World Refugee & Migration Council members and others call on the UN Secretary-General to convene an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council.
His Excellency Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres
We the undersigned appeal to you to convene an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council pursuant to Article 99 of the Charter of the United Nations to address the dangerous and worsening situation on the ground in Ethiopia.
The evolving situation both poses a humanitarian challenge and risks becoming a serious threat to international peace and security with the prospect that Ethiopia’s neighbors may be drawn into the conflict.
As the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has noted,
“Concerns are growing for the safety of civilians inside the Tigray region of Ethiopia, particularly in and around the capital Mekelle that is home to 500,000 people. There are reports of basic services coming to a halt while the security situation continues to deteriorate. It is feared the numbers of those internally displaced inside Tigray by the fighting as well as to other regions of Ethiopia is growing daily. Access remains a major constraint in the Tigray region.”
We look to you to report to the Security Council on the deteriorating humanitarian and refugee situation, which is affecting thousands of innocent civilians and underscores the importance that all sides respect the fundamental principles of humanitarian law.
Furthermore, we call upon you and the Security Council to use all diplomatic channels to strengthen international support for the African Union’s mediation efforts and other regional initiatives to bring hostilities to an end and avoid a bloodbath in major urban centers.
Such efforts should focus on an immediate cessation of hostilities, respect for international humanitarian law, ensuring that there is unimpeded access to all populations in need of humanitarian assistance, an end to the communications black-out, and unhindered access by news media to all relevant areas.
We are sharing these concerns with all Members of the Security Council.
We the undersigned, as World Refugee & Migration Council members, former officials who have directed African policy for the United States government and former officials with the United Nations.
Pamela Aall, American University and Senior Adviser, United States Institute of Peace
Madeleine Albright, WRMC Honorary Chair
Shaima Al Zarooni, Founder and President, Camp01
Lloyd Axworthy, WRMC Chair and former Foreign Minister of Canada
Alexander Betts, Professor & Director, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford
Johnnie Carson, former assistant secretary of State for African affairs
Aya Chebbi, African Union Youth Envoy, Co-founder of the Voice of Women Initiative and Founding chair of Afrika Youth Movement
Sarah Cliffe, Director of New York University’s Center on International Cooperation
Herman Cohen, former assistant secretary of State for African affairs
Chester A. Crocker, professor of strategic studies, Georgetown University, and former assistant secretary of State for African affairs
HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, WRMC Honorary Chair
Jonathan Fanton, former President American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Former President MacArthur Foundation
Jeffrey Feltman, former assistant secretary of State for Near East affairs and former under-secretary general for political affairs
Elizabeth Ferris, WRMC Vice President of Research and Professor, Georgetown University
Jendayi Frazer, former assistant secretary of State for African affairs
Leymah Gbowee, 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate, Founder and President Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa
Fen Osler Hampson, WRMC President, Chancellor’s Professor, Carleton University
Per Heggenes, Chief Executive Officer, IKEA Foundation
Paul Heinbecker, WRMC Deputy Chair, former ambassador of Canada to the United Nations
Hina Jilani, WRMC Co-chair, human rights and democracy activist, and lawyer and advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan
Walter Kansteiner, former assistant secretary of State for African affairs
Jakaya Kikwete, WRMC Co-chair and former President of Tanzania
Susan Martin, Donald G. Herzberg Professor Emerita of International Migration at Georgetown University
Rosemary McCarney, former Ambassador of Canada to the United Nations
Glenn Mifflin, Chief Executive Officer, Cuso International
George Moose, former assistant secretary of State for African affairs
Marwan Muasher, VP for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former foreign minister and deputy prime minister of Jordan
Constance Newman, former assistant secretary of State for African affairs
Devota Nuwe, Head of Programs Refugee Law Project, School of Law, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Ratna Omidvar, Independent Senator, Senate of Canada
George A. Papandreou, Former Prime Minister of Greece
Nirupama Menon Rao, retired Indian diplomat, foreign secretary and ambassador
Susan Rice, former assistant secretary of State for African affairs, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and National Security Advisor.
Allan Rock, former Minister of Justice, Attorney General and Ambassador of Canada to the United Nations
Güven Sak, Executive of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), professor of public economics, TOBB University of Economics and Technology
Eduardo Stein, former vice president and foreign minister of Guatemala, special representative for Venezuelan refugees and Migrants of UNHCR and IOM
Rita Süssmuth, WRMC Co-chair, German politician and scholar
CC: Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Members of the Security Council