The UN Security Council recommended Wednesday that the world body welcome South Sudan — the world's newest nation — to its rank of members.

The General Assembly is expected to vote Thursday to accept the country as its 193rd member.

The African country gained its independence on Saturday, following a successful independence referendum early this year.

UN General Assembly

  • All United Nations members are represented in the General Assembly, and each nation has one vote.
  • The General Assembly is the "main deliberative organ" of the United Nations, with sessions typically running from September to December each year and reconvening as needed.
  • Recommendations on issues like peace and security, the UN budget and the election of members to UN bodies require a two-thirds majority — as do decisions on the admission, suspension or explusion of members. A simple majority is needed for resolutions on other issues.
  • Resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly are generally non-binding on members.

Source: UN General Assembly and United Nations Foundation 

"The people of South Sudan endured a 21-year civil war. The toll in lives lost and people displaced can be counted in the millions," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday.

"Now they have a country to call their own. But in many ways, the hard work has just begun."

A game of diplomatic musical chairs will be required because the hall of the General Assembly is full.

The UN is looking at squeezing in another desk, but it could also mean moving the non-state entities the Holy See and the Palestinian observer group out of the hall.

BBC reporter Barbara Plett told CBC News that would be awkward, however, because Palestinians will be making their own bid for full statehood in the coming months.

South Sudan was formed after its black African tribes and the mainly Arab north battled two civil wars over more than five decades. The conflict culminated in a 2005 peace deal that led to Saturday's independence declaration.

Many challenges await the new country. Though oil-rich, it is one of the poorest and least-developed nations, and unresolved disputes with its former foe to the north could mean conflict along the new international border.

With files from The Associated Press