Conversations > Role of the Security Council
The conversation on Role of the UN Security Council captures the speakers' statements on the role of the UN Security Council in the GERD negotiation process.
Concepts / speakers
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02/06/2020 letter to Security Council
Therefore, Sudan would like to request the Security Council to: (a) encourage all the parties to refrain from taking unilateral actions, including starting filling the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam prior to reaching a comprehensive agreement, or taking any other action that jeopardizes regional and international peace and security; and (b) support Sudan’s efforts and call upon all the parties to resume immediate negotiations in good faith with the objective of resolving the pending issues and concluding a final comprehensive agreement.
19/06/2020 letter to Security Council
Given the gravity of this situation and in light of Ethiopia's continued intransigence, which potentially constitutes a threat to international peace and security, I am writing to Your Excellency to request that the U.N. Security Council address this matter urgently.
Egypt has elected to bring this matter to the attention of the UN Securiy Council after having explored and exhausted every avenue of reaching an amicable solution to this situation by concluding an agreement of the GERD that preserves and promotes the rights and interests of the three riparian states of the Blue Nile.
It is incumbent on the U.N. Security Council, and the international community, to urge Ethiopia to act as a responsible stakeholder, by concluding a fair and balanced agreement on the GERD and by not undertaking unilateral measures in relation to this dam, and to abide by its international legal obligations and the principles and rules of international law.
22/06/2020 letter to Security Council
But we are not surprised at all, for it has been apparent for some time that Egypt had no intention of contributing to the sucess of the trilateral process. It has instead prioritized taking the matter to the Security Council - bypassing all regional mechanisms - with the view to internationalizing the GERD negotiations.
I must also state frankly that Egypt's unilateral decision to bring this matter to the Security Council is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Declaration of Principles (DoP) that the leaders of the three countries signed on 25 March 2015.
The dam is a national project which is designed to help extricate our people from abject poverty and is by no means a threat to peace and security, justifying the invocation of the mandate of the Security Council under Article 35 of the Charter' Egypt knows this fact very well but it is trying to politicize the issue to maintain its hegemonic status-quo over the Nile waters. In this day and age, this is untenable.
The Security Council should not give, even inadvertently, succor to a state which has so far abhorred a just, fair and a win-win outcome which is the only means of ensuring sustainable peace and security.
Egypt's submission to the UNSC came in the middle of a negotiation. Insistence of Egypt to characterize the technical negotiation as a threat to international peace could only be a notice by the Government of Egypt for the international community that it intends to cause friction and disrupt international peace. Still, the major impediment for advancement in negotiations is Egypt's insistence to preserve its interests enshrined under the 1959 Treaty to which Ethiopia is not a party.
It is our firm conviction that finalizing the ongoing tripartite process based on transparency and good faith is the best way forward in resolving the outstanding issues. That is why we believe Egypt went overboard in requesting the involvement of the Security Council by falsely claiming that the issue constitutes a threat to international peace and security.
If there is in fact any threat to peace and security, in connection with the GERD, the responsible party would be Egypt, which has been engaged in saber-rattling and bellicose threats to use force. It is our hope that the Council would not be misled by Egypt's misrepresentation of the facts surrounding the construction of the GERD. Moreover, we also trust that it would reject Egypt's unwarranted demands which are designed to ensure that the unequal, colonial-era arrangements on the Nile remain unchanged and unaltered.
24/06/2020 letter to Security Council
We request the Security Council to consider the following: (1) call upon the leaders of the three countries to demonstrate their political will and commitmment by resolving the few remaining issues and conclude and agreement; (2) call upon the parties to adopt the comprehensive draft Sudan has submitted as the basis for finalizing an agreement; (3) discourage all parties from unilateral actions including starting the filling of the reservoir before reaching an agreement.
29/06/2020 letter to Security Council
It is therefore necessary for the Security Council and the international community to exert every effort and support every initiative that is intended to lift this looming threat and remove this ominous peril on the horizon.
It is important that the Security Council consider this matter. As the body entrusted by the international community with the unique responsibility to maintain international peace and security, the Council is expected to exercise watchful vigilance to avert the escalation of tensions, to prevent the outbreak of conflict and to contain crises that threaten to prejudice the peace in a fragile region.
As a responsible stakeholder, Egypt elected to bring this matter to the attention of the Security Council to forestall further escalation and to ensure that unilateral actions do not undermine efforts to reach an agreement on GERD or prejudice the riparian rights and interests of downstream States, or, more alarmingly, to endanger the lives of almost 150 million Egyptian and Sudanese citizens, thereby generating greater tension in an unstable region.
