The United Nations stands able to help Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan in efforts to resolve their decade-long disagreement over the Nice Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), senior officers informed the Safety Council on Thursday. 

UN Particular Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, reported that latest negotiations beneath the African Union (AU) have yielded little progress. 

The events have been unable to agree a framework for engagement to settle excellent points, which embrace a dispute decision mechanism in addition to the administration of the dam throughout protracted drought. 

“The United Nations stays out there to advertise a win-win answer in supporting Member States in navigating this advanced challenge, the place real political will, compromise and good neighborliness are important,” he stated. 

Tensions rising 

The dispute over the GERD dates again to April 2011, when Ethiopia started constructing the dam on the Blue Nile, set to be the most important hydroelectric energy mission in Africa. 

When completed, it’s going to retailer 74 billion cubic metres of water and generate greater than 5,000 megawatts of electrical energy. 

Development is nearing completion, and final 12 months the reservoir behind the dam started to fill for the primary time. Ethiopia this week introduced it has begun filling once more.  

Egypt and Sudan have objected, stating that any additional filling ought to happen within the context of an agreed framework. 

Whereas shared water sources have been the reason for competition, they will also be the muse for cooperation, the pinnacle of the UN Setting Programme (UNEP), Inger Andersen, informed ambassadors. 

“At this stage, and with different sources of regional pressure rising, we should acknowledge that overcoming the remaining variations among the many events would require cautious, meticulous work, supported by the related technical and authorized consultants and with a dedication by the three states to reach at a cooperative answer, in pursuit of sustainable improvement for all within the spirit of ‘one river, one folks, one imaginative and prescient’,” she stated. 

Settlement doable 

Ms. Andersen pressured that an settlement on the dam might be reached, and should be reached, whereas underlining the UN’s readiness to help the international locations, and the African Union, in reaching an settlement that’s helpful to all sides. 

Cooperation among the many three international locations has by no means been extra essential as demand for water rises, she added, as a result of elements equivalent to inhabitants development, urbanization and industrialization. On the similar time, additionally they face the specter of elevated flooding, and extra intense droughts, as a result of local weather change. 

 “It’s due to this fact crucial that the events work collectively to handle these interconnected challenges,” she stated. “To achieve an optimum settlement, belief and transparency and open engagement will likely be key.”