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Statement by Ambassador Sophia Tesfamariam

Statement delivered by H.E. Sophia Tesfamariam, Permanent Representative of Eritrea to the United Nations

Special event to commemorate International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, organized by the Group of Friends in Defense of the UN Charter

24 April 2024

On this significant occasion of the International Day for Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, Eritrea reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the principles of multilateralism, diplomacy, and international cooperation as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

Eritrea, a young nation that regained its independence in 1991 after decades of struggle, understands the importance of multilateralism in addressing the diverse and complex challenges facing the global community. Our experience underscores the vital role of dialogue, mutual respect, and cooperation in fostering peace, stability, and development.

While we recognize the achievements of multilateralism in advancing global peace and security, we also acknowledge the existing challenges and shortcomings that hinder its effectiveness. The current landscape of international relations is marked by increasing polarization, unilateral actions, and a diminishing role for developing countries, including those in the Global South.

Eritrea believes that genuine multilateralism should be inclusive, consultative, and based on the principles of equality, mutual respect, and non-interference in the internal affairs of states. It should prioritize the needs and aspirations of all nations, particularly those that are most vulnerable and marginalized.

Eritrea wishes to highlight the detrimental impact of illicit and arbitrary unilateral coercive measures imposed by certain powers against developing member states. These measures not only exacerbate existing injustices and imbalances but also pose a grave threat to the principles of multilateralism, the UN Charter, and international law.

The unilateral coercive measures, often imposed without due process or respect for sovereignty, undermine the principles of equality, mutual respect, and cooperation among nations. They deprive developing countries of their inherent right to socio-economic development, perpetuating poverty, hindering progress, and impeding the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Eritrea condemns these illicit practices and calls for their immediate annulment. Such actions not only violate the fundamental rights and dignity of nations but also create divisions, mistrust, and conflict among nations, further destabilizing the international order.

Today, multilateralism stands at a crossroads, threatened by the rise of unilateral actions that pit nations against each other and undermine collective efforts to address global challenges. It is imperative that we reaffirm our commitment to the principles of multilateralism, solidarity, and cooperation, and work together to strengthen the multilateral system and ensure its relevance and effectiveness in addressing the complex challenges of the 21st century.

Eritrea calls upon the international community to uphold the principles of the UN Charter, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, and promote genuine dialogue and cooperation in addressing global issues. We urge for the immediate cessation of unilateral coercive measures and for the promotion of a rules-based international order grounded in justice, equality, and mutual respect.

Eritrea wishes to address the inequalities and unfairness that have historically characterized the multilateral system and its institutions, with Africa bearing the brunt of these disparities.

Eritrea, like many other African nations, has witnessed firsthand the detrimental effects of an unequal and unfair multilateral system. Despite its rich cultural heritage and significant contributions to global history, Africa continues to face numerous challenges, including poverty, conflict, and underdevelopment, exacerbated by the inequities perpetuated by the current multilateral order.

Despite the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, there are growing challenges to multilateralism, particularly due to the polarization and geopolitical tensions in today’s world. Developing countries, especially those in the Global South, are disproportionately affected by these challenges, including the impacts of global crises such as climate change, food security, and ongoing conflicts.

The current international landscape has seen an increase in unilateral actions and policies that undermine the principles of multilateralism, international law, and the sovereignty of states, and diminish the voice and role of states, particularly from the Global South, in global decision-making processes.

As we commemorate this important day, Eritrea calls for renewed efforts to strengthen the multilateral system, ensure adherence to the principles of the UN Charter, and promote a more equitable and just international order. We emphasize the importance of collective action in addressing global challenges such as climate change, poverty, and conflict, and reaffirm our commitment to working constructively with the international community towards achieving these common goals.

Mr. Chair,

In conclusion, while listening to other voices can offer valuable insights, resources, and expertise to global governance processes, it should complement rather than replace multilateralism. Maintaining the centrality of states, ensuring accountability, promoting inclusivity, and upholding international law are essential for a balanced, effective, and legitimate global governance system that can address the complex challenges of the future.

We urge all Member States to join hands in building a more peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world for present and future generations.

I thank you

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