It is incumbent on the Security Council to take note of and welcome these outcomes of the meeting of the African Union Bureau and to call upon the three counties to comply with their commitments and pledges.
We call upon the Security Council to encourage the parties to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement on GERD and to refrain from any unilateral measures until such an agreement is reached. Until our efforts are successful and an agreement is concluded, the Council should, as it discharges its duties, remain actively seized of the matter.
01/07/2020 Statements at the Security Council
The African continent has a good tradition of solving regional issues through dialogue and consultation. Egypt, Ethiopia and the Sudan are all important countries in the region and good friends of China. China sincerely hopes that the three parties will reach a solution acceptable to all through patient dialogue and consultation. We hope that the international community will create a conducive external environment and support the three parties in narrowing differences through dialogue and consultation in an effort to maintain peace, stability and development in Africa. The Council’s consideration of the Renaissance Dam issue should not set a precedent. China is ready to work with all parties to play a constructive role.
I would like to note that meeting in the SC Council to discuss this issue should not create a precedent, but should be seen as part of our collective efforts to help all parties resume negotiations and come up with an acceptable, amicable and implementable solutions.
AU remain seized of this matter of concern to the continent. It is therefore important that the SC respect the continental efforts and provide space for the parties, through the agreed upon mechanisms, to find a solution that will ensure a peaceful and prosperous future for these three neighbourly countries.
The United States takes note of the recent efforts of the AU to facilitate additional discussions among the three countries on the GERD. We recognise that this issue is before the council because time is short and the window to achieving such an agreement may be rapidly closing.
The Bureau of the African Union Assembly and participating Heads of State and Government have requested the Security Council to take note of these developments and of the fact that the African Union remains seized of this matter of concern to the continent. It is therefore important that the Security Council respect the continental efforts and provide space for the parties, through the agreed upon mechanisms, to find a solution that will ensure a peaceful and prosperous future for these three neighbourly countries.
11/06/2021 letter to Security Council
Egypt has elected to, once again, bring this matter to the attention of the Security Council in the light of its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. The current lack of progress in negotiations, Ethiopia’s continued intransigence, and its policy of unilateralism, which is embodied in its determination to fill and operate the GERD without regard to its impact on Egypt and the Sudan, could have serious ramifications that threaten peace and security throughout the region. Averting this eventuality requires the active engagement of the international community to reach a peaceful settlement to this matter.
23/06/2021 letter to Security Council
Egypt’s contradicting narratives to its public and to the international community are part of its effort to make the second-year filling of the dam an international phenomenon due to domestic political considerations that the Security Council could have been spared from.
28/06/2021 letter to Security Council
The dealings of the Council are supremely important and shall strictly be limited to its mandate as prescribed under the Charter of the United Nations. In this regard, it is unfortunate to see abuse of the time and energy of the Council by Egypt and Sudan towards their underserving political end.
08/07/2021 Procès verbal Security Council
In conclusion, we would also like to make a concrete proposal. Since all the interested parties are gathered here in New York, why not hold a round of negotiations, brokered by the presidency of the African Union, to resolve the differences over the dam? We believe that this would be the best possible contribution of the Security Council to resolving the situation in the spirit of our shared principle of African solutions to African problems.
The Security Council, whose primary role in resolving international disputes is indisputable, should support the African Union and assist the facilitator in the quest for peace in that volatile area of the Horn of Africa.
While the Council must focus on all matters that could potentially pose a threat to international peace and security, in this case a preventive approach must be sought at all times, consistent with Chapter VI of the Charter of the United Nations. Mexico’s position with regard to international disputes, especially those affecting several countries at the same time, has been to promote, above all, a peaceful and mutually acceptable solution for all parties, based on dialogue. Moreover, as this is an issue that affects three African countries, and based on Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, we consider it particularly important that the international community support the efforts of the African Union to bring the positions of the three countries closer together and resume negotiations, taking into account the proven capacity of that regional organization to seek African solutions to problems affecting the continent.
China looks forward to the AU’s continued proper role in that regard. The international community, including the Council, should support the three countries in resolving their differences through dialogue and consultation and, to that end, create an environment conducive to jointly maintaining peace, stability and development in the African region. China stands ready to continue to play a constructive role alongside all the parties.