International Peace Day

Remarks delivered by Mr. Minassie Fisseha, Advisor to the Minister of Peace, on behalf of  HE Muferait Kamil, Minister of Peace.

Mr Turhan Saleh, UNDP Resident Coordinator

Excellency Ambassadors,

Heads of UN Agencies,

Esteemed Religious leaders,

Heads of Ethiopia’s Critical Development Partners,

Ethiopian Government officials,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by congratulating ourselves for successfully celebrating this important event, before I convey Her Excellency’s, the Minister of Peace Key Message for the day. (Apologies also that Her Excellency Muferihat Kamil could not be with us today)

Indeed, celebrating the International Day of Peace is a very important global event in which we reflect the value of peace, commemorate those whom we lost as a result of the absence of peace and revitalize our commitment for lasting peace and human security. Truly, peace is a precious treasure we often take for granted.

The Government of Ethiopia would like to take this opportunity to renew its commitments to local, regional and international peace and enhance its participation in peace keeping operations in our continent.

This year, we have many reasons to celebrate International Day of Peace, including the heralding of a new era in Ethiopian politics towards a democratic transformation, pioneered by our Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed.

The Ministry of Peace, since its establishment almost a year ago, is striving to ensure sustainable peace in Ethiopia by strengthening the national conflict prevention architecture through capacity development for pro-active conflict mitigation and peacebuilding. It also collaborates with key state and non-state actors at regional and local levels in establishing and implementing conflict early warning mechanisms thorough conflict analysis and rapid response by the federal and regional governments, and even communities. Through intensive work in these areas, the Ministry believes Ethiopia’s infrastructure for peace can be strengthened, open dialogue and consultations can be fostered, rights can be endorsed, and differences solved peacefully.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Ethiopia’s development partners, especially the United Nations in Ethiopia for their relentless efforts in supporting national and regional governments in Ethiopia. We are collaborating with multiple bilateral and multilateral development partners in the areas of promoting the culture and capacities for peace, establishing state of the art conflict early warning mechanisms and working towards finding lasting peace.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year’s theme of the International Day of Peace, “Climate Action for Peace” deeply resonates what is in the best interest of all nations, citizens and humanity at large. We are all equally affected by the change in the natural environment. From the Solomon Islands, to the costal cities of the United States, from Mozambique to Scandinavian countries, we all are connected by the calamities induced by climate change which are, by and large, the products of our own negative actions and inactions.

In many developing countries including Ethiopia, natural resource scarcities caused by the change in the natural environment, are aggravating inter-and intra-community strife causing high magnitude violence leading to human casualties. The rise in food and non-food agricultural products, which is closely associated with the decline in productivity of land, is contributing to rise in commodity prices making life to low income citizens largely unbearable.

Ethiopia has been alerted of this problem since many years ago as a result of the impacts of El Nino induced drought that resulted to severe consequences to local livelihoods and to the national economy. Since then, the country’s policy makers has been active in mobilizing the continental and global actors for actions to preserve the natural environment. Just one year into power, our Prime Minister, H.E. Dr Abiy Ahmed has demonstrated the kind of attention nature requires and the kind of action we need to take to conserve the environment and prevent the consequences of global warming.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

While the government’s political shift towards green economy, green communal and institutional cultures and utmost attention to preserving nature is much broader than what we can address in a summary speech. We can cite some very commendable moves such as the recently implemented record breaking national mobilization to plant trees and handover greener Ethiopia to the generations to come. This critical action of the government has demonstrated that we are united across and beyond all social identities when it comes to nature and if we act in unity, we can change the tide towards a better end. The recently completed Palace restoration project is also one symbolic act that we need to promote restoration, green life style and mainstream caring for nature in every one of our moves.

What nature is requesting from us is our attention, care and peaceful co-existence. We can only live in peace when we realize and act to live peacefully with the natural environment. The government of Ethiopia strongly wishes for the 74th session of the UN General Assembly upcoming in this month in New York, including the Climate Summit that will happen to date, will make decisions that advance the cause of halting the consequences of climate change, there by mobilizing the global community for critical and effective climate action. Our Government, as always stand with the UN and all the global actors supporting this cause.

One again, I would like to cease this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to the UN and development partners for joint celebration of this event. It is my sincere hope that our collaboration will continue beyond the celebration of the International Day of Peace and I look forward for that earnest partnership to enhance peace and development in Ethiopia.

I thank you.

UN entities involved in this initiative
UNDP
United Nations Development Programme
UNEP
United Nations Environment Programme
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women