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Japan to honor Ethiopian former UN executive

Japan to honor Ethiopian former UN executive

The Government of Japan is set to honor Tegegnework Gettu (PhD), the former United Nations Under-secretary General and former UNDP Associate Administrator, with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star for the year 2020. 

The award, meant to honor foreigners for distinguished services in an array of services, will be given to Tegegnework for his efforts to help improve and enrich the Japan–Africa relationship via the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) process.

“During his distinguished career, Dr. Gettu made his significant contributions towards strengthening Japan-Africa relations through the TICAD process, including promotion of Japanese and African business linkages,” the statement from the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations said announcing the latest recipient of the award.

The statement further explains: “Under his leadership, many TICAD-UNDP flagship joint initiatives were launched, and he paved the way to establishing several strategic partnerships, such as a tripartite partnership agreement among the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and UNDP, and a framework of partnership with Keizai Doyukai (the Japan Association of Corporate Executives). Both were signed on the margins of TICAD7 on 30th August 2019.”

Gettu, appointed as the United Nations Under-secretary in 2015 by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, previously served in various positions with the UNDP, most recently as the Regional Director and Assistant Secretary-General in differing posts in New York, Nigeria, Liberal, Sierra Leone, among others.

He also served as an assistant Professor at Columbia University in New York.

“As a founding co-organizer of TICAD, UNDP has been an essential partner for Japan, sharing the same approaches for advancing human security and ending poverty and inequality with a view to achieving the Millennium Development Goals until 2015 and currently, in the pursuit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the statement from the Japan Missionary continued.

The award was started in 1875 in order to honor distinguished services in international relations. Previous recipients include the former Ethiopian Ambassador to Japan, Mahdi Ahmed, the former Addis Ababa mayor and the current Advisor to the Prime Minister, Arkebe Equbay and the late Newayechristos Gebreab, the Economic Advisor to the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.  

Japan and Ethiopia have had a rich relationship founded on economic empowerment, development and in the building of various infrastructures around the nation including support in the building of the old Bole Airport. Since 1958, both nations have had full-Ambassadors in Addis and in Tokyo, respectively.