A symposium on the role of civil society in addressing the crisis of the Ethiopian dam

September 22nd, 2020 by Editor

In partnership between the Arab Organization for Human Rights and the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, an electronic symposium on “The Ethiopian Dam Crisis … and the Role of Civil Society” was held on Sunday noon, September 27, 2020.

With the aim of finding ways to deal with the escalating crisis, to search for exits, and to undertake civil society institutions with their moral responsibilities in promoting peace and development.

The symposium was chaired by Dr. Hafez Abu Saada -President of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights- in partnership with Professor. Alaa Shalaby -President of the Arab Organization for Human Rights- and a number of Arab and African individuals participated in the symposium.

The symposium resulted in reaching a number of recommendations, the most important of which are:

  1. Emphasizing the importance of the role of civil society in the three countries; To overcome the current faltering and rationalize the performance of governments; To de-escalate tension and support an agreement that responds to the rules of international law.
  2. Emphasizing the importance of the Egyptian civil society initiative to open a dialogue with civil society in both Ethiopia and Sudan. With the aim of reaching a joint initiative to promote peace, coexistence and good neighborliness.
  3. Emphasizing the importance of engaging Arab and African civil society; To support the efforts of civil society in the three countries.
  4. The issue is so of a great importance that it affects the fate of 270 million people in the three countries, and the responsibilities must be equal to this level of importance and danger.
  5. The importance of benefiting from similar global experiences, and lessons learned from these experiences; To avoid the negative experiences, such as the experience of the Turkish dams against the people of Syria and Iraq.
  6. The need for a joint Arab strategy to face water-related risks, especially in light of the Israeli seizure of Arab waters, the impact of Turkish dams, and the dangers of the Ethiopian dam.
  7. The move must be towards the protection of inalienable legal rights under international law, and that the legacy of legal obligations must be respected according to the Vienna Convention.
  8. Reaching an agreement means establishing a binding agreement on conflict issues that entails clear legal obligations.
  9. Going to the UN Security Council may be a necessity during the coming period, given that the dispute affects international peace and security and the right of peoples to life, safe living and development.
  10. Priority must be given to establishing a peaceful legal solution, and to exclude anything that would fuel hostility between peoples.
  11. Adhering to the principle of availability of information and transparency among the parties is an essential way to reach a sustainable treatment.
  12. The importance of realizing the risks related to geology and their effects on the structural integrity of the dam and the risks that could threaten the security of the population in eastern and northern Sudan and southern Egypt.
  13. Emphasizing the importance of partnership between the three countries in managing water resources; To meet the considerations and purposes of development of the peoples of the three countries.

The right to common development and the promotion of peace must be the primary purpose of the three nations, in what remains of a short period; To reach an appropriate settlement

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