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Statement of H.E. Mr. Osman Saleh Minister of foreign affairs of the state of Eritrea



Osman Saleh Mohammed, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Eritrea, addresses the general debate of the 74th Session of the General Assembly of the UN (New York, 24 – 30 September 2019).

Statement of H.E. Mr. Osman Saleh Minister of foreign affairs of the state of Eritrea


New York

30 September 2019

Mr. President;

Mr. Secretary-General;

Heads of State and Governments; Distinguished   delegates;

The current United Nations General Assembly meeting is occurring at a very auspicious time for the Horn of Africa.  Positive developments   are underway in the region.  The sad, painful chapter of domestic turmoil and regional conflicts is giving way to new vistas of internal resurgence and regional cooperation.

In global terms, this is a sensitive and delicate period, when the world is at a crossroads; on the cusp of a new world order, so to speak.

All vital parameters indicate that the unipolar world order has come to an end or is in its twilight years.  The economic   power balance is inexorably   changing, with a spike in attendant, intense rivalries   and upheavals.  In the  event,  the  current   UN  General   Assembly   session  cannot  but grapple with  these issues  and chart out viable  paths  on the way forward.

Africa’s   lot  in the  past  quarter  of a century  has  been  onerous  indeed.  Africa’s   resources  were plundered   wantonly;   and  in  spite  of  hollow   phrases   of  “conflict   prevention”    and  “conflict resolution”,   wars  and  upheavals   continue  to  increase  and  fester.  Almost   one  billion  Africans remain   marginalized,    through   the  collusion   of  external   predators,   their   local  surrogates   and corrupt  entities  of  special  interests. This  tragic  reality  requires  utmost  and  urgent  attention  for effective  remedies,  beyond  sincere  expressions  of concern  and understanding.

In  this   context,   the   Horn   of  Africa   and   Middle   East   regions   have   been   immensely    and inordinately  afflicted  in the past 25 years  by externally  instigated,  intractable,  internecine  ethnic and  clan conflicts,  as well  as peacelessness   and wars  among  neighboring   countries.  As a result, they have been, and remain,  hotbeds  of instability  and impoverishment.

This  grim  reality  is in stark  contrast  to the promising   events  and hopes  engendered   in the early
1990s. However,  the  external  and internal  complications   have  obstructed  and reversed  laudable initiatives    for   regional    cooperation    and   integration    that   were   in   the   offing   at  the   time. Furthermore,   these  conditions   have  created  vacuums   and  favorable   climates   for  terrorist   and other  subversive   forces  to proliferate  and expand.  Here  again,  a large part  of the blame  falls  on corrupt  local  actors  that  avidly  sought  to  promote  their  narrow  interest  at the  expense  of their peoples.
All these tribulations   notwithstanding,  the numerous  challenges   and  impediments   that  afflicted the  Horn  of  Africa  region  have  been  overcome   at this  juncture.   A  new  promising   chapter  is indeed in the offing again.

We,  in the region,  are ready,  as ever,  and with the requisite  political  will  and determination,   to work   with  higher  vigor,   to  promote   our  collective   growth   through   robust   coordination   and cooperation.   In  the  event,  we  wish  to  underline   that  ill-advised,   obstructive   and  detrimental external  interferences  must cease fully to allow the region  to effectively  address  its own matters.

In  Eritrea,   in  addition   to  shouldering   our  regional   responsibilities,    we  have  embarked   on  a substantive  and sustainable  program  for economic  and social  development.   We are building  our human  capital,  revamping   our infrastructure,   and developing  key productive  and service  sectors. We  are  also  intensifying   our  efforts  and  significantly   increasing   investment   to ensure  that  all citizens,   throughout   the  country,   enjoy  adequate   basic   services   of  water,  health,   education, transport  and decent livelihoods.

Eritrea  has  been  making  modest   strides  towards   the  achievement   of  sustainable   development goals  (SDGs)  in its three dimensions:  economic,  social and environmental,   with its long-standing policy  of a balanced  and integrated  approach  to development.    It has  already  achieved,  over the past two  decades,  significant   results  in several  pillars  of the MDGs  in spite  of limited  material resources  as well  as  crippling  external  adversity,  including   imposed  war  and  sanctions.    Most notable  is Eritrea’s   achievement  in the 4 health related  MDGs.

The Horn  of Africa  region  is prone  to droughts  and  erratic  rainfall  and Eritrea’s   soil  and water conservation   strategy  to mitigate  the effects  of climate  change  and achieve  food security,  include the building  of small,  medium  and large dams  across  the country  and terracing  its mountainous topography.   Eritrea   has  been  able  to  harvest   adequate   water,  but  will  require   incorporating innovative    water   technologies    to  distribute   this   water   efficiently.      Eritrea’s    sustained   tree planting  project that also began  1994 continues  with full participation  of the population.


The international   community will have to glean important  lessons  from the recent  past to ensure that the current  period,  which  many  have termed  as a transition  towards  a new global  order,  will lead to and enhance  global  stability  and prosperity.  In this  regard,  it is both timely  and proper  to revamp   and   strengthen    the   United   Nations    so  that   it   will   shoulder   its   obligations    and responsibilities   with higher  effectiveness.

I thank you.