Addis Ababa, 12 February 2015 (WIC) – Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom met a delegation led by Jose Ramos-Horta, former President of East Timor, Nobel Laureate, and Chairman of the UN’s High-Level Independent Panel on Peacekeeping Operations, on Tuesday (February 10). The two parties reviewed African and global peacekeeping operations, discussing mechanisms to strengthen the partnership between the African Union and the United Nations in peacekeeping. They also shared details of Ethiopia’s very considerable experience of successful peacekeeping operations, and considered mechanisms to enhance future operations.
Dr. Tedros welcomed the delegation and thanked it for organizing the High level panel discussion for African consultation to advance the future of peacekeeping operations, taking place in Addis Ababa on Wednesday and Thursday (February 11 -12). He emphasized that consultations should be strengthened and encouraged between the troop contributing countries (TCCs) as well between AU and the UN peacekeeping operations. President Jose Ramos-Horta noted that Ethiopia had a special place in continental and global peacekeeping efforts since it is the seat of the African Union and a important troop contributing country with vast experience in conflict resolution in Africa as well as a visionary leadership. He agreed on the need for the secretariats of the UN and AU to work closely to come up with a more dynamic approach to peacekeeping operations.
President Ramos-Horta asked Dr. Tedros for recommendations for mechanisms of partnership between the troop contributing countries and cooperation between the UN and AU, to incorporate in the consultations of the High level Panel to consider ways to build the capacities and improve troop deployment and operations. Dr. Tedros detailed the characteristics of Ethiopian peacekeeping operations including their prioritization of civilian protection and care and their operational flexibility in particular regional situations. He underlined the need for the UN to enhance financing and improvement of troop capacity and recommended a mechanism to build up a larger number of better quality troops who could be deployed quickly and at a lower cost. He agreed on the need to keep up the momentum of political consultation to bring coherence in peacekeeping deployment and operations. He stressed the UN and AU coordination should be improved.
The two sides also discussed various related issues including the role of neighboring countries to facilitate operations in any given area. President Ramos-Horta suggested a high level forum could meet in the near future in partnership with Ethiopia and troop contributing countries in New York to continue consultations. Currently, out of the 16 peacekeeping operations deployed by the UN nine are deployed in Africa. Ethiopia has a proven commitment to the maintenance of global peace and security and has been participating in UN peacekeeping operations since the establishment of the UN. (MoFA)