Mr. President,

Thanks Estonia for excellent Presidency in June. Congratulate France.

I would like to thank USG Rosemary DiCarlo and acting USG Ramesh Rajasingham for their insightful briefings.

I would like to welcome H.E Minister of State of the United Kingdom and Pepresentative of Ethiopia, to this meeting.

Mr. President,

1. The situation in Tigray region of Ethiopia over the last months has witnessed complicated developments. It has resulted in multifaceted hardship for millions of people. We share concerns of the international community, including those expressed by the Secretary-General, about the alarming levels of violence and killings against civilians, including women, children, and humanitarian workers, as well as the destruction infrastructure indispensable to civilian population in Tigray. These acts of violence are totally unacceptable and run counter to international humanitarian law.

We call for immediate cessation of hostilities, upholding responsibilities under international humanitarian law and ensuring the protection of civilians, especially women and children, with a view to soon addressing the mounting difficulties that the people have to face after months of hostilities.

Mr. President,

2. The ongoing humanitarian situation in Tigray is of much concern. We welcome efforts by the Government of Ethiopia in order to help alleviate the above-mentioned difficulties. The conflict is resulting in other systemic issues that may lead to further deterioration, especially the high risk of famine. Children are suffered the most, UNICEF projects that 56.000 children under the age of five in Tigray will need treatment this year for severe acute malnutrition. 33.000 children in inaccessible parts of Tigray will face imminent death unless they are given immediate help.

In the face of such dangers, we call on all parties to fulfill their obligations under humanitarian law to prevent a famine from occurring. It is important now to ensure safe, effective, and efficient delivery of and access to humanitarian assistance in the Tigray region and bordering areas. In this process, needs assessment and delivery of humanitarian assistance should take into account local particularities and in consultations with the government of Ethiopia.

Mr. President,

3. While responding to humanitarian needs is one urgent task, it is equally important to earnestly strive for peaceful resolution of differences among parties concerned. The current crisis stems from complicated political, historical and ethnic reasons. These backgrounds require relevant parties to patiently engage in dialogue and reconciliation rather than further hatred.

It is high time for a compromise to be made toward a comprehensive solution, for sustained stability and development of Ethiopia, on the basic principles of the international law and the UN Charter. We call on Ethiopian authorities and all other concerned parties to give the highest priority to the interests of its people. In this process, the international community, including the Security Council, should support all efforts toward this end, in full respect of the independence, sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of Ethiopia.

In this connection, we welcome the recent cease-fire declaration by the Government of Ethiopia and expect all parties to make it a long-term and comprehensive one. Furthermore, we call on all parties concerned to take advantage of this opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue and refrain from further bloodshed and confrontational rhetoric that may drive each other further apart. We believe that this is the only viable path for finding common grounds and a peaceful way out of the current crisis in Ethiopia.

Mr. President,

4. The conflict and situation in Tigray have had certain impacts on the region that require relevant parties to exercise self-restraint. Under this circumstance, the principle of non-interference in internal affairs of states and settlement of disputes by peaceful means should always be upheld.

In this connection, we support the constructive engagement of neighbouring countries and regional organizations, especially AU and IGAD, in supporting the parties concerned to promote dialogue, build trust, and provide humanitarian assistance for Ethiopia so as to help its people return to normal life.

The efforts so far by various humanitarian agencies, including those of the UN, are highly commendable. We call on the international community to continue support the Ethiopian people in their pursue for peace, reconciliation and reconstruction of their country.

I thank you, Mr. President./.

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