30 September 2021

Secretary-General Shocked by Ethiopian Government’s Declaration of United Nations Staff as Persona Non Grata, Expressing Full Confidence in Their Life-Saving Work

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary‑General António Guterres:

I was shocked by the information that the Government of Ethiopia has declared seven United Nations officials, including senior United Nations humanitarian officials, as persona non grata.

All United Nations humanitarian operations are guided by the core principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.  In Ethiopia, the United Nations is delivering life‑saving aid - including food, medicine, water and sanitation supplies – to people in desperate need.  I have full confidence in the United Nations staff who are in Ethiopia doing this work.

The United Nations is committed to helping Ethiopian people who rely on humanitarian assistance.  We are now engaging with the Government of Ethiopia in the expectation that the concerned United Nations staff will be allowed to continue their important work.

For information media. Not an official record.