The Security Council today encouraged Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to resume negotiations, at the invitation of the African Union Chairperson, on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project, with a view to finalizing the text of a mutually acceptable agreement on filling and operating the dam “within a reasonable time frame”.
In a presidential statement (document S/PRST/2021/18) presented by Ireland, Council President for September, the 15-member organ noted the Agreement on the Declaration of Principles on the project concluded by the three countries in 2015. It encouraged observers invited to the African Union-led negotiations — and any other observers that Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan may consensually decide to jointly invite — to continue to support the discussions with a view to facilitating the resolution of outstanding technical and legal issues.
The Council called upon the three countries to take forward the African Union-led process in a construction and cooperative manner. It also underscored that this statement does not set out principles or precedent in any transboundary water disputes.
The representative of India, noting his country’s historical relations with the three countries, said that, as a riparian State, any related discussions are important. Conscious that talks on shared water sources must result in satisfactory agreements, he said the negotiating parties should cooperate fully and in a focused manner to reach a long-term solution that serves the countries’ development needs. He clarified that, as a general rule, transboundary water issues do not belong on the Council’s agenda, drawing attention to the final paragraph in the presidential statement.
The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:09 p.m.