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Eritrea's Statement to UN Conference on Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries



3-5 NOVEMBER 2014

Mr. Chairman,
Honourable Heads of State and Government
Your Excellencies Ministers and Heads of Delegation
Distinguished Delegates
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to join previous speakers to express Eritrea’s appreciation for the convening today of this august Second United Nations Conference of Landlocked Developing Countries to review progress of the Almaty Programme of Action in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 6/214 of December 22nd, 2011.

Let me also avail of the occasion to express our heartfelt gratitude for the hospitality accorded to us by the people and Government of Austria.

The underlying reasons that prompted the first International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and our International Partners ten-years ago, culminating in the Almaty Programme of Action, are too cogent and vivid to merit additional elaboration here.

The original emphasis was perhaps skewed on the trade encumbrances and infrastructural bottlenecks land locked countries face, with deleterious implications on their economic growth. But these critical logjams also affect, almost to the same degree, transit countries since paucity of finance and investment to develop the requisite infrastructural hardware and professional capacity to refine the administrative and regulatory software will ultimately render their services ineffective, and to that extent, hamper regional/international trade.

In the event, the whole discourse might need to be recast to address the symbiotic trade and commercial cooperation ties between landlocked and transit countries in a more holistic and intertwined manner.

In this respect, a regional architecture and protocol of economic cooperation that transcends limited port transit services to encompass broader areas of mutual economic cooperation will go a long way to address both the hardware and software bottlenecks that have been spelled out in the Report of the UN Secretary General of 25 July, 2011. In many cases, transit countries are in geographical positions to render port transit services to several landlocked and/or adjoining countries. The regional framework can thus create a more convenient platform for synergetic arrangements. Needless to emphasize, these collective frameworks will not necessarily substitute but only supplant and standardize the commercial service 3 agreements that are usually entered between landlocked and transit countries at a bilateral level.

Indeed, harmonization of transport and transit policies, regulations, procedures and best practices have higher prospects of effectiveness and durability when they are charted out in tandem with other objectives and tasks of all-rounded regional cooperation.

In our region, for instance, the Tripartite COMESA-SADEC-IGAD framework of consultations on harmonization of transport, energy, information and communication technologies can offer a convenient platform to streamline, within the context of broader protocols of cooperation, port transit administrative procedures, and judicious service tariffs and to simplify border control operations.

At the infrastructural level, it is clear that transit countries require substantial capital investment for expansion and modernization of their ports; for the maintenance and construction of main highways that serve transit trade as well as efficient telecommunication and power supply installations. In this regard, provision of soft and concessional loans to transit countries are essential both for the efficiency of transit services and trade as well as to render service charges at much reduced, non-rent seeking, costs.

Finally, the legal framework that governs bilateral transit services and articulated in operative paragraph 6 of the Almaty declaration, namely, “the right of transit countries, in the exercise of their full sovereignty over their territory, to take all measures necessary to ensure that the rights and facilities provided for landlocked countries in no way infringe upon their legitimate interests” must be respected fully to preclude potential disagreements and ensure smooth implementation of the various accords.

I thank you

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Eritrea's Statement to UN Conference on Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries Reviewed by Admin on 11:47 AM Rating: 5


  1. the right of transit countries, in the exercise of their full
    sovereignty over their territory, to take all measures necessary to
    ensure that the rights and facilities provided for landlocked countries
    in no way infringe upon their legitimate interests”

    Read more:
    Fist respect the natural right of millions of people to have access to offshore

  2. It's sad to see international Conference of this issue and know on the ground in East Africa that "narrow minded thinking" bring you to lose energy instead benefiting and a sense of cooperation within the region.
    In our context, the leaders in ethiopia are losing fuel/hour or fuel/day or worse again fuel/year or more dreadful fuel/decade simply because they want boycott the Eritrean Port of Massawa or Assab. It's a matter of rationality. I'm sure if the counterpart in the case was a country with a wise thinking would make a simple mathematical calculation to understand if the pride worth as much as the benefit..
    Even if you build a rail-way all along to reach remote areas, a normal mind would suggest the better way (in engineering term the less cheapest way), we might say sustainable transport, eco-friendly communication, may be require time until awareness comes to our friends in Horn of Africa.

  3. I dont think it is about pride or a matter of boycotting eriteean ports. It is all about economic and poltical advantages of using djubutee ports. U have to know that djubutee ports are more closer to Addis than any of the Eritrean ports and there is a dire willingness from djubutee for an economic integration with Ethiopia, which might happen in the next two- three years. In short, djubutee not Eritrea is Ethiopia's strategic partner.

  4. Ethiopia have bean using Eritrean Ports for quite long time and in those days they used to tell it is Expensive while claiming we are Dry Country and we cant produce anything (Djibouti Ports are more expensive than Eritrea Ports )This is the FACT and talking about Economic Integration will not happen without social integration and in this case we are the winner more than any country in the region Massawa is closer to North Ethiopia than any other ports while Assab can serve central ,West & south of the country finally your fat is in the hand of the ARABS (All your neighbors members of Arab League except Eritrea )You HATE us more than thinking of Economic benefit of your country.

  5. I agree with you stead of cooporatig with eritrea, woyana junta is building a $3billion railway stretching from mekele to a new port in djubutee just to serve the strategic interest of tigray. This is just a total nonsense.

  6. Wel-come a strategic partnership with djibouti, (after all it shouldn't stay only on paper level the so called IGAD, it might be practical as any groups in the world, look for instance EU, you get shocked when you travel intra-states, european citizens have a different gate and different approach, while if you go to Dakar for example, again an european citizen is well served than other neighbour country).
    Ethiopia is a huge country, as so, part of it can be serviced by djibouti, even some part on the south-east by Somalia. But how about the north and the north west?
    Putting aside hatred, tribalism, greedy and backwardness, might help developing countries..

  7. asssab and masawa isnot eritrean ports .It is afars resource.we the red sea afars seek secession from eritrea.let the eritrea people excluding the red afars decide its case.

  8. The vital port that could could best serve this region is Tio,Eritrea; given that the area is utilized as a port. it is a mere 45 minutes from potash mining areas on the north east and just about 3.5hours drive from mekele but unfortunately the realtionship bn the two nations is at it's worst ever...

  9. How do you think the relation between the countries get better or normalized?

  10. I don't know but I guess the respective governments got to grow up and discuss their issues on the table. I'm 100% sure Ethiopia will give badma back to Eritrea if they start to peacefully resolve their problem. But the eritrean government has to understand that giving back badma, a town for 'whome' tens of thousands have died, isnt going to be easy for the ethiopian government too. woyana is going to face huge opposition especially from the tigrean popullation. So both need to understand each others issues irrespective of what has happened in the past. We can't live in the past forever. The idea that the other regime will fall any time soon and hence no discussion is nonsense for me personally. Eprdf has a solid support base among the Ethiopian peasant majority and so does the Eritrean government.

  11. Thanks for your view

  12. pls tell your gov't at least to be civil and willing to talk to us

  13. Do you know the amount of goods Eritrea stole destined to Ethiopia from the ports during the 98-2000 wars. No Ethiopian business man is crazy enough to trust Eritrea shipments will arrive safe in Eth. Its about trust.

  14. First please tell your own government to respect the agreement it vowed to respect. Accordingly, it should also leave the territories it is holding and show that it wants peace and cooperation with Eritrea. Until then, how can we trust that it is serious and that it will respect anything that it agrees to as a result of the "talk?"

    Besides it is unacceptable to hold a neighbor's territory and demand for talk? Do you remember Meles asking Eritrea to leave Ethiopian territories (without even naming them) and will not talk to Eritrea, threatening to unleash war instead?

  15. Meles said that because you hold those territories suddenly, but we now occupy them after a brief war so please let's talk? Or do you afraid of talk?

  16. I already gave you my answer: Build TRUST first, leave occupied territories. In the first place, the demand to talk to you (to force us talk) by holding our territories hostage is hostile! Also stop hostilities by lifting the war declared in 1998 not to mention the never ending transparent lies of accusing Eritrea on every opportunity!

  17. TRUST, that is what we want for so long.
    You shot first suddenly and unprovoked, how can we trust you? You killed trust in May 1998

  18. never materialize? that is only in your mind

  19. We shot first? Unprovoked! We watched quietly as you annexed out territory in Adi Murug in1997. After that, you extended the land you claimed to be yours little by little evicting Eritrean inhabitants. Later your officials even boasted that they claimed even territories they never had.

    You shot the border committee members who came to talk with your border committee members before the official start of the war! Is it not provoking! Is it not guns who killed our representatives? You need to be honest if you want to talk. Besides, we passed that moment and after tens of thousands of death and through a lengthy negotiation we are where we are now. You want us to go back "to square one:" and start everything again!

    Tell your people that the areas decided to be Eritrean do not belong to Tigray/Ethiopia any more. I am sorry that you do not understand what you are doing at all. It is hostile to demand negotiation while you are holding your neighbor's property. What advantage is there for Ethiopia in general and the people of Tigray in particular if you continue enmity with us?

    The implementation of the Border Commission's decisions must be the end of this sad chapter in the history of the two neighbors. Those decisions are now also international law! It can never be Ethiopian again.

  20. The map on the birr . . .


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