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Donors need to help sustain momentum of peace in Burundi - Ban Ki-moon

24 May 2007 United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today urged Burundi’s development partners to sustain the positive momentum in country as its Government and people struggle to emerge from devastating civil turmoil.

“Your engagement will remain critical,” Mr. Ban told the Donor Roundtable Conference on Burundi, which is convening in the capital Bujumbura today and tomorrow.

The country, which suffered decades of ethnic conflict pitting the Hutu majority against the Tutsi minority and has yet to implement its ceasefire with the last major active rebel group, has seen its economic and social infrastructure destroyed.

At today’s conference, Mr. Ban urged support for the Priority Action Programme prepared by the Government of Burundi, prepared in consultation with its partners, to overcome a those challenges.

Inclusive growth and employment generation, reforms in the security and justice systems, radical improvements in governance, transparency and human rights, were the priorities goals, he said.

“It is imperative that the Government make every effort to advance these goals,” he maintained, while also noting the commitment of the international community to assist.

Burundi is one of the first countries receiving support from the Peacebuilding Commission, the body set up by the United Nations in December 2005 to prevent countries emerging from conflict from falling back into chaos.

Mr. Ban recalled that in January, he approved an allocation of $35 million from the Peacebuilding Fund to support critical peacebuilding projects in Burundi.

“The United Nations is fully committed to helping the Government of Burundi develop national capacities to own, lead, manage, and account for the implementation of this Programme,” he confirmed, calling on donors to work within the Action Programme’s structure.

“No development results are sustainable if they are not based on clearly identified priorities,” he said. “Only then will the hard-won peace in Burundi be irreversible.”

UN efforts to help consolidate the peace in Burundi are coordinated by its Integrated Office in Burundi, known as BINUB, which replaced the peacekeeping operation in the country at the end of last year.



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