EU+ commit support for Ethiopia's National Dialogue
July 5, 2023
5 July 2023, Addis Ababa: The European Union together with several EU Member States bilaterally (Austria, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Sweden, and The Netherlands), as well as Norway, have today jointly provided 7 million Euros (385 million ETH Birr) to support the work of the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission (ENDC). More EU countries are expected to join in this effort in the near future.
The funds are channeled and will be managed through a UNDP multi-partner fund. The fund was established in response to a request from the Government of Ethiopia (GoE), conveyed through the Ministry of Finance to the UN.
The ENDC is a nationally-owned initiative established by the House of People’s Representatives 2022 with a three-year mandate to lead an independent, inclusive, and transparent national dialogue in Ethiopia. According to the proclamation passed by the parliament, the Commission’s mandate includes the establishment of “a system of deliberations that will improve the relationship among the different segments of the population as well as between the public and the Government so as to enable the creation of new political dispensation that is marked by mutual trust”.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, EU Ambassador Roland Kobia stressed that “Ethiopia has the potential to address its challenges through an inclusive national dialogue. The European Union is therefore keen to support Ethiopia's National Dialogue Commission in its crucial task combining inclusivity and timeliness, in order to bring lasting peace and reconciliation to Ethiopia. In this regard, the EU has expressed its new policy roadmap for relations with Ethiopia in the Council Conclusions adopted unanimously by all EU Member States and EU institutions in April 2023.”
UNDP Resident Representative Turhan Saleh added that the Dialogue ‘provides a key opportunity to peacefully debate and discuss key issues of national importance and help build a new political culture in Ethiopia, one that embeds the normal, non-violent, give-and-take of a democratic society.’
The ENDC is currently undertaking initial consultations to identify dialogue participants and key national level agenda issues. This work has taken place in Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella, Harari, Sidaama, South-West Ethiopia regional states, and Dire-Dawa city administration in recent weeks. The ENDC plans to continue this preparatory work in the remaining regions, as well as with the diaspora, in the coming months, and conclude this process by mid-September. Subsequently, the next phase of the dialogue process may commence.
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