19 May 2007 04:24

SOMALIA WATCH

 
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  • Title: [SW Country]( UN- New York) STATEMENT OF H.E. SEYOUM MESFIN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF  ETHIOPIA AT THE FIFTY FIFTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • Posted by/on:[AAJ][21 Sept 2000]

"......The opportunity now created in Somalia should not be allowed to slip away.
This could easily happen if all attention is focused on seeking
international legitimacy rather than internal national reconciliation. It
would indeed be a tragedy and a recipe for further bloodshed in Somalia if
effort is not made to build on the peace and stability that has already been
achieved by some regions and parts of Somalia. The issue of Somaliland, for
instance, requires great sensitivity and a sense of enormous responsibility.
Whatever has been achieved in Djibouti is going to be tested by how well the
peace and stability that some parts of Somalia have achieved, is preserved....."
SM Minister of Foreign Affairs Ethiopia 18 Sept 00



PERMANENT MISSION OF THE FEDERAL

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA,   `TO THE UNITED
NATIONS



STATEMENT BY H. E. MR. SEYOUM MESFIN

MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE

FEDERAL DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA


AT THE FIFTY FIFTH SESSION OF THE

UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK


18 SEPTEMBER 2000


Mr. President,

Allow me, from the outset, to extend warm congratulations to you on your
election to preside over the Fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly of
the United Nations. I would like also to express our appreciation to your
predecessor, Minister Theo-Ben Gurirab, for the able manner with which he
had discharged his responsibilities as President of the Fifty-fourth session
of the General Assembly.

I wish also to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to
our Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, for all the efforts he has been
making to make the United Nations equally relevant to all of us. I wish, in
particular, to congratulate him on the success of the Millennium Summit
which we are hopeful will be a landmark for a more meaningful and enhanced
cooperation among nations.

Mr. President,

We have indeed been encouraged by the well‑deserved emphasis that was
given to Africa and to Africa's predicament at the Millennium Summit. It is
our hope that the Summit may have helped create greater determination for
cooperation with the peoples of Africa so that Africa may make real progress
in addressing the challenges of development, and of peace and security.

The problems of Africa, Mr. President, are defined by those two very closely
related challenges. Africa's development continues to be arrested by
problems of insecurity, instability and lack of peace. On the other hand, it
appears unrealistic to expect durable peace in Africa without hope in the
future that could be brought about only by visible indications about
possibilities for progress.

In both areas, Africa has not had the necessary support commensurate with
the complexity of the challenges it has faced. It might be necessary to
hasten to add here that indeed Africa itself might not always have taken
advantage of available opportunities for making progress, and we might
sometimes have squandered real opportunities for breaking out of the vicious
cycle of poverty, and lack of peace and stability.

While this may be partly true, the significance of the missed chances that
Africa has allowed to pass should not be exaggerated. It is far from the
truth that Africa has enjoyed sustained, resolute and all-out support,
either in the area of economic development or in the sphere of peace and
security. On the other hand, it is precisely this type of cooperation which
is required by many in Africa to be able to embark on sustainable economic
development and growth. But whether with respect to debt relief, or to
declining terms of trade, or to all aspects of the challenges of and
obstacles to development, the types of cooperation made available to our
countries have always been limited as well as entangled with all kinds of
conditions which have been far from helpful.

Mr. President,

Like all regions of the world and like all countries, Africa and African
nations should and must assume primary responsibility for what happens in
Africa in general, and in individual African countries. But at one time or
another in their history, most regions of the world, and most countries,
have had occasions to rely on international solidarity and co-operation as a
catalyst for creating conditions for development, and for stability.
But Africa's fate has been different. For whatever reason, it has been
easier to lose hope on Africa, than to give the continent the benefit of the
doubt. This, even when little has been done to help Africa address the real
challenges it is facing in a variety of areas.

This is not, Mr. President, only in the area of economic development. We
have seen the same thing taking place with respect to the need for Africa to
promote respect for the rule of law and to create conditions for peace and
stability. Africa is also being marginalized in terms of the universal
applicability of principles of international law. It is our hope that Africa
will be judged by the same standard in this regard. Otherwise, there can be
little chance for peace and stability in our continent.


We say this from experience. There is no effective substitute, if
opportunities are to be created for peaceful resolution of situations of
crisis in Africa, for a quick and an appropriate response by the
international community to violations of international law. Peace can never
be promoted through appeasement of aggression or by creating the impression
that, depending on circumstances, on where they take place and to whom they
happen, some acts of aggression can be tolerated.


Mr. President,

We in Ethiopia have, only a week ago, celebrated our new year. We have
entered the year 1993 with confidence that it will be a year of peace and
progress. Our people have made the commitment to resume the task of economic
development in full force - a task which was rudely interrupted two years
ago when our country became a victim of aggression.

