The U.N. Security Council has taken the first step necessary to welcome the newly born nation of South Sudan into the world body.

The council on Monday accepted South Sudan's application to become the world body's 193rd member, and forwarded it to a committee that oversees U.N. membership. The council is expected to adopt a resolution recommending South Sudan's admission on Wednesday, and the full General Assembly is expected to issue the final vote on Thursday.

South Sudan celebrated its nationhood on Saturday after a successful independence referendum early this year.