Posted in: Saturday, September 18, 2021 – 9:15 PM | Last update: Saturday 18 September 2021 – 9:15 PM
Question: Is the presidential statement issued by the Security Council last Wednesday night on the issue of the Renaissance Dam useful to us or not?!
The answer is ambiguous and ambiguous, and each side can interpret it in its favour. The statement can be useful to us, given the current and available conditions, and because there is no other alternative offered for negotiations at the present moment.
Another question: Is the statement sufficient and binding for Ethiopia to stop its intransigence, evasion, defiance and bullying?!
The answer is: No, unfortunately, because the wording of the statement is flexible and gives each party to interpret it as he wants, especially since it is a statement and not a decision.
Since we have been engaged in a political conflict with Ethiopia for ten years, what happened in the Security Council is considered “reasonable” to a large extent, but it is not what we aspired to.
From Egypt’s point of view, the “statement” encourages the immediate resumption of negotiations and reaching a legal agreement within a reasonable period of time, and represents a boost to the efforts made to make the African negotiating track a success, which requires Ethiopia to engage seriously and with a sincere political will to reach a legal agreement – according to the comment of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. on the statement.
But Ethiopia, after the statement was issued, said that it is not legally binding, and that the Council took the correct position by returning the file to the African Union, and that the Security Council is not the appropriate place to consider disputes over water.
The striking point in the Ethiopian comment on the statement is that Ethiopia will not recognize any claims that may be raised on the basis of the presidential statement regarding the issue of the Renaissance Dam, and I think that this Ethiopian comment explains to us Addis Ababa’s anger and concern over the statement, although it is trying all the time to suggest that it has won in Security Council battle.
It has already obtained many points in its favour, but there are many points against it, even if it is not binding, given that there is an ongoing political battle between it and Egypt since it began building the dam in April 2011.
Once again, the presidential statements issued by the Security Council are kept as documents in the archive, and they can be referenced and built on later, while the media statements are of less value and are not kept in the archives, but the data is also much less than the resolutions, and even the latter is different. There is a decision issued by Chapter VI is less important than the resolutions issued under Chapter VII, and the latter gives the Council and its members the right to use force to implement these resolutions, as happened, for example, when Iraq occupied Kuwait on August 2, 1990.
Presidential statements are not binding .. Yes, but their political impact cannot be underestimated, as Professor of International Law Ayman Salama told Al-Shorouk last Wednesday evening, and that the Security Council, since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, has almost stopped issuing resolutions, and replaced them with statements, to overcome the differences between Members of an item or group of clauses in any resolution of an international issue.
Once again, battles and issues such as the Renaissance Dam are long-running, and they will not be resolved by a single decision or action in a short time period, and require a long breath, and what happened in the Security Council is a step that we can build upon and magnify for the future, or turn into a link in a series of lost opportunities that characterize the file Renaissance Dam since its inception.
In sum, the statement of the Presidential Security Council is a reflection of the balance of power within the Council regarding its relationship with Egypt and Ethiopia.
For objectivity, our international position has improved somewhat, compared to what was the situation in the July 8 session, which means that Egyptian diplomacy has managed to address some gaps, but we must remember that the battle is long and continuous, and efforts are required on all fronts, and here We need more Egyptian political and diplomatic effort to persuade the largest number of influential regional and international countries to pressure Ethiopia in order to achieve a legal and binding agreement. The question is: Will Ethiopia respond?!.
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