Addis Ababa, March 11, 2021 (FBC) – In a written statement to the Security Council, Taye Atske Selassie, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the UN, has reiterated Ethiopia’s readiness to engage constructively.
Ambassador Taye also urged the international community to augment support to Ethiopia’s ongoing relief and reconstruction efforts to restore lasting peace and normalcy in Tigray.
Read his full statement to the Security Council below:
We commend the United States – for dedicating the open debate for this deserving topic. I am pleased to address members of the Council and other participants, on the situation in Ethiopia, focusing on recent developments pertaining to humanitarian challenges.
My country Ethiopia has had food insecurity as one of the core challenges to its national and human security. The vicious cycle, involving climate change and extreme weather conditions, underdeveloped adaptation and resilience, Competition over resources, conflict and food insecurity have long been an existential challenge. Over the years, we have progressed in addressing food insecurity through effective national policies, efficient administration of available resources and effective international cooperation. Nonetheless, Ethiopia remains vulnerable to risks of food insecurity emanating from natural as well as man-made disasters, including conflict.
Allow me to share some facts on the situation in Ethiopia, so that members of the Council have all-rounded and accurate appreciation of the situation.
On November 04 last year, the TPLF attacked the national army.
The treasonous crime against the unsuspecting men and women in uniform, is not to a magnitude any country faced in recent history. The Government of Ethiopia had to take the necessary measure to preserve the unity and sovereign integrity of the state of Ethiopia.
The unabashed destructive acts of the criminal group cost Ethiopians a great deal. Infrastructures are destroyed and regular private and public life is interrupted. This resulted in a shortage of food in Tigray and adjacent regions and entailed displacement of citizens. This adds to the pre-existing challenges of food security in the Tigray Region where we had 1.7 million people in a safety net programme. Furthermore, the developments in Tigray Region exacerbates the humanitarian burden on the system that was already strained by the conflicts instigated by TPLF and its affiliates in Other parts Of Ethiopia.
As provided under our disaster management policy, we give primacy to national resources to address humanitarian needs. Notwithstanding. we work closely with local and international partners to fill in the gaps created by resource constraints.
Accordingly, on 29 November, we signed an agreement with the United Nations for enhanced coordination on humanitarian access. This agreement allows unimpeded, sustained and secure access to the humanitarian community. In line with the progress in the security situation in the Tigray region, we opened a “notification only” procedure for humanitarian actors starting 03 March 2021.
We also have an effective coordination mechanism involving the government authorities and humanitarian actors. This is evidenced by the testimonies given by WFP Executive Director Mr. David Beasley and the High Commissioner for Refugees Mr. Filippo Grandi, who visited the region.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to relay the gratitude of my Government to the responses given by the international community, including WFP and other UN agencies and governments who stood with the people and Government of Ethiopia at this time of need. I also would like to echo the appeal by our humanitarian partners for more resources to scale up the progress we had thus far.
Alleged human rights violations have also been the focus of the international community. Government authorities and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission have and will continue to investigate and report on the status Of human rights. In this respect, we stand ready to receive assistance and to explore the possibility Of collaborations for joint investigations. We unequivocally reaffirm our full commitment to respect and protect human rights and bring perpetrators Of violations to justice.
The Government is also committed to ensure transparency and access to information. Accordingly, we facilitated access to both local and international media to report from the ground. Accordingly, numerous international media organizations are present in Tigray Region. The responsible and diligent work Of the media is hoped to counter the flurry Of disinformation that has been dominating the platform.
Let me conclude, by reaffirming our commitment to spare no effort in fulfilling our solemn responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of our people. Rest assured, we are ready and willing to engage with the international community in a constructive manner. In this regard, we reiterate the need to place the global focus on augmenting support to the ongoing relief and reconstruction efforts to restore lasting peace and normalcy.