Statements and speechesOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk ends visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
02 May 2023
I ended a two-day visit to Addis Ababa today, following valuable engagement with the African Union on enhancing the UN Human Rights Office’s partnership with them.
African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki and I agreed to strengthen our cooperation and to conduct regular high-level strategic dialogues.
We recalled the critical contributions of the continent to the universal human rights framework, notably through the struggles for decolonisation and against apartheid.
While this was not an official country visit to Ethiopia, I was grateful for frank discussions with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, the head of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC), senior UN officials, and civil society representatives and development partners on the peace process, issues and concerns related to transitional justice, accountability, civic space and freedom of the press, among others.
There have been a number of initiatives in follow up to the much welcome November 2022 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.The solution to serious human rights concerns and the many challenges ahead lies in unwavering commitment to human rights action.
Human rights offer pathways to address grievances and divisions in society, and to promote peace and sustainable development, through participatory, inclusive processes - which necessitate respect for freedom of expression and a vibrant, open civic space.
My Regional Office for East Africa will continue to work with the people and Government of Ethiopia, as well as the EHRC on a variety of human rights issues, including transitional justice and accountability.
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