Nationality

Ethiopia

Education

Master's Degree in International Relations/Government and Politics, St. John’s University, New York, United States 

Master's Degree in International Law, Kiev State University, Kiev, Ukraine

Languages

English, Russian, Amharic

As a staff member with the United Nations, I treasure the opportunity to humbly contribute to the building of a more stable future for Sierra Leone. Each day I feel I am helping to move the country towards the creation of a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic society.

Sierra Leone experienced a destructive internal conflict from 1991 to 2000; devastation crippled the country. Ultimately, over 70,000 combatants were demobilised, disarmed, and reintegrated into society. Massive efforts were made to rebuild state institutions and, at last, successful national elections were held. This resulted in a peaceful and democratic transfer of power from one Government to another. Although the country has come a long way in its democratic transition, much still remains to be done. Serious challenges still need to be addressed: corruption, youth unemployment, and more importantly poverty and under development are among the key challenges facing Sierra Leone. The Government with the support of its international partners, including the United Nations, is making concerted efforts to address these challenges.

Sierra Leone is an example of a successful United Nations post-conflict engagement. The United Nations presence in Sierra Leone works in an integrated manner, allowing the UN family in the country to truly feel bonded as one; our work is relevant and effective. We place the highest importance on building and consolidating hard-won peace with greater emphasis on ensuring sustainable development and democracy. As Senior Policy Development Adviser and Chief of Staff, I am responsible for the strategic planning of the work of our mission. On a regular basis, I analyse our peace-building efforts, assess what is working and what is not, and advise the head of mission on policy issues related to the consolidation of peace and stability in the country. My duties also include developing and maintaining important relationships with other United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations in the country. Building peace is a team effort, and I have realised no one unit or United Nations agency can go about it alone. Effective implementation of our mandate would require mission and United Nations system wide coordination and collaboration.

Ethiopia, my homeland, also faces challenges of under development and weak national institutions of Governance, and some parallel can be drawn with Sierra Leone’s experience in that respect. As a former diplomat, I had an opportunity to serve my country in a variety of capacities, including as a senior diplomat in the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the United Nations from 1991 until 2001. My service to my country has enabled me to broaden my experience and world view. In doing so, I’ve come to realise that we are all truly interconnected. The solutions to our problems rest with us - the peoples and nations of the world. We must work together for the common good; this is essentially the epitome of the United Nations. I am greatly honoured and fortunate to be part of such a vision and global fight for the common good of humanity.

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