Guterres encourages Member States to reach agreement over Et

|May 20|magazine4 min read

NEW YORK, 20 May 2020 / PRN Africa / -- Through his spokesperson, the Secretary-General noted on Tuesday that “good progress” is being made in negotiations between the three countries in hopes of achieving a mutually beneficial agreement.

Going up along the Blue Nile near the border with Sudan, and under construction since 2011, the $4.5 billion dam – also known by its acronym GERD - will be Africa's biggest hydroelectric power plant once completed.

Negotiations centre on the pace at which Ethiopia fills the 74 billion cubic metre reservoir behind the dam and the impact that could have on water supplies downstream in Sudan and Egypt.

Ethiopia is keen to start filling the reservoir in July.

“The Secretary-General underscores the importance of the 2015 Declaration of Principles on the GERD, which emphasizes cooperation based on common understanding, mutual benefit, good faith, win-win, and the principles of international law,” the spokesman said.

“The Secretary-General encourages progress towards an amicable agreement in accordance with the spirit of these Principles,” he added.

Resolving differences

Cairo, Addis Ababa and Khartoum have all indicated their willingness to resume discussions, but differences linger over the appropriate mechanism for such talks.

UN experts say that Egypt wants to put international pressure on Ethiopia to agree to a proposal - put forward by the United States and World Bank - on the dam's first filling and annual operation.

But Ethiopia is rejecting that idea as severely limiting the dam's capacity to generate electricity and curtailing rights to future upstream development, among other reasons.

Egypt also insists that Ethiopia must not start filling the reservoir until an agreement is reached, in line with its interpretation of the Declaration that Ethiopia is contesting.

The Secretary-General encourages progress towards an amicable agreement

SOURCE UN News Centre