Let me join previous speakers to convey our congratulations for your election as President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly.
This forum provides, annually, a congenial platform for the Member States to broach critical issues of international peace and security and their ramifications on national and human development. In this spirit, allow me to bring to the attention of this august assembly key matters of paramount importance to my country and our region as a whole.
As you are all aware, Eritrea a d Ethiopia have recently signed a historic Peace Agreement that brings to an end the dark, two-decades-old, a chapter of war, constant tension, and strife.
This historic achievement - even if belated by almost 16 years - will allow both countries to funnel their resources, potential and positive energy solely towards much-needed development. It has already infused hope and optimism on the peoples of both countries.
Its positive dividend for regional peace and security is too palpable to merit emphasis. This is indeed attested by new frameworks of all-rounded cooperation that have been set in motion in the past two months or that are on the offing at the regional level.
Eritrea wishes to express its gratitude to various countries that contributed in different ways, and that have demonstrated their political goodwill, to the success of the historical process underway.
Let me now revert to a perplexing injustice that has afflicted my country for almost a decade. I am referring to the unwarranted sanctions that were imposed on Eritrea in December 2009 and 2011 respectively.
With positive winds of peace flowing in our region, several UNSC member States are these days calling for the immediate lifting of the deplorable sanctions. The diplomatic discourse is not however fully coherent.
As it happens, some countries are looking for procedural and other pretexts and preconditions. The apparent aim is to move the goalpost and maintain the illegal sanctions on Eritrea.
As an aggrieved party, which has stood for nine long years on the receiving end of the miscarriage of justice, Eritrea cannot and will not plead for clemency or magnanimity. The people and government of Eritrea will continue to stand up for their rights until justice is ascertained and wrongs meted to them are redressed.