameworks will have to be established; future generations must be groomed to manage the State; and robust institutions must be created. The fight against impunity in the Sudan and in South Sudan will be pivotal in order to pacify relations among citizens and between citizens and their authorities.
France intends to support this new State in this connection by using all of its cooperation instruments, in coordination with the EU and its principal partners.
We are very pleased today to welcome South Sudan as a member of the international community. This represents not only the conclusion of a lengthy struggle but also the beginning of a journey during which France, along with the rest of the international community, will continue to provide support.