24th May 2021, New York
On the occasion of the 30th Independence anniversary of Eritrea, Ambassador Sophia Tesfamariam, Eritrea’s permanent representative to the UN, hosted a virtual meeting of fellow Ambassadors to the UN to mark the occasion.
H.E. Mr Osman Saleh, the Eritrean Foreign Minister, addressed the gathered dignitaries and outlined Eritrea’s response to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. In his briefing the Minster explained that due to the robust measures that Eritrea had taken and the heroic effort of everyone, especially the health care workers, the devastating effect of the pandemic had been contained, with Eritrea registering one of the smallest number of deaths worldwide from the Covid19 pandemic. Minster Osman Saleh before closing his address expressed his profound gratitude to all frontline health workers across the globe that had fought against the Covid-19 pandemic. He in particular wanted to convey his personal thanks and that of the Eritrean government and the people of Eritrea, to the remarkable efforts made by Eritrea’s health workers to contain the deadly pandemic in the Country.
A short film about Eritrea’s rich heritage and long journey to nationhood was shown to the participants, who after the film had ended spoke of their admiration for Eritrea.The Ambassadors expressed their well wishes to the people of Eritrea and its leader President Isaias Afewerki.
They took the opportunity to express their admiration of the heroism, resilience and determination of the people of Eritrea.Among those present at the virtual event were, Amina Mohammed who is the Deputy Secretary General of the UN, Cristina Duarte the Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa at the Office of African Affairs, Ms. Fekitamoeloa Katoa Utoikamanu the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative UN-OHRLLS, Ambassador Fatima Kiyari of the African Union Observer Mission, H.E. Munir Akram, PR of Pakistan and President of ECOSOC and many others. All the attendees had conveyed their respective country’s message of good will to the Government and people of Eritrea on the occasion of Eritrea’s 30th Independence anniversary.
Eritreans and friends of Eritrea who worked in the UN system also joined the celebrations, including Mr. Samir Sanbar who had been the UN Special Envoy to Eritrea during the April 1993 referendum held in Eritrea to give the people the final say in whether they wanted independence or not. Mr. Samir Sanbar was also kind enough to participate in person.
The Ethiopian Ambassador on his part expressed his hope of working together with Eritrea towards a peaceful and prosperous region.
The Ambassadors of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman on their part acknowledged the positive role that Eritrea was playing in the region and stated their willingness and desire to further strengthen their historic ties with Eritrea.Ambassadors of Egypt, Gabon, Namibia, and Mozambique, as representative of African nations, expressed their solidarity with Eritrea and touched upon the heroic struggle of the people to achieve their independence.
H.E Amina Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary General of the UN, was the one who rounded up the evening with her statement. In her statement she passed her warmest greetings to the people of Eritrea and commended the government of Eritrea for the work it had done to contain the Covid19 pandemic. The Deputy Secretary General of the UN was appreciative of the huge progress made in Eritrea over the past thirty years, especially in the area of empowering women. H.E. Amina Mohammed acknowledged that Eritrea was a key player in bringing about peace and prosperity to the Horn of Africa. She took the opportunity to state the UN’s willingness and readiness to work with Eritrea for a better future in Africa.
All the speakers acknowledged the good work done by the Eritrean government and the achievements made in the past years. Achievements made even more remarkable when seen in the light of the prevailing hostile attitude towards Eritrea in the past.