Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry reviewed with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Saturday Egypt’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and effectively promote human rights.
Shoukry met with Guterres in New York on the sidelines of the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and congratulated him on holding the UNGA despite the circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic, a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry read.
The meeting comes at the end of Shoukry’s visit to New York.
Shoukry mentioned Egypt’s recent launch of the National Strategy for Human Rights earlier this month as the first strategic, comprehensive, long-term, homegrown human rights strategy in the country, the statement read.
Egypt’s top diplomat also expressed his aspiration that the UN and its secretary-general continue supporting the efforts aimed at reaching a legally-binding agreement on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) file.
Shoukry reiterated the necessity of reaching such a deal in a way that serves the interests of all parties as encouraged by the UN Security Council’s presidential statement issued in mid-September.
Guterres affirmed in a meeting with Ethiopia’s FM Demeke Mekonnen on Friday the importance of resuming AU-backed GERD dialogue in a spirit of reaching a compromise.
Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia have recently expressed readiness to engage in the AU-sponsored negotiations aiming to resolve their decade-long dispute over GERD.
This comes after the UN Security Council’s presidential statement encouraging the three sides to return to the AU-sponsored talks to reach a binding deal.
During the Saturday meeting, Shoukry expressed Egypt’s appreciation and support to the efforts made by Guterres and the specialised UN agencies to avoid conflicts, build peace and achieve development goals.
Shoukry also affirmed that the UNGA’s discussions and activities have focused on pushing forward the international, multilateral working mechanisms and strengthening international peace and security.
During the meeting, Shoukry and Guterres discussed regional issues and affirmed the importance efforts aimed at resolving crises and achieving stability.
The Egyptian foreign minister has held over the past week meetings with top diplomats and counterparts from around the globe on the UNGA sidelines.
He also gave a speech during the high-level meeting celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action adopted in 2001 to fight racism.
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi also participated in the UNGA, delivering recorded remarks to the session on Tuesday and to the UN Food Systems Summit on Thursday.