Reception Marking the Official Launching of Ethiopia’s Bid to a Non-Permanent Seat

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Mogadishu (HAN) February 29, 2016 – Public Diplomacy and Regional Stability Initiatives News. Statement by H.E. Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the FDRE at the Reception Marking the Official Launching of Ethiopia’s Bid to a Non-Permanent Seat of the UNSC 2017-2018 (29 February 2015)
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Ambassador Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union Commission,
Under-Secretary General Haile Menkorios, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union,
Dear Ambassadors,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good Evening!

Let me first thank you all for joining us here today. This occasion marks the official launch of Ethiopia’s candidacy for a Non-Permanent Seat of the United Nations Security Council for the term 2017-2018. Ethiopia is seeking Council’s membership for a seat allocated to the Africa Group. Our candidacy has already been endorsed by the African Union during its 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments held in January. The Government is deeply appreciative of AU support, and its confidence and trust in our application as a candidate for the Security Council.
Excellencies
Ladies and Gentlemen
Ethiopia has always been a strong advocate of the principles of collective security and multilateralism. Our firm commitment and significant contributions to the United Nations and its principal organ, the Security Council, is a matter of record. Ethiopia was one of the 51 pioneer countries that founded the United Nations in 1945. We were also an active participant and a major contributor to the drafting and subsequent adoption of the organization’s Charter at the San Francisco Conference, a Charter anchored on the creation of a global collective security system.
Ethiopia’s deep-seated conviction to the ideals of collective security goes back further. It was one of the only two African countries to have founded the League of Nations. Despite the fact that we were unable to count on League support during our hour of need in the 1930s, Ethiopia’s firm conviction and unwavering commitment to multilateralism has never diminished. We have always striven for a strong and effective multilateralism that treats all member states, on an equal basis and in accordance with international law no matter how powerful or weak they might be. We have consistently demonstrated this commitment on a number of occasions.
Excellencies
Ladies and Gentlemen
Our firm conviction and active participation in the United Nations has been consistent across successive Ethiopian governments despite their contrasting ideologies and political systems over these seventy years. At the same time, although a founding member of the United Nations, Ethiopia has only twice served on the Security Council, in 1967 – 1968 and 1989 – 1990.
At a time when our African brothers were emerging from the shackles of colonialism, Ethiopia was able to seize the opportunity of its membership of both the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity to promote the continent’s causes. During our Security Council membership, we were at the forefront of the decolonization struggle, strongly advocating the self-determination and political autonomy, among others, of the peoples of Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. Driven by our commitment to the principles of collective security, we also consistently voiced firm opposition against the many examples of ruthless aggressions committed in Africa, the Middle East and beyond.
Ethiopia’s historic and leading contributions to Pan-Africanism and its longstanding commitment to enhanced multilateralism have continued. It has played an active and critical role in representing Africa in different multilateral fora and promoting the continent’s interests on such issues as climate change negotiations.
Today, Ethiopia serves as the major hub of multilateral diplomacy in Africa, hosting the headquarters of the African Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and numerous other governmental and non-governmental international organizations. The United Nations System in Ethiopia is one of the largest in Africa. Ababa is presently the third largest United Nations duty station in the world after New York and Geneva.
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over the last two and a half decades, namely since our last membership of the Security Council, the international system has witnessed significant geopolitical changes. Threats to world peace and security have evolved in an unprecedented manner. Today, we are facing a larger number of simultaneous and complex security and humanitarian challenges. Exacerbated by the spread of internal conflict and bloody civil wars, the number of refugees and internally displaced persons has risen to unforeseen levels. The growing threats posed by terrorism have undermined the maintenance of international peace and security as never before. Indeed, Ethiopia strongly believes that these global challenges to peace and security necessitate a new level of collective action and enhanced international cooperation.
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ethiopia’s desire to be a member of the Security Council emanates from a strong and very real belief that our solid record of continued contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security puts us in a well-placed position to shoulder the necessary responsibility. Ethiopia has always responded to UN calls for collective action on international peace and security. Since the inception of the United Nations, Ethiopia has deployed over 80,000 military and police personnel to more than ten peacekeeping missions worldwide.

In the early 1950s and the 1960s, it was one of the first countries to contribute to the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Korea and Congo. And those the successful testing grounds proving the continued relevance of the principle of collective security. Throughout the 1990s and subsequently in this new millennium, Ethiopia to provide forces for UN operations in Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Abyei, Darfur, South Sudan and Somalia. Currently, without including our involvement in Somalia, which is, of course, an AU Mission, Ethiopia is providing the second largest number of troops to United Nations peacekeeping operations, a total of 8326 personnel. We are very proud of the fact that it is the largest contributor of women peacekeepers to UN missions.
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ethiopia’s role in the maintenance of peace and security is not confined to the wider international sphere. We do not see the peace and stability of our neighbors and our region as different from our own. This has been the driving force for our peacekeeping and peacemaking efforts in our sub-region and, indeed, in Africa at large. Within the framework of IGAD and the AU, we are playing a leading mediation role to resolve the ongoing conflict in South Sudan; we are at the forefront of fighting against terrorism in Somalia and in supporting its state-building process; we are taking an active part in the creation of the East African Standby Force. At a time when the world faces unprecedented levels of migration, Ethiopia is shouldering its responsibility, hosting than 800,000 refugees from neighboring countries, the largest number in Africa.
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
If elected to the Security Council, Ethiopia will serve all members of the United Nations in discharging the charter–mandated responsibilities bestowed upon it in a true spirit of partnership and transparency. We believe we have the commitment, the strength and the ability to offer real and valuable support to multilateralism, and to Pan-Africanism. We look forward to the opportunity of serving on the Council.
Today, I would ask for the commitment of your countries to vote in favor of Ethiopia as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the term 2017-2018 during the election to be held in New York in June. Indeed, we count on your valuable support and it is in this respect that would like to close by announcing the official launch of Ethiopia’s campaign.

I thank you.

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