UNs Peacebuilding Commission recommends Burundi for Fund support

The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, in its second country-specific meeting, has decided to recommend strife-torn Burundi for assistance from a recently set-up Fund that aims to help countries emerging from conflict to rebuild and avoid descending again into bloodshed.The Commission, which met on Friday, was told by Burundi’s Foreign Minister, Antoinette Batumubwira, that her country –– which recently emerged from 12 years of civil war –– is now enjoying security, although there remains “sporadic banditry” and assistance was needed to achieve good governance and ensure respect for human rights.Participating in the meeting through video-conferencing was Burundi’s Vice-President, Mduwimana Martin, and it also heard expert testimony on the country’s needs from Nureldin Satti, acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Burundi, as well as representatives from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).The chairman of the Peacebuilding Commission, Ismael Abraão Gaspar Martins of Angola, said that once clear priorities had been identified, it was important to undertake concrete action to start delivering peace dividends for Burundi. He added there was an urgent need to build confidence, not only among the people of the country, but also among the main stakeholders.At the conclusion of the meeting, the Commission decided to advise Secretary-General Kofi Annan that Burundi should be considered eligible for funding from the Peacebuilding Fund, which was launched last Wednesday. The Chairman also said he would call for a second round of discussions on Burundi in December. Mr. Annan has described the multi-million dollar Fund as a “kick-start” for longer-term donor investment in recovery efforts. Member States have already contributed and pledged around $140 million to the Fund out of a target of $250 million but Mr. Annan highlighted the needs in many nations will be much greater than what the Fund can satisfy.The Fund is a key element in his efforts at reform of the UN which, along with the Commission, was requested by the General Assembly as a way to prevent countries emerging from war falling back into conflict. On Thursday, at its first country-specific meeting, the Commission recommend Sierra Leone for support from the Fund.

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