25 October 2006
Security Council
SC/8857

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5554th Meeting* (PM)


SECURITY COUNCIL ESTABLISHES INTEGRATED UNITED NATIONS OFFICE IN BURUNDI


TO ASSIST COUNTRY IN EFFORTS TOWARDS LONG-TERM PEACE, STABILITY


Resolution 1719 (2006) Adopted Unanimously;

Office Will Commence 1 January 2007, Following Conclusion of Current Operation


Welcoming Burundi’s progress in emerging from over a decade of civil conflict, but stressing its Government’s need for continued international support, the Security Council today decided to establish a new integrated office in the country for an initial period of one year, commencing 1 January 2007, following the end of the mandate of the current United Nations operation.


Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 1719 (2006), the Council requested that the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB) help support the Government in its effort towards long-term peace and stability and coordinate the work of the Organization’s agencies in the country under the leadership of the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General, who would also serve as Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Humanitarian Coordinator.


The resolution defines a range of responsibilities for BINUB as recommended in the Secretary-General’s latest report on the country (document S/2006/429/Add.1), while taking into account the role of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, which has taken on the consolidation of peace and stability in the country as one of its first tasks.


BINUB’s