Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Briefing on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
8 July 2021
China welcomes Foreign Minister of Egypt Sameh Shoukry, Foreign Minister of Sudan Mariam Al-Mahdi, and Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy of Ethiopia Seleshi Bekele Awulachew for attending this meeting. China welcomes Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula through the charge d’affaires of the DRC permanent commission, and also the Special Representative Onanga-Anyanga and Executive Director Inger Andersen for their briefings.
Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan are all at an important stage of development and the Nile river is of great significance to the life and development of the three countries. China supports the three countries in reaching an agreement on the trans-boundary water cooperation program through dialogue and consultation for the sustainable management and utilization of the Nile water, so that all riparian countries can benefit from it. China believes that through joint efforts, the completion of GERD can become a tripartite development project to enhance mutual trust and win-win cooperation.
China attaches great importance to the issue of GERD and appreciates the fact that in 2015, the three countries signed a declaration of principles on GERD through dialogue and negotiations and held multiple rounds of negotiations under the auspices of the AU. The AU has made lots of efforts to facilitate the tripartite negotiations. China appreciates the active role played by President Tshisekedi and President Ramaphosa as current and former AU Chairpersons.
China has noted the positions expressed in recent letters sent to the Council by the foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan. The utilization of trans-boundary water resources involves the distribution of national interests upstream and downstream, which is very complex and sensitive. China fully understands the legitimate concerns of Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan regarding GERD. On this issue, China remains consistent in its position that the parties should resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation, and achieve mutual benefits and win-win results. African countries have a fine tradition of resolving regional problems through dialogue and consultation. Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan are all important countries in the region and good friends of China. China sincerely hopes that the three countries, in the spirit of friendship and cooperation, will resume dialogue and consultation as soon as possible, and reach an agreement at an early date on a solution acceptable and beneficial to all three. China looks forward to the AU’s continued due role.
The international community, including this Council, should support the three countries in resolving their differences through dialogue and consultation, and to that end, create a favorable external environment to jointly maintain peace, stability and development in the African region. China stands ready to continue to play a constructive role along with all the parties.
Thank you, Mr. President.