UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein visits Ethiopia


The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein made his second official visit to Ethiopia, at the invitation of the government, from 22-26 April 2018.

During his visit,  Mr. Zeid met Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and other high-ranking Ethiopian officials including the Speaker of the House, the Minister of Foreign Affairs,  the head of the Ethiopian National Human Rights Commission and the Deputy Attorney-General and discussed the human rights situation in the country and the work of the UN Human Rights East Africa Regional Office. He also took part in a high-level dialogue between the African Union and the UN Human Rights Office and delivered a lecture at the Addis Ababa University.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Zaid  also signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Regional UN Human Rights Office for East Africa and the Ethiopian Government, which will strengthen our Office’s ability to do human rights work in the country and the region.

"I welcome the Government’s recognition of the important role the Office can play in helping advance the promotion and protection of human rights,” said Mr. Zeid in his statement of the conclusion of his visit.

"We have already offered our assistance in revising the Charities and Societies Proclamation, the Anti-Terrorism legislation and the Mass Media Laws, which are in desperate need of reform."


Human Rights Commissioner Zeid visit to Ethiopia April 2018 Photo ENA

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights  said, "we will continue to encourage, advise and sometimes lean on the authorities to keep the positive momentum going and to keep translating the inspiring words in the Prime Minister’s inaugural address into action. For our goals should be the same: to ensure that the human rights of all in Ethiopia are fully respected."

Mr. Zaid  further said civil society representatives, bloggers, religious leaders, political opponents raised numerous important human rights issues with me. "They called for further releases of people detained merely for exercising their rights to freedom of assembly, expression and opinion," he said.

Please also find below the following links to access the High Commissioner's statements during his visit to Ethiopia and the AU. 

High Commissioner's statement at the end of his official visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22990&LangID=E

High Commissioner's speech at the AU-UN High-Level Dialogue on Human Rights:http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22979&LangID=E

AU-UN Communique: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Press/AU-UN-HLD-24Apr2018.pdf 
High Commissioner's speech at the Addis Ababa University: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22985&LangID=E