It is also in this spirit that we are proceeding with full commitment to put
behind us the crisis we have had with Eritrea. Even before the deployment of
peace-keepers, contrary to experience in other places, the cessation of
hostilities has held for months now. We look forward, both to the deployment
of the peace-keepers and to a speedy conclusion of a comprehensive
settlement. All those prepared to contribute to this effort should rest
assured that what they should expect from Ethiopia, its people and their
Government, is the fullest cooperation. For us agreements concluded are made
to be respected, not to be violated. In any case, what our people wish to be
identified with, fully and with no ambiguity, is peace‑making, not
war-making. We hope that we now will have the opportunity to work for peace
and for economic growth and development.

There are few who need the blessings of peace more than the people of
Ethiopia and of our Sub-region. As much as our people refuse to see
aggression rewarded at their expense, they have, on the other hand, never
been wanting in demonstrating full commitment to peace and legality. Our
people will never jettison this noble tradition.

Ethiopia takes also its responsibility for peace and stability in our
Sub-region and in Africa as a whole, very seriously. In this regard, we have
been enormously encouraged by the developments with respect to the peace
initiative on Somalia under the auspices of President Ismail Omar Guelleh of
Djibouti.

It is Ethiopia's hope that what has already been achieved in Djibouti will
be built upon and that the momentum for peace and national reconciliation
will be maintained.

We are convinced that if the remaining problems are handled with realism,
wisdom and mutual accommodation, there is little doubt that the people of
Somalia will very soon be able to put behind them the ten-year nightmare
they have faced. I would like therefore to take this opportunity to call on
all concerned to make this newly created opportunity for peace in Somalia,
and for the restoration of the Somali state, irreversible. The process
should not be allowed to be held hostage by those who may not be prepared
for national reconciliation. Nor should it be endangered by failure to be
sufficiently accommodating and sufficiently patient. This is what the
international community should encourage.

The opportunity now created in Somalia should not be allowed to slip away.
This could easily happen if all attention is focused on seeking
international legitimacy rather than internal national reconciliation. It
would indeed be a tragedy and a recipe for further bloodshed in Somalia if
effort is not made to build on the peace and stability that has already been
achieved by some regions and parts of Somalia. The issue of Somaliland, for
instance, requires great sensitivity and a sense of enormous responsibility.
Whatever has been achieved in Djibouti is going to be tested by how well the
peace and stability that some parts of Somalia have achieved, is preserved.

For Ethiopia, and for Somalia's neighbours, these are critical issues. And
the formal stand we will be taking with respect to the evolving situation in
Somalia will depend on how these issues are addressed by those who have now
the chance to affect the destiny of the people of Somalia. While we wish
them well and promise them our full cooperation, we also ask them to use
this historic opportunity with full sense of responsibility and wisdom.

Let me take this opportunity, Mr. President, to also state that Ethiopia,
along with its IGAD partners, will continue to do the maximum possible for
peace and national reconciliation in the Sudan. It has always been our firm
conviction that the Declaration of Principles provides a just and realistic
basis for reaching a settlement on the crisis in South Sudan. It is also our
view that a broader national reconciliation in the Sudan can easily be
achieved on the basis of democratic principles and mutual accommodation.
Ethiopia will continue to be committed to peace in the Sudan on this basis,
and to cooperate with all those who have the good will to contribute to
peace in our Sub-region.


Let me reiterate, Mr. President, Ethiopia will do the maximum possible for
peace and durable stability in Africa as a whole with the full knowledge
that without peace we in Africa will have little chance for ensuring a
better future for our people.

Mr. President,

Before concluding, I would like to say a few words on how much vital it is
that the reform of the Security Council is completed as speedily as
possible. The reform of the Council is critical for the credibility of the
United Nations and for its increased legitimacy. As matters stand now, it
cannot but be too obvious that not many believe that the work of the
Security Council is conducted with sufficient transparency. In fact, there
is a growing conviction that the Council is being less and less
representative and more and more distant from the sentiments of the
majority.

This, we believe, needs to be rectified. And this can be done in two ways,
First, by ensuring that there is equitable representation of all regions of
the world on the Council. Secondly, it is also important that the work of
the Council is made more open, and its decision making made more
transparent. The interest of peace and Security will be served better if the
Council is more transparent and more open to the views of others, most
particularly to the views of those directly affected by the decisions of the
council.

It is our earnest hope, Mr. President, that the United Nations will be more
relevant to all in the 21ST  century, and in equal measures, than it has
been in the past fifty-five years. This is not an unrealistic objective. But
it requires the commitment of all, big and small.

I thank you.


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