On 12 November 2017, the administrative committee of the Foreign Relations Office of the Eritrean People's Democratic Party (EPDP) held an important regular meeting attended by representatives of the Office's sub-committees formed in many regions of the world.
Agenda for this meeting, held in the aftermath of the conclusion of the 8th regular meeting of the EPDP Central Council, included the following items: exchange of situation reports; summary presentation of the annual report of the Office for 2016-2017 which was earlier reviewed by the CC; the New Action Plan for the Foreign Relations Office for the year ahead; review of the structure of regional committees, and enhancing their role in new party projects for the future (such as the proposal for joint action with other sister organizations and the Party Renewal Plan.)
Each regional representative made brief presentation giving a picture of their respective situations and activities. This was followed by a discussion on the summary of the annual report of the Office as presented to the 8th regular meeting of the EPDP Central Council. Below are a few points gleaned from the report covering August 2016 to July 2017:
Memoranda: During the 12 months of the period under review, the Foreign Relations Office submitted 27 memoranda on different Eritrea-related issues to various governments, parties, UN agencies, the African Union and other global and regional organizations. Of these, four memoranda were sent to different German institutions; three to Holland; three to Switzerland; two each to Sweden; UN agencies and the Progressive Alliance; and one memorandum to each the African Union; Ethiopia; Sudan; Somalia; State of Qatar; Italy; France; UK; Belgium; Norway and Denmark. It was also cited that the EPDP sent a grand total 134 such memoranda since the first party congress of July 2011.
Official Tours/Meetings: During the past year, EPDP conducted 13 officials tours/meetings with different parties and governments. Seven of the tours/meetings were to/with UN agencies; two with EU/Brussels; two in Gothenburg/Sweden; two to/in Berlin and Dortmund/Germany. The total visits in the past six years reached 72 including to places like Niami/Niger and Tunis/Tunisia. On top of this, the EPDP conducted 22 public diplomacy events. These include seminars and conferences at which Eritreans and non-Eritreans take part to discuss issues related to Eritrean refugees and the situation at home.
Publications:- Also during the period under review, the Foreign Office published and distributed six issues of Liberty, an English-language magazine containing mainly diplomatic efforts of the party. Also distributed to diplomatic circles were video clips and written materials on the Eritrean situation. The office published 36 issues of the English magazine since its first congress six years ago.
The Foreign Office Committee meeting also discussed the new work plan for the year ahead ending July 2018, and enriched it by proposing some details relevant to the situation of each EPDP regional committee.
Furthermore, the meeting urged that each Foreign Office sub-committee as well as each and every EPDP branch/zone in Australia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America to take very seriously the June 4 2017 party proposal for joint work with other sister organizations. Likewise, it called upon all party organs to start effectively implementing the upcoming Party Renewal plan being enhanced by the Commission for Party Renewal and scheduled to be reviewed every two months at extraordinary meetings of the EPDP Central Committee.