Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the opening meeting of the sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) – Photo courtesy of United Nations, Loey Felipe
CAIRO - 25 September 2021: Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres underlined the importance of resuming dialogue between Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the Gran Ethiopian Renaissance dam (GERD) in a spirit of compromise.
In a meeting with Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on Friday, the UN Secretary-General reaffirmed the United Nations’ support for the African Union’s mediation efforts among the three Nile countries, said the United Nations in a statement.
The UN Security Council adopted this month a presidential statement calling on all three parties involved in the GERD to resume negotiations under the auspices of the African Union.
“The Security Council is not the competent authority in technical and administrative disputes over water sources and rivers.” The UNSC statement said. The Security Council also on the parties to resume negotiations, stressing the need to return to the agreement of principles signed in 2015.
Egypt has welcomed the UN Security Council statement issued, encouraging all three countries to resume negotiations with the aim of reaching a legally binding agreement on the filling and operation of the dam within a reasonable time frame.
The Republic Democratic of Congo (DRC), which chairs the African Union for this year, has drawn up a timetable for the tripartite negotiation process, said Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in a press conference with DRC counterpart Christophe Lutundula.
Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are at loggerheads over the $4-billion dam; Cairo voiced concern over its water share [55.5 billion cubic meters] after Ethiopia started building the dam on the Blue Nile in May 2011.
In 2015, the three countries signed the Declaration of Principles, per which the downstream countries [Egypt and Sudan] should not be negatively affected by the construction of the dam.