New York, 27 September 2002
UN Secretary-General's remarks at the flag-raising ceremony for Timor-Leste
This is an historic occasion.
About four months ago, I had the honour of attending the Independence Day celebrations in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. Today, it gives me great pleasure to welcome Timor-Leste to the United Nations as the organization's 191 member.
This milestone embodies the realization of its people's hope to take their place in the community of independent nations. The United Nations has supported them over the years, through operations such as INTERFET, UNAMET, UNTAET and UNMISET.
Now, I look forward to seeing Timor-Leste's active participation in this organization: a participation defined by the democratic principles that marked its people's struggle and which are embodied in the United Nations charter.
None of us who followed Timor-Leste's long struggle for self-determination can help being moved by this moment. None of us can
forget the sacrifices made by the people or the courage of its leadership. Even before this day, Timor-Leste showed that greatness
among nations is not a matter of size or resources, but rather one of global citizenship and adherence to the highest principles of our Charter.
I am confident that the courage and determination of the people of Timor-Leste -- and their commitment to build their nation in a spirit of justice, reconciliation and democracy -- will be the strongest guarantee that what they have achieved today is preserved for future generations to come.