Eritrea: 21st Newsletter Released
|Eritrea-South Africa Festival in Asmara|
The Press Section of the Permanent Mission of the State of Eritrea to the AU and UNECA has released its twenty-first bi-weekly newsletter.
Click here to read the previous newsletter.
PFDJ Secretary Took Part in the 4th General Congress of Sudan’s National Congress Party
The Secretary of the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), Mr. Al-Amin Mohamed Seid, took part in the 4th General Congress of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party.
In a solidarity message he conveyed at the opening session of the Congress, on 23 October, on behalf of President Isaias Afwerki, Chairman of the PFDJ, and the Eritrean people, Mr. Al-Amin pointed out that Eritrea and Sudan constitute a geopolitical unit in the Red Sea region as well as the Horn of Africa and Nile River region. He further explained that the geographical proximity of the two countries has enabled them to work in partnership in different domains for the benefit of both peoples.
The PFDJ Secretary stated that the unity and prosperity of Sudan has a positive impact on neighbouring countries, and that the Eritrean people and their leadership attach great significance to enhancing the partnership between the two nations.
During his stay in Khartoum, Mr. Al-Amin met with several Sudanese government officials including Gen. Bekri Hassan Saleh, First Vice President; Prof. Ibrahim Gendur, Assistant President; Mr. Al-Fatah Uzedin, Chairman of Parliament and held discussions on strengthening the existing bilateral relations.
Eritrea Participated in the Launching of the New Horn of Africa Initiative
The new Horn of Africa (HoA) Initiative led by the World Bank was launched on 27 November 2014 at the Headquarters of the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa. The initiative aims to address some of the key drivers of instability in the HoA and promote development in the area.
The launching ceremony was attended by the Foreign Ministers and representatives of the countries of the Horn, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the President of the World Bank Group, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the UNECA, and the Executive Secretary of IGAD.
The representatives of the African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and the European Union were also in attendance. H.E. Ambassador Araya Desta, Permanent Representative of Eritrea to AU and UNECA, participated in the event representing H.E. Mr. Osman Saleh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Eri-
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Araya expressed Eritrea's appreciation for the timely initiative. He indicated that utilizing the region’s potential is predicated on bolstering and reinvigorating paradigms of collective well-being and well-fare that transcend traditional, zero-sum, power politics at the inter-State level; supplemented by a more congenial domestic or intra-State environment of good governance rooted on the twin pillars of social harmony and inclusiveness.
In regard to Eritrea’s views on and inputs to the areas prioritized by the initiative, Ambassador Araya highlighted:
- On vulnerability and resilience - the need for a two-track or parallel approach that is aimed at addressing the underlying causes while pursuing temporary measures to mitigate the emergency situations in the short-term,
- On conflict prevention and resolution - the need for critical assessment of the prevailing security architectures to address intrinsic flaws and operational modalities,
- On communications - the importance of enhancing fibre-optic based, broadband, Internet connectivity in the region; particularly in the countries where this is lacking,
- In the extractive industry - emulation of best practices; joint development of models for investment terms and instruments; maximisation of local share through effective involvement in the value chains; and, increasing local capabilities and competencies,
- On public private partnership arrangements – the necessity of developing creative schemes that facilitate access to foreign currency and favourable credit terms both for capex and working capital.
The full text of the statement is available at: Madote
Eritrea Reiterated its Call for the Lifting of the Unfair and Unjust Sanctions
On 14 July and 12 August 2014 Eritrea submitted responses to the various requests for information from the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group (SEMG). Moreover, on 10 October 2014, Eritrea presented its views in detail during the informal consultations with the UN Security Council Committee Established pursuant Resolutions 751(1992) and 1907(2009).
Here is an excerpt from Eritrea’s response dated 14 July 2014.
“It is now five years since the unjust sanctions were imposed on Eritrea. They have not contributed to regional peace and security in the Horn of Africa. In fact, if they are not lifted they will bring and perpetuate more instability and conflict to the region. Indeed, they are harming the people of Eritrea, hampering economic and social development. It is now clear that there is no justification for the continuation of sanctions.
“The initial and principal accusation concerning Eritrean support to Al-Shabaab has long been proven to be non-existent. Moreover, Eritrea is committed to the Qatari mediation in relation to the Eritrea-Djibouti issue.
