Ethiopia's term in the UN Security Council begins on January 1

Ethiopia will start its two years' term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council on January 1st 2017. It joins this important organ of the United Nations at a time when the world is facing unprecedented peace and security challenges and the atmosphere in the Council has not been tense as it is now for several years, not perhaps indeed since the end of the Cold War.

Ethiopia will exert every possible effort to make meaningful and constructive contribution to the work of the Council, in close cooperation and collaboration with other members particularly the African states on the Council. In terms of its priorities, Ethiopia will naturally focus on its own region and Africa, for obvious reasons. In fact, the Council spends most of its time and energy dealing with conflicts and crisis situations in Africa. As the incoming chair of the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Africa, Ethiopia will try to contribute to these efforts.

The United Nations cannot handle today's peace and security challenges alone and in the spirit of chapter III of the UN Charter, Ethiopia will continue to advocate for greater strategic coherence between regional mechanisms, the African Union and the United Nations in addressing the peace and security challenges on the continent.

Ethiopia is one of the leading contributors to UN peacekeeping. This remains one of the most important tools in the promotion and maintenance of international peace and security. The security terrain under which the ‘Blue Helmets' operate has, however, significantly changed over the years. There is now need for UN peacekeeping to be strengthened to make it fit for today's purposes. Ethiopia will work with other likeminded countries to achieve this objective by pushing for the implementation of the recommendations of the Peace Operations Review.

Ethiopia is also a member of the Peace Building Commission. The adoption of two concurrent resolutions by both the Security Council and the General Assembly on the outcome of the Peace Building Review have put the "Sustaining Peace" agenda at the center of the United Nations. Since most of the countries under consideration by the Peace Building Commission are African countries, Ethiopia supports enhanced cooperation and collaboration between the Peace Building Architecture of both the UN and the African Union.

Terrorism and violent extremism is one of the biggest threats of our time. Ethiopia has had to face this menace long before the issue attracted international attention. Countering terrorism and violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations through practical cooperation at national, regional and international levels, without any double standard, is what Ethiopia has been advocating. It will continue to do so during its membership of the Security Council.