UN boss urges Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt to negotiation

UN boss urges Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt to negotiation

Through his spokesperson, the Secretary-General of The United Nations Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urges Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt to continue negotiations in relation to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

“Good progress” is being made in negotiations among Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt in hopes of achieving a mutually beneficial agreement, according to Mr. Antonio Guterres. “The Secretary-General continues to follow closely developments related to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD),” the Spokesperson said.

The Secretary General notes the good progress in the negotiations between the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Sudan thus far and encourages the three parties to persevere with efforts to peacefully resolve any remaining differences and to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement.

The Secretary-General underscores the importance of the 2015 Declaration of Principles on the GERD, which emphasizes cooperation based on common understanding, mutual benefit, good faith, win-win, and the principles of international law.

The Secretary-General encourages progress towards an amicable agreement in accordance with the spirit of these Principles.

Reports show that since the launching of GERD nine years ago, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have been negotiating on how to reduce the impact of the dam on the downstream countries. Meanwhile, they haven’t been able to conclude a deal. The renewed negotiation brokered by the United Sates and hosted in Washington D.C. a few months ago has also failed to bear fruit.

Going up along the Blue Nile near the border with Sudan, and under construction since 2011, the $4.5 billion dam – also known by its acronym GERD – will be Africa’s biggest hydroelectric power plant once completed.

Negotiations centre on the pace at which Ethiopia fills the 74 billion cubic metre reservoir behind the dam and the impact that could have on water supplies downstream in Sudan and Egypt.