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Eritrea-UNODC Partnership: Side Event, UN General Assembly 74

Speech by Dr Amado Philip de Andrés, Regional Representative, Regional Office for Eastern Africa

30 September 2019, UN Headquarters, New York

H.E. Mr. Osman Saleh, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea

H.E. Mr. Yemane Ghebreab

H.E. Sophia Tesfamariam Yohannes

Eritrean colleagues from Asmara and New York

Distinguished guests, UN Colleagues, All protocols observed,

It gives me great pleasure to open this event alongside Minister Osman Saleh - his presence here today is again is a sign of the great tenacity of Eritreans to deliver on the sustainable development agenda comprehensively by addressing all sectors of the response and ensuring no one is left behind as programmes are designed and implemented.

The Framework that will be presented to you today is the fruit of “side-by-side collaborative work” between UNODC and the Government of the State of Eritrea. 

It is an expression of a national vision and the resolve of Eritreans to effect changes that aim at ensuring that all enjoy peace and prosperity.

The joint development of the Framework is also a testimony to the determination of the Government to tackle the gaps identified head-on. It certainly showcases the fact leadership and ownership by the end users are the only way to get programmes that are comprehensive in approach, people-centered, and most importantly tailored to context and to the needs identified.

The Framework is a mean for UNODC to provide support in 3 key areas of our mandate - first, Crime prevention and criminal justice, second strengthening the administration of justice and then third, addressing transnational organized crime and international collaboration.

The framework was not developed in isolation, but rather set in the context of regional and national reforms that UNODC is certainly very committed to supporting in Eritrea and in the whole Horn. 

The partnership framework is also aligned with the Strategic Partnership Cooperation Framework of the Government with the UN system in the country and the AU 2063 vision for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa. The partnership framework is one more tool in the country, but also for the region, that serves to leverage programmes, sustained efforts and domestic investments and enhance peace and security in the region.

Indeed, the Framework highlights the importance to strengthen Eritrea’s institutions and enhance capacities to provide security and development based on principles of good governance.

Today’s event serves to showcase the collaborative work of the UNODC with Eritrea, but it is also an expanded partnership appeal.  While we work on capacity and institution enhancement, but there are also requirements at the infrastructural and equipment level and there is a need to create collaborative regional space. There will be a need to capitalize on the comparative advantages across sectors for all Eritreans to thrive and for the region to grow.

My colleague Johan will present briefly the regional threats.  These threats are real hurdles to economic growth and sustainable development - not addressing these threats, not providing the right tools and knowledge to law enforcement and criminal justice practionners to effectively address these continental, sub-regional and national threats is a great concern and it will hamper continental progress.

The framework is a practical and an operational response of the government and their reaching out to the UN as a trusted partner is certainly welcome. 

We look forward to the continued engagement as we believe that this framework is a great example of how the UN and Member States’ focused sectoral partnership is the best way to ensure the solution meets the challenge and guarantee resources are used efficiently and effectively to serve the people.

Thank you