Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 18th May 2023: The international headquarters of the Organisation of Educational Cooperation (OEC), was officially inaugurated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during a colourful ceremony that was also used to mark OEC Day on 18th May 2023. OEC Day is a commemoration of the day on 18th May 2021, when the Charter of the Organisation came into force.
The inauguration on OEC premises on Egypt Street, in the heart of Addis Ababa City, was attended by high level representatives from Member States, Associate Members, ambassadors, and civil society.
The ceremony that included ribbon cutting, music performance and keynote speeches was hosted by the Secretary-General Manssour Bin Mussallam and attended among others, by the President of the Union of the Comoros HE Azali Assoumani, State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Misganu Arega, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn and former Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia Mahdi Mohammed Gulaid.
Speaking on the occasion, OEC Secretary-General Massour Bin Mussallam said the inauguration marked the entry into the executive phase of the Organisation, paving way for delivering the Common Programme of Member States to contribute to the construction of a ‘Third Way of development, from the South, by the South, for Humanity.”
The Secretary-General appreciated the Government and peoples of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia hosting the Organisation’s headquarters and for providing all the necessary facilitation that have enabled the OEC to establish itself in Addis Ababa.
Secretary-General Bin Mussallam said that with the OEC’s presence, Ethiopia, which is already the diplomatic capital of Africa, has become the Capital of Southern integration.
The President of the Union of the Comoros, Azali Assoumani congratulated the OEC on the milestone of inaugurating its headquarters and in particular thanked the Secretary-General for his determination to implement the commitments made by Member States at the Founding Summit in Djibouti in January 2020.
“This inauguration is a significant step in the pursuit of the objectives of the OEC, in particular, the realization of our common aspirations, for fair, just and prosperous social transformation of our societies,” President Assoumani said.
By adopting the Constitutive Charter of the OEC, President Assoumani said, the founders and members of the Organisation wanted to create a common space of cooperation based on solidarity.
“We must therefore combine our efforts, so that the OEC constitutes this space of cooperation that we wanted, in order to promote equitable access for our children, our young people and populations, to inclusive and quality education,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the Host Country, the State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Misganu Arega said that Ethiopia is honoured to host the OEC and pledged continued support to ensure that the Organisation is firmly rooted and able to deliver the collective mandate of Member States.
“Ethiopia will do its utmost to ensure that the OEC achieves its objectives,” he said.
Minister Arega further said that the creation of the OEC is a timely intervention to contribute to addressing the challenges facing the world, especially in the Global South.
He noted that while there is need to optimize the effectiveness of existing multilateral cooperation mechanisms to make them respond to new challenges, “ we equally need new and revitalized multilateral arrangements with innovative approaches that are tailored to respond to specific needs and situations of the countries in the Global South.”
“It is in this regard, that we welcome the creation of this new Organisation, the OEC, that could contribute to renewal of global solidarity and reinvigoration of genuine global partnership,” he said.
As part of the pogramme for the inauguration events, legendary Ethiopian musician, Mulatu Astake, considered to the godfather of Ethio-Jazz ,performed and entertained guests.