Press Release: Ethiopia, EU hold first annual dialogue on Governance, Democracy and Human Rights

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Ethiopia and the European Union held the first of its kind Annual Human Rights and Governance Consultation in Addis Ababa on Thursday the 6th of April 2017. This Consultation is one of the pillars of the Ethio-EU Strategic Engagement signed on the 14th of June 2016 in Brussels.

An Ethiopian delegation led by State Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Hirut Zemene met with EU delegation headed by Mr. Stavros Lambrinidis, European Union Special Representative for Human Rights to exchange on issues such as human rights, good governance, democratic process, economic cooperation, and migration.

State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Hirut Zemene noted the strong support Ethiopia has been receiving from the European Union and welcomed the initiative to start the annual dialogue on issues of human rights and democracy.

Briefing the EU delegation on current issues in Ethiopia, State Minister Hirut underlined that the situation in Ethiopia is now calm and the extension of the state of emergency for the next four months is meant to further ensure the prevalence of peace and security in the country, adding that this would bring more guarantee for public safety and security and the respect of citizens’ fundamental rights.

Mr. Stavros Lambrinidis, European Union Special Representative for Human Rights, welcomed the launching of the first annual human rights consultation, noting that this would enhance the respect of fundamental human and democratic rights in Ethiopia.

The Special Representative underscored that the EU is keen to further strengthen its long-standing ties and cooperation with Ethiopia. The EU emphasizes on the need to move forward the partnership with Ethiopia in the spirit of ACP- EUPartnership Cotonou Agreement, he added.

The two sides dealt at length on how to further insure the respect of fundamental human and democratic rights including insuring rule of law, due process of law, promoting youth employment, ensuring respect of child and women rights, widening the political space in Ethiopia and expanding cooperation in the fight against human trafficking.

Ethiopia and the EU have enjoyed over 40 years of strong and enduring partnership and cooperation on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues. The importance of this relationship has been underlined in the Ethio-EU Strategic Engagement (2016). Ethiopia is also an increasingly important partner in terms of migration, as demonstrated by the signature of a Declaration on a Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility (CAMM).

On the 17th of March, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn met with HRVP Mrs Federica Mogherini in Addis Ababa. Both sides discussed the implementation of the Ethio-EU strategic engagement. The next consultation in this framework is expected to be held soon in Addis Ababa on the topic of combating terrorism and extremism in relation with peace and security.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia

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