“Therefore, it is now clear that there is no justification for their continuation. Eritrea once again appeals to the United Nations Security Council to urgently lift these unjust and counterproductive sanctions.
“The events over the past 15-years and the facts on the ground clearly show that it is Ethiopia, not Eritrea that is actively engaged in destabilizing the region. Its continued occupation of sovereign Eritrean territory, including the town of Badme, with impunity, in violation of the United Nations Charter and its treaty obligation is the main cause of the instability in the Horn of Africa. In the interest of peace and security in the region and within the context of Resolutions 1907 (2009) and 2023 (2011), which reaffirms respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Eritrea, Ethiopia must be urged immediately and without any precondition to withdraw from sovereign Eritrean territories, including the town of Badme.”
Eritrea – South Africa Festival (ERISA) Launched
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea and the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Asmara hosted the launch event of the Eritrea – South Africa Festival (ERISA) on 30th October 2014. The event took place at the Expo Conference Hall in Asmara, with the theme “People, Liberation and Development.”
The Festival is being held to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the establishment of the Embassy of South Africa in Asmara.
Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Tesfa michael Gerahtu stated that Eritrea and South Africa share similar historical experience of struggle for freedom and justice. He further pointed out that more efforts need to be exerted towards reinforcing the existing political, economic, cultural and diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Likewise, the South African Ambassador to Eritrea, Prof. Iqbal Jhazbhay, explained that the Festival will be held annually in a manner that would enhance all-rounded relations between Eritrea and South Africa. Ambassador Iqbal also indicated that the two countries are striving to coordinate their efforts in the international arena. He also expressed his country’s condemnation of the sanctions imposed on Eritrea.
The planned range of activities in the Festival include films, public lectures, handicraft/ design/ fashion event, food and music festival, and a Mining Seminar.
UN Day Celebrated in Eritrea: Looking Beyond 2015
The shaping of the new development agenda, and how to learn from Eritrea’s impressive record on the health MDGs in the process, were the issues in focus for UN Day in Eritrea.
Government officials, the diplomatic community, students, academia, private sector, as well as the UN and civil society gathered on 24th October to celebrate UN Day. The day started with tree planting inpartnership with the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students (NUEYS) in Serejeka area; on the outskirts of Asmara. Thereafter everyone gathered in the UN compound to share drinks and cut the UN Day cake. The evening panel discussion focused on the process taking place at a global level to shape a successor agenda to the Millennium Development Goals.
Learning lessons from the MDGs
Speaking on the occasion, the Eritrean Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Osman Saleh, said that “Eritrea values a partnership that underpins national ownership, mutual trust and benefit.”
Ms. Christine N. Umutoni, UN Eritrea Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator on her part stated: “I believe Eritrea has a lot to share that could help formulate, shape and implement the Post- 2015 Development outlook for the good of humanity,”
Eritrea has made good progress with the health related MDGs ahead of time, an accomplishment that was highlighted in a recent event during the General Assembly of the UN in New York.
Dr. Andeberhan Tesfazion, Director General in the Ministry of Health, gave light to one important lesson on how Eritrea had reached the health related MDGs; “We left no-one behind – we focused on the nomadic and hard-to reach areas”, he explained.
Towards the post-2015 agenda
During the discussions, former Eritrean Ambassador to the UK, Tesfamichael Gerathu, underlined how the new, proposed Sustainable Development Goals have to be seen in context of Eritrean nation building and that they have to be contextualized with national development goals.
Charge d’Affairs a.i, of the EU Delegation, Marc De-Bruycker expressed that the current drafting of the National Development Plan was welcomed by all development partners.
Youth in focus
The representative from the NUEYS, Yasmin Tesfaldet, underlined that the proposed Sustainable Development Goals need to have meaning to each and every one to be effective. “The new SDGs will speak to governments, organizations, and to laymen. We need to embrace the goals, they need to be concise, as clear and simple as possible”, she said.
The representative of the NUEYS also pointed out that it is important that development should be youth led and that stress should be put on employment and entrepreneurship, and technological and social innovation, as young people are heavily affected by lack of employment opportunities. Furthermore, she emphasized the issue of brain drain as an issue of concern.
The evening ended with a get together and an art exhibition showing the different art work of the youth who had undertaken an art and poetry competition prior to the UN day with the theme ‘youth and development’. Winners received awards.
Source: UNDP Eritrea
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