The UN General Assembly holds a minute of silence in honor of the late Permanent Representative of Eritrea to the UN, H.E. Grima Asmerom Tesfay, who passed away on 5th October 2016 at the age of 66, in New York.
On behalf of the General Assembly of the 28th plenary meeting, 71st session, outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon pays tribute to the memory of Ambassador Grima Asmerom and conveys condolences to the family, government and people of Eritrea.
The following is excerpts of his full remarks:
I join with the General Assembly to convey my deep sorrow for the loss of His Excellency Mr. Girma Asmerom Tesfay who passed away on 5 October in New York.
I express my personal deep condolences — as well as the condolences of the United Nations system — to his family, to His Excellency Isaias Afwerki, President of the State of Eritrea, and to the Eritrean people.
Ambassador Girma presented his credentials as Permanent Representative of the State of Eritrea to the United Nations on 23 April 2014.
He was one of his country’s highest-ranking diplomats. Over the course of his career, he served as Ambassador to the African Union, the European Union, Luxembourg, South Africa and the United States.
A masterful diplomat and negotiator, he showed real dedication to intensifying engagement of the United Nations with his country. This resulted in greater cooperation between the UN Secretariat, funds and programmes and the authorities in Eritrea.
He was a great promoter of multilateralism throughout his life.
I very much appreciated his insights and discussions with me and my colleagues in the broader United Nations system.
His dedication to his country was always apparent but perhaps most movingly symbolized by his unselfish work until the very last day of his life.
Once again, on behalf of the United Nations, I express our sadness as well as our commitment to continue working with the government and people of Eritrea to advance together across all three pillars of our work – peace, development and human rights.