UN / GRAND ETHIOPIAN RENAISSANCE DAM

08-Jul-2021 00:03:55
The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, told the Security Council that despite various attempts at negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Sudan, “the parties have been unable to agree on a framework of engagement to settle the remaining contentious issues” related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / GRAND ETHIOPIAN RENAISSANCE DAM
TRT: 03:55
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / ARABIC / NATS

DATELINE: 08 JULY 2021, NEW YORK CITY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, exterior United Nations Headquarters

08 JULY 2021, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa:
“Despite various attempts at negotiations, the parties have been unable to agree on a framework of engagement to settle the remaining contentious issues.”
4. Wide shot, Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa:
“We believe that together, along with other interested partners, there is room to move forward with a view to addressing the matter of the GERD in a peaceful, constructive and comprehensive manner, in line with the spirit of cooperation highlighted in the 2015 Declaration of Principles.”
6. Wide shot, Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Inger Andersen, Executive Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
“While shared water courses have been a cause of dispute, they can also be the foundations for cooperation. Indeed, well-planned hydraulic infrastructure on a shared river course can be the source of enhanced collaboration and need not be a zero-sum game. With integrated planning, damage and seasonal inundations can be prevented, energy can be traded, water storage can be optimized, and benefits can materialize, both in terms of development and in terms of water optimization.”
8. Wide shot, Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Egypt:
“In a further demonstration of its obstinacy, Ethiopia announced in July the 5th 2021, a mere three days before the convening of this very session, that it has commenced the second year filling of the GERD without an agreement, This blatant act of unilateralism is not only a manifestation of Ethiopia’s irresponsibility, and its callous indifference to the damage that the filling of this dam could inflict upon Egypt and Sudan, but it also illustrates Ethiopia’s bad fate in its attempt to impose a fait-accompli in defiance of the collective will of the international community.”
10. Wide shot, Council
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Dr. Mariam Alsadig A. Al Mahdi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sudan:
“You can help this process easily, by freeing the courageous people of Sudan from their current suffering by ensuring that the filling and functioning of the Renaissance Dam happens pursuant to a legally binding agreement. However, silence from the Council will send out the wrong message and would signify a tacit approval of the fact of this unilateral filling was acceptable with all that this would imply in terms of very serious and harmful consequences for the interest of the Sudan.”
12. Wide shot, Council
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Seleshi Bekele Awulachew, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Ethiopia:
“We are dealing with a hydroelectric dam project, which is not the first of its kind in Africa or in the world. We are building a reservoir to store water that will generate electricity by heating turbines. For your information, the GERD reservoir is two-and-a-half times smaller than that of the Aswan Dam in Egypt. Perhaps what puts the GERD in distinction from other projects is the extent of hope and the aspirations which it generated for 65 million Ethiopians that have no access to electricity.”
12. Wide shot, Council
STORYLINE
The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, today (8 Jul) told the Security Council that despite various attempts at negotiations between Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Sudan, “the parties have been unable to agree on a framework of engagement to settle the remaining contentious issues” related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Onanga-Anyanga told the Council that “there is room to move forward with a view to addressing the matter of the GERD in a peaceful, constructive and comprehensive manner, in line with the spirit of cooperation highlighted in the 2015 Declaration of Principles.”

On 23 March 2015, the three countries signed a Declaration built upon ten principles, including cooperation, harm reduction, and peaceful settlement of disputes.

The Executive Director of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, Inger Andersen, told the Council that shared water courses can be “the foundations for cooperation” and said, “well-planned hydraulic infrastructure on a shared river course can be the source of enhanced collaboration and need not be a zero-sum game.”

In his briefing to the Council, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said, “in a further demonstration of its obstinacy, Ethiopia announced in July the 5th 2021, a mere three days before the convening of this very session, that it has commenced the second year filling of the GERD without an agreement, This blatant act of unilateralism is not only a manifestation of Ethiopia’s irresponsibility, and its callous indifference to the damage that the filling of this dam could inflict upon Egypt and Sudan, but it also illustrates Ethiopia’s bad fate in its attempt to impose a fait-accompli in defiance of the collective will of the international community.”

Sudan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs said, “you can help this process easily, by freeing the courageous people of Sudan from their current suffering by ensuring that the filling and functioning of the Renaissance Dam happens pursuant to a legally binding agreement. However, silence from the Council will send out the wrong message and would signify a tacit approval of the fact of this unilateral filling was acceptable with all that this would imply in terms of very serious and harmful consequences for the interest of the Sudan.”

For his part, Ethiopia’s Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, Seleshi Bekele Awulachew, said, “we are dealing with a hydroelectric dam project, which is not the first of its kind in Africa or in the world. We are building a reservoir to store water that will generate electricity by heating turbines. For your information, the GERD reservoir is two-and-a-half times smaller than that of the Aswan Dam in Egypt. Perhaps what puts the GERD in distinction from other projects is the extent of hope and the aspirations which it generated for 65 million Ethiopians that have no access to electricity.”

The GERD is the largest dam in Africa and would double Ethiopia’s power supply. Egypt and Sudan, located downriver from Ethiopia, claim the dam will threaten their water supply.
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