Vietnam regrets at Ethiopia’s expulsion of UN officials: Ambassador hinh anh 1Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Pamanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations. (Photo: VNA)

New York (VNA) – Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Pamanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, has expressed his regret at Ethiopia’s decision to expel seven senior UN officials.

Addressing a UN Security Council meeting held on October 1 (local time) on the matter, Quy emphasised the important role of UN agencies, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and other international partners in supporting humanitarian activities in this country. The Ambassador hoped that the Ethiopian Government and UN agencies would cooperate closely in this regard.

Given the current context, the Vietnamese diplomat called on all relevant parties to give the highest priority to the interests of the people, and to adhere to the basic principles enshrined in international law and the UN Charter.

He suggested relevant parties facilitate unhindered humanitarian access and refrain from any actions that could plunge Ethiopia into chaos. 

The Ambassador said that this is time for reconciliation and dialogue in the spirit of goodwill and constructive manner to find a political solution to the current situation.

Quy also stressed the need of fully respecting Ethiopia's sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence.

The meeting took place at the request of Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway, the UK and the US. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths attended and delivered a speech at the event.

It followed the 30 September announcement by the Ethiopian government that seven UN officials working in Ethiopia were declared “persona non grata” and given 72 hours to leave Ethiopian territory. In a letter sent by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia to officials from UNICEF, OCHA, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Addis Ababa accused the UN personnel of “meddling in the internal affairs of the country”.

The Ethiopian government’s announcement came after Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths's 28 September remarks to Reuters that a “de-facto blockade” has hindered the delivery of aid to Tigray, allowing humanitarians to supply only 10 percent of the necessary assistance.

According to the news agency, the Ethiopian mission to the UN rejected claims of any blockade and attributed the difficulties to a shortage in trucks returning from aid delivery in Tigray.

In the hours following the announcement, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that he was “shocked” by the news of the imminent expulsion. Guterres also said that the UN was in the process of engaging with the Ethiopian government “in the expectation that the concerned UN staff will be allowed to continue their important work”./.