Sumario: 4 February 2009, New York - Statement on behalf of the European Union by H.E. Mr. Martin Palouš, Permanent Representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations, at the Peacebuilding Commission Informal Country-Specific Meeting on Burundi
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU countries.
First of all, I would like to welcome the high level delegation from Burundi. Your presence demonstrates the importance that the Government of Burundi devotes to the Peacebuilding Commission. I take this opportunity to also thank you, Mr. Chair and your team for the work accomplished, as well as BINUB and PBSO for their valuable support of the peacebuilding in Burundi.
We are pleased with recent positive developments in Burundi stated in the second biannual report of the implementation of the Strategic Framework for Peacebuilding.
The EU Countries welcome the outcome of the meeting of Heads of State of the Great Lakes and of the recent meeting of the Group of Special Envoys. It is imperative for all parties, that the momentum is not lost and that the adopted agreements are fully implemented
The implementation of the ceasefire agreement with FNL, the resumption of parliamentary activity, the efforts to improve political and economic governance create favourable conditions for achieving the goals of the Strategic Framework for Peacebuilding in Burundi.
We are convinced that the successful achievement of the peacebuilding tasks is possible only with the direct participation of all actors in the country - Governmental institutions, BINUB, civil society, women's organizations, the private sector, political parties, religious groups and international partners. The fact that all stakeholders actively participated in the preparation of this report is a very positive sign and adds enormously to its credibility.
In this context, EU countries welcome the positive development in the efforts to solve the land issues. The adoption of the national Land Policy Paper (with an active participation of the European Commission) and the Land Tenure Code, as well as the increase of the capacity of the National Commission on Lands and Other Property represent important steps in the right direction.
Despite the achieved positive results a lot of work remains to be done. An indispensable part of the global efforts is the fight against impunity. Two important tools will be the new Penal Code and amendment of the Code of Criminal Procedures. The EU hopes that the controversial provision of the Penal Code will be modified by the Senate.
EU countries are concerned with considerable delays in the set up of the transitional justice mechanism. More efforts should be done to fully profit from this important tool for the reconciliation of the whole country.
Successful development cannot be achieved without respecting the universal values of democracy, human rights, rule of law and good governance. The establishment of an Independent National Election Commission and the conduct of the free, fair and peaceful elections in 2010 will be an important milestone in the peacebuilding efforts in Burundi. The United Nations as stipulated in the Security Council Resolution 1858 (2008) stands ready to assist in the process of elections.
We encourage Government to intensify the efforts in the fields of human rights, in the promotion of the greater participation of the women and to further intensify the fight against corruption.
EU countries and the European Commission take an active part in the consolidation of the peace process by granting support to projects in some key areas such as the strengthening of the justice sector and the preparation of Land Registry Papers, support for good governance, support for civil society as well as by supporting activities with a direct impact on employment and economic development. For the period 2008-2013, the European Commission has earmarked more than 200 million Euros to support Burundi with a focus on rehabilitation and development of the rural areas and support to the health sector.
In conclusion, I would like reiterate the support of the EU countries for the implementation of the Burundi Strategic Framework for Peacebuilding. We wish the people of Burundi full success in their endeavours.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.