UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO VISIT
NEW YORK, 1 February (UN Headquarters) -- All 15 member of the United Nations Security Council will travel to Ethiopia and Eritrea from 20-25 February to address the peace process between the two neighbouring countries and to discuss with the parties the further implementation of their agreements, signed in Algiers in 2000.
The delegation will be headed by Ambassador Ole Peter Kolby of Norway.
The Council members are scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 22 February and with President Isaias Afwerki in Asmara, Eritrea, on 24 February. The mission will also have other meetings in the two capitals and visit the Temporary Security Zone.
"This is a very critical time in the promising peace process between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The upcoming determination by the Boundary Commission and its implementation are pivotal steps towards building a comprehensive and lasting peace. Norway is pleased to contribute to this important process and welcomes the participation of all 15 members of the Security Council", said Ambassador Kolby.
Since the signing in Algiers, Algeria, of the Agreement of Cessation of Hostilities (18 June 2000) and the subsequent Comprehensive Peace Agreement (12 December 2000), considerable progress has been recorded in the peace process. The situation in the Temporary Security Zone, established by the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) on 18 April 2001, has remained calm. In accordance with the agreements, the Boundary Commission and the Claims Commission have been established and their tasks are well under way.
The Boundary Commission is expected to finalize the border delimitation determination by the end of this month. This determination is binding on the parties, as both sides have committed themselves to accepting fully the determination by the Boundary Commission.
The Security Council mission will underline the international community's commitment to contribute to the completion of the peace process, and is expected to discuss with the parties measures to implement all aspects related to the Boundary Commission's determination, including mine clearance and the physical border demarcation on the ground. The mission is further expected to address elements related to the consideration of the UNMEE mandate renewal by 15 March, including with respect to certain outstanding operational issues.
The Security Council mission is further expected to address the issue of confidence building, including through the release of all prisoners of war and civilian internees, as well as the overall objective of normalizing relations between the two neighbouring countries.
Details of the programme will be made available as soon as they are finalized.
Journalists interested in traveling together with the Security Council mission to Ethiopia and Eritrea should contact either Marie Okabe, Associate Spokesman for the Secretary-General, at (212) 963-1104, or Press Counsellor Kjetil Stormark of the Permanent Mission of Norway at (212) 310-1512 or (917) 679-2157 (cell).
The composition of the Security Council delegation to Ethiopia and Eritrea will be as follows:
Ole Peter Kolby (Norway), Head of the Mission
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