Ethiopians should liberate themselves from divisive ideologies that weaken their unity, says Former PM Hailemariam Desalegn
Former Ethiopian Prime Minister, H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, gave the training today (November 19) to the diplomats at the African Leadership Excellence Academy in Sululta.
He covered a range of topics on international relations and national interests under the theme of the day: “The Paradox of National Interest: Balancing Collaboration and Competition.”
According to him, influential people and non-state actors are influencing international relations discourse as an additional factor in the regular relationships between governments and states, which also determine Ethiopia’s standing at various international fora.
He said some terms, such as nations, states, nation states, nationalism, and national interest, are loaded terms, which necessitate discussion on arriving at working definitions in Ethiopia.
He talked about the evolution and consistency of Ethiopia’s efforts to safeguard its national interests. In relation to that, he said that Ethiopians consistently protected their long-term interests throughout time despite changes in government. As an illustration of his discussion, Hailemariam emphasized that using the Nile River Basin has always been in the national interest of Ethiopia.
He advised diplomats to embrace the country’s past, value and build on all the good deeds of previous generations, and steer clear of politicizing differences that weaken the people’s unity, that reveal their weaknesses, and damage the reputation of the nation. He added that the all inclusive national dialogue should be used to address such fundamental issues in Ethiopia.
Mr. Hailemariam also talked about how the competition between superpowers might affect Ethiopia and how the country can get the most out of its participation in multilateral organizations like the UN. He emphasized that scientific research, rather than mere dependence on perceptions of individuals about the global order, should serve as the foundation for Ethiopia’s diplomacy and the country’s future plans.
Regarding interactions at the regional and continental levels, Mr. Hailemariam asserted that achieving a balance between cooperation and competition with others would be in Ethiopia’s best interests. He mentioned the deal that established the “Africa Free Air Space” as an illustration. He stressed that Ethiopia’s interests in the region or elsewhere should always reflect the country’s aspirations to combat poverty and realize prosperity for its citizens.
The former prime minister’s presentation, which expertly melded political science theories with his own practical expertise to illuminate the choices his country has made to safeguard its sovereignty, was well-received by the audience.
The session was moderated by H.E. Ambassador Tesfaye Yilma, State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. The training for diplomats at the Africa Leadership Excellence Academy in Sululta is in its eleventh day.
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