BY Staff Writer
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonen spoke from the podium of the 76th Regular Session of UNGA on behalf of Ethiopia with issues and views also pertaining to global and African cause of concerns.
The content of his speech, reportedly acclaimed by many leaders and delegates from Africa and elsewhere among other things dwelt upon the state of the battle against COVID-19 in which he commented on the prevailing vaccine nationalism noting that “Evidently, science can serve humanity only if good faith and rationality guides politics. Unfortunately, Africa, with negligible vaccination rate is left waiting for the drips from the surplus of others due to vaccine nationalism.”
He also stressed on the importance of curbing the impending catastrophe of climate change and particularly noted that “Global-warming is the most alarming driver of poverty. Agrarian and pastoralist communities and economies like ours with these livelihoods face an existential challenge the impacts of climate change are destroying arable land and biodiversity thereby disrupting our food system.”
It is to be noted that Ethiopia has conducted three rounds of national greening program which helped to boost the forest coverage of the country to 17%.
The Deputy Prime Minister extensively dwelt upon the importance and significance of multilateralism stating that “Multilateralism stands on the shoulders of states that ably-guard their sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence. Multilateralism will meet its objective only if states are able and free to manage their domestic and external affairs.
Indeed, our human aspirations are inherently similar. However, our viewpoints that are underpinned by our diversity in culture, history, and socio-economic reality will not always be fully-aligned.”
Among other things, the Deputy Premier briefed the members of the UNGA on the principal objectives of Ethiopia’s national reform program that kick started three years back which “overturned a complex network of corruption, illegitimate political power, and illicit financial flows — installed at the cost of national interest and the detriment of regional peace.”
The reform, however, was not without challenges. As any other democracy, our democratic process is an attempt to find a balance between stability and disruption. In Ethiopia, groups that consider equality as subjugation are making their best effort to create and prolong anarchy, he added.
He noted the concerted efforts made by the government in providing humanitarian relief supplies to the needy in Tigray while “The criminal enterprise and its enablers created and advertised horrific imagery of faked incidents. As if the real misery of our people is not enough, story lines are created to match not the facts but preconceived stereotypical attitudes.” He noted.
He mentioned that Dialogue has always been our preferred course of action. Accordingly, Ethiopia is open to candid initiatives for peace. “In this connection, we will work with the African Union and the High Representative for the Horn of Africa towards an Ethiopia led national dialogue,” he elaborated.
He further informed the audience of the successful completion of the 6th National Election in Ethiopia conducted in a fair, credible and democratic manner.
In his speech he stressed on Ethiopia’s natural and legitimate use of the waters of the Nile through the construction of GERD in a manner that would ascertain equity and cooperative utilization of the water resources in a fair and beneficial manner.
He finally mentioned about the termination of Ethiopia’s peace keeping mission in Darfur and Abiyei and wished that the two concerned countries will work together to ascertain peace in the areas mentioned.
His speech resonated on the importance of establishing a regional economic cooperation and continental development programs as a tool for freeing African countries from handouts from other countries.
It is to be recalled that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was heavily engaged in shuttle diplomacy geared towards mobilizing a number of Eastern and Western African leaders towards a pan African economic cooperation and integration to make African countries to make them economically more self-reliant on their own resources.
Ethiopia has used the forum created at the 76th UNGA summit to convey Ethiopia’s position on major national, regional and global issues.
The Ethiopian delegation has been successfully undertaken other diplomatic activities with a view to informing the international community about the realities in Ethiopia, government’s efforts to handle the existing challenges.
Ethiopia’s mission led by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonnen has met and discussed with various senior government officials and heads of international organizations. As pointed out by the Spokes Person of Foreign Affairs ministry, Ambassador Dina Mufti, “We have learned from the deliberations that peace and stability as well as Ethiopia’s sovereignty is concern of international partners and they have demonstrated willingness to scale up the humanitarian response to Amhara and Afar states.”