Ethiopia has no intention of harming downstream countries with GERD

29 Sep 2020

In his address at the United Nations General Assembly on 25th September, Prime Minister Abiy reiterated Ethiopia’s longstanding ambition to reach a mutually beneficial outcome for all parties with regards to the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

In a pre-recorded statement, the Premier said:

“I want to make it abundantly clear that we have no intention to harm [downstream countries]. What we are essentially doing is to meet our electricity demands from one of the cleanest sources of energy. We cannot afford to continue keeping more than 65 million of our people in the dark.”

“I want to assure you that we are firm in our commitment to addressing the concerns of downstream countries and reaching a mutually-beneficial outcome in the context of the ongoing African Union-led process,” the Prime Minister added.

…Ethiopia remains committed to UN ideals

In a high-level meeting to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, world leaders in the General Assembly gathered in a virtual format on 21st September to adopt a declaration honouring the multilateral framework put in place by its founders in 1945, pledging to better live out the promise to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.

Entitled “Declaration on the commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations,” the text lays out 12 succinct commitments to reanimate global resolve: leave no one behind, protect the planet, promote peace, abide by international law, place women and girls at the centre, build trust, improve digital cooperation, upgrade the United Nations, ensure sustainable financing, boost partnerships, work with youth, and, finally, be prepared.

In his address, Prime Minister Abiy said that at a time when the world needs global leadership and collective action to tackle increasingly complex challenges, the ongoing standoff in the Security Council is undermining its credibility, demonstrating the need for reform that, among other things, addresses the historic injustice against Africa, through adequate representation.  Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals has also been slowed by COVID-19, with an undeniable burden on African countries requiring a stimulus package for recovery efforts.

“Ethiopia, as a founding member of the UN, is immensely proud of our longstanding and significant contribution to UN Peacekeeping Operations…Ethiopia is also fully committed to the UN’s transformative agenda of ensuring sustainable development for all on a safe and secure planet. We have also been responding to the call for climate action through our Green Legacy Initiative, part of our efforts to build a green and climate-resilient economy.”

The Prime Minister also highlighted the reforms undertaken in Ethiopia since 2018:

“Over the past two years, we have opened up the political space and promoted the exercise of democratic freedoms and human rights.”

PM Abiy’s full statement is available on request. Please email press@ethioembassy.org.uk.

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