The African heads of state and government summit held on January 30, 2016 has decided Ethiopia to participate in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for two years representing Africa.
Thus, following her request to the AU, the foreign ministers of the African states accepted and delivered to the African Union heads of state which they have accepted and endorsed the proposal of Ethiopia to participate in the UNSC for two years term representing the continent.
It is to be recalled that Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn indicated at the UN General Assembly conducted in September 2015 that the UN particularly the UNSC needs structural reforms. “Nevertheless Ethiopia is one of the founding member countries of both the League of Nations and UN, its appeal to the then League of Nations to prevent Fascist Italy from invading and using internationally banned cluster bomb against its people was not accepted. However, my country has not pessimist on the UN diversified institutions,” he reiterated.
Adding that PM Hailemariam reminded the participants of the UN that Ethiopia has been wholeheartedly and significantly contributing and realizing the visions and missions of the UN. For example, Ethiopia is only second in the world in producing peace keeping forces, he stated. Since the creation of League of Nations up to United Nation through it’s the then brilliant and law educated Foreign Affairs Minister Aklilu Habtewold took part from designing each and every article of both the League of Nations and the UN charters which finally put his signature on behalf of Ethiopia. Since then, the country has been honestly and actively respecting the principles and calls of the UN. It is to be recalled that Ethiopia served the UNSC as temporary member in 1967 and 1989. There is no incident Ethiopia violated the principles or rejected a call of the UN, AU.
For example, Ethiopia had contributed three battalions who participated decisively in the Korean War where it lost more than three hundred brave soldiers. Quickly devastating civil war erupted in Burundi where Ethiopia took no time to send its troops where they played important role in stabilizing the war torn country. It was also Ethiopia that bravely jumped into the Rwandan genocide and brought peace and stability conducive for reconciliation process to happen. As it is known, the world including the powerful countries like USA ignored the case and feared of horrifying genocide. This was the time Ethiopia showed its irreplaceable and strenuous commitment to human security and in the same time its Pan-African responsibility emanated from deep heart.
There is no time that Ethiopia hesitated to contribute its part elsewhere in the world. It has been respecting and doing everything possible to bring sustainable political stability in the continent. For example, Ethiopia sent its peacekeeping troops in the deadly civil war of Liberia where hundreds of thousands of lives were engulfed. Having participated, Ethiopia left Liberia tranquil favorable for political stability which helped it to be democratic now. Ethiopia’s commitment did not stop here: it has been playing its peacekeeping role in war torn Somalia under AU auspices, in Sudan under UN mandate. Miraculously, it is for the first time in human history that two antagonist neighboring countries throw trust in their neighbor country. After South Sudan and the Sudan indulged into a serious debate on Abyei claiming and accusing each other, they both agreed Ethiopia should take the responsibility of pacifying the quarrel. This clearly showed how much Ethiopia’s foreign policy won the trust of all countries in the peacekeeping mission activities. UN Secretary-General Banki-Moon has been heard repeatedly showering appreciation to Ethiopia.
It is also worth mentioning that Ethiopia has been advocating and designing strategies which enabled Africa gain its rightful place globally. This in turn has been increasing the benefits of African countries. Africa was chosen to represent by Ethiopia in the G8, climate change etc. where the later proved its strong commitment to realize the dream of all Africans.
Ethiopia has not ever practiced anything that harms African interest. Understandably, African brothers have never rejected Ethiopia’s requests so far. The 26th AU congress endorsed the request of Ethiopia to be non-permanent member of the UNSC taking its key peace contributions into considerations. What the AU heads of state have done now is the continuation of their unfolding trust entrusted on Ethiopia. Zimbabwe President and AU Chairman Robert Mugabe made historical speech during his address to the AU: he accused the most advanced countries for not considering Africa to have a permanent seat in the UNSC.
The UN must respect the voice of one billion people of Africa and must look the matter honestly that Ethiopia has discharging its efforts in pacifying Africa in line with the principles of the UN, hence it deserves to have permanent seat in the UNSC so that it can continuously execute its efforts. Therefore, Ethiopia is expected to live up to African expectations. I hope the UN will seriously consider the voice of Africans.
* This article was first published on All Africa website.
[A couple editting have been made for the sake clarity and factual accuracy]