28.10.2011 - UNESCOPRESS

South Sudan becomes UNESCO’s 194th Member State

© UNESCO/D. Bijeljac - South Sudan, 194th Member State of UNESCO

South Sudan has become UNESCO’s 194th Member State after completing procedures for the ratification UNESCO's Constitution on 27 October. The flag of South Sudan, now floats alongside those of UNESCO’s other 193 Member States.

At a flag-raising ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters on 28 October, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport for South Sudan, Cirino Hiteng Ofuho, said “we appeal to UNESCO’s Member States to continue to support our efforts so that our young nation can prepare its citizens to catch up with the rest of the world in the areas of cultural heritage management, education and scientific research (…) The new Republic of South Sudan vows to become an active member of UNESCO and the global family of nations.”

Welcoming its newest member to UNESCO, Director-General Irina Bokova pointed out that “the eight million inhabitants of the Republic of South Sudan are facing immense challenges."  She pledged that “UNESCO will stand with the people of South Sudan to strengthen their education system and to support the training of teachers and education professionals.”

According to UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report, launched in Juba in June 2011, more than one million children of primary-school age do not attend school. This represents almost half of the children in this age group. The country also has the lowest enrollment rate in the world for secondary education and only eight percent of women know how to read and write.

UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) and UNICEF have been tasked by the Education Minister of South Sudan to help the new country draw up a plan to address its education needs.

On 14 July 2011, the UN General Assembly voted by acclamation to admit the Republic of South Sudan as a Member State.




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