State Minister Hirut briefs HRC about ongoing political, democratic reforms in Ethiopia

Ethiopia's high level delegation led by State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hirut Zemene is attending the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council which opened in Geneva, last Monday.

Addressing the Council yesterday, she said considerable changes have taken place in Ethiopia with regard to promotion and protection of human rights.

Recalling that Ethiopia stands among those who continue to perform incredibly well in sustaining fast economic growth, Hirut added these achievements have not been without challenges.

She said the demand for better governance, wider democratic space, and effective delivery of basic services has not fallen on deaf ears but prompted extensive reform measures to address them.

She has mentioned government's measures ranging from the amendment of electoral law, the ongoing efforts to make changes in the anti-terrorism proclamations to the pardoning of individuals where some of them were leaders of opposition parties, among others.

The State Minister has also expressed her government's readiness to accept the findings and implement the recommendations of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission concerning the violence that was witnessed in the border areas of Oromia and Somali Regional States few months ago.

Hirut has also noted that the reinstatement of the State of Emergency is crucial to install law and order on the one hand and continue the wide ranging political and democratic reform the government has started to undertake.

During the opening session on Monday UN Secretary General Antonio Gueteress warned about the danger the world is facing as the space for civil and human rights defenders is shrinking.

The High Commissioner, Zeid, noted "We will defend UDHR in its 70th anniversary year (2018) more vigorously than ever before." He called on the world to stand up for human rights and stressed on the importance of continued work on human rights.

President of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Lejeak said, "We all agree that UDHR is a turning point in the foundation of human rights in international law. However, we are far from being satisfied. This requires that all of us share responsibilities at the international level and that Global institutions focus more on prevention."

February 28, 2018 (MOFA)