June 28, 2016
Julie Ward MEP (S&D) and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), in coordination with the Peoples Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD), will be convening a roundtable discussion entitled ‘Introducing PAFD: A Progressive Initiative to End Ethiopian Repression’ at the European Parliament in Brussels. The event will provide a forum to introduce the newly-founded PAFD to European policy-makers and to discuss the role the alliance can play as a democratic platform to unify the voices of the oppressed peoples of Ethiopia.
28 June 2016 | 15:30 – 17:00 | European Parliament, Brussels | Room ASP 5G 315
A key ally to the West, Ethiopia is generally hailed as an African democratic role model and a beacon of stability in an otherwise troubled region, despite its appalling human rights record. Occasional outcries on part of the international community deploring Addis Ababa’s repressive and non-democratic policies, have repeatedly been trumped by presumably more immediate or compelling concerns – in particular counter-terrorism and curbing migration, but also economic interests – sometimes leading to controversial statements about the country’s positive role. Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s central and regional authorities continue to crack down on anyone who dares to oppose or speak out against the regime.
On 23 October 2015, the Peoples Alliance for Freedom and Democracy, a political alliance between the suppressed and voiceless peoples of Ethiopia was founded, following the realisation that it is only through joint peaceful action and dialogue involving all stakeholders, that real democratic change can be engendered and enduring repression and marginalization put to an end.
This roundtable discussion will address in more detail the vision, mission, strategies and guiding principles of the PAFD, as well as look at the potential of this initiative to bring about positive change in Ethiopia, in terms of respect for human rights and the rule of law. Panellists will also assess how the international community – most notably the European Union – can benefit from and support the democratic process in Ethiopia through a better understanding of the different narratives of the Ethiopian peoples.
To register for the event, please fill in this form by Wednesday, 22 June 2016, 4pm.
To download UNPO's Press Release on the roundtable discussion, please click here.