New York

06 October 2021

Secretary-General's remarks to the press - on Ethiopia

Secretary-General: Ladies and gentleman of the media, the United Nations has no political agenda in Ethiopia. Our agenda is just one: to support the Ethiopian people - Tigrayans, Amharas, Afars, Somalis, that have suffered so much. We cannot see people go on dying because of bullets or dying because of hunger. We need to do everything to stop this conflict, we need to do everything for humanitarian aid to be distributed everywhere to everybody, we need to do everything for a dialogue to be established among Ethiopians to solve the problems in Ethiopia.

Now in this context I was, of course, deeply shocked with the fact that seven members of the UN have been expelled from Ethiopia, declared persona non grata, we had the occasion to explain why this, in our opinion, is not in line with international law but, on top of that, because so many accusations are appearing, today, I asked the Ambassador of Ethiopia to provide me with any copy of any written document given by the Government of Ethiopia to any UN entity in relation to wrong doings of any of these seven members of the UN. And, if such a document will be provided, we will of course, immediately, do an investigation of why it did not come to my attention. Thank you very much.

Question: Secretary-General, we had never seen you do a right of reply, ever, in the Security Council, that I can recall. Is this an expression of the level of your displeasure, at the moment, with the Ethiopian Ambassador?

Secretary-General: It is my duty to defend the honor of the United Nations.