Security Council calls on Ethiopia, Eritrea to cooperate in carrying out border decision

Security Council calls on Ethiopia, Eritrea to cooperate in carrying out border decision

Council President Amb. Sergey Lavrov
Members of the Security Council today called on Ethiopia and Eritrea to cooperate closely with the Boundary Commission and the United Nations in implementing a recent decision about the border between the two countries, as well as in the demarcation process, including demining.

The current President of the Council, Ambassador Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation, said in a press statement that the 15-member body once again welcomed the Commission's decision, announced on Saturday, and commended the commitment of both countries to accept the outcome as "final and binding."

Council members also expressed their appreciation for the role played by Secretary-General Kofi Annan's envoy for Ethiopia and Eritrea, Legwaila Joseph Legwaila, the UN Mission in the two countries, known as UNMEE, and the UN in general in achieving the result.

They invited both Governments to make further steps to strengthen the climate of reconciliation between them and to address outstanding issues, including the release of prisoners of war and the resumption of direct flights. The members also called on the parties to provide freedom of movement to UNMEE, Ambassador Lavrov said.

Council members underscored their continued commitment to contribute to the peace process, and called on the international community "to provide necessary resources to support this process and the work of UNMEE," the president said.

Earlier Tuesday, the Secretary-General, along with Mr. Legwaila, briefed the Council on the latest developments since the Commission's announcement, a UN spokesman told a press briefing in New York.

"'For once, I bring the Council some good news,'" spokesman Fred Eckhard quoted the Secretary-General as saying in his opening remarks to the closed-door session.

According to the spokesman, the Secretary-General noted that since the announcement was made, both Ethiopia and Eritrea had reaffirmed their acceptance of the decision by the Boundary Commission on the delimitation of the border shared by those two countries.

After Mr. Annan's introduction, Mr. Legwaila outlined UNMEE's role in the demarcation phase, which includes security and de-mining support, Mr. Eckhard said.