Delivered by the Permanent Representative of Estonia to the UN Mr. Sven Jürgenson
I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General DiCarlo for her comprehensive briefing.
All three stakeholders – Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia – have legitimate interests regarding the Nile River and its water resources.
Therefore we remain convinced that the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam can only be amicably resolved through direct talks and understanding between the three countries.
In that regard we welcome the resumption of the dialogue at the meeting held by the African Union Bureau on 26 June, and we welcome the subsequent commitment of the parties to finding a peaceful negotiated solution to all outstanding issues.
The African Union Bureau meeting was a positive step. We urge the parties to maintain the course and encourage them (1) to continue the talks in good faith, (2) to make the necessary concessions, and (3) to reach a tripartite agreement that is beneficial to all three countries. We hope that the parties can reach an agreement over the coming weeks, as envisioned by the African Union process.
We remain committed to support the process in constructive ways.
Rivers can be a source of conflict or a source of cooperation. It is up to the parties to determine how they choose to tackle it. Right now, there is an historic opportunity for the parties to lead by example. Through the spirit of empathy and understanding, they can show the rest of the world how a source of potential conflict could be turned into cooperation, from which everyone would win. We are counting on their leadership.