The Institute of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the FDRE Authority for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the Advocacy Center for Democracy & Development, organized a Consultative Workshop on Ethiopia’s Admission to BRICS, held on November 30, 2023.
H.E. Amb. Misganu Arega, State Minister for Political Affairs, Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that civil society plays a significant role in bringing about social development, building the image of Ethiopia, and protecting the interests of the Ethiopian nation.
H.E. Mr. Samson Biratu, Director General, and F.D.R.E Authority for Civil Society Organizations, made remarks in his welcoming speech. The main objectives of the forum were to create awareness by discussing issues related to the integration of BRICS Plus, a group of powers that Ethiopia is recently creating, and to establish a framework for foreign relations institutions to discuss various diplomatic issues with civil society organizations (CSOs).
The first presenter on the topic of “Ethiopia’s Admission to BRICS: Views and Concerns of CSOs” was Yechale Degu, PhD, Assistant Professor of Political Science & International Relations. He addressed the presentation on the contents of how CSOs understand BRICS, views on Ethiopia’s admission to BRICS, and CSOs’ concerns over BRICS & Ethiopia’s admission. The paper emphasized that CSOs want BRICS to expand its engagement and be sensitive to human rights issues crucial for member countries to address the concerns, reconcile national interests with human rights and democracy, and engage CSOs with BRICS Foreign Policy Advocacy.
Mr. Leulseged Tadese from MoFA Director General for International Organizations and Career Diplomat gave a speech on “Ethiopia’s Admission to BRICS: Needs, Aspirations, and Interests.” In his speech, Ethiopia joined these platforms to achieve political reforms, economic reforms, national interests, human rights, democracy, partnerships for investments, and opportunities for financial sources.
Finally, Mr. Jafar Bederu, Deputy Director General of the Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA), and Mr. Osusman Yesuf, Executive Director of Advocacy Center for Democracy and Development, Ethiopian, proposed establishing an Inter CSO-IFA Working Group, which focuses on capacity building, training, knowledge sharing, networking, partnership building, and broadening interstate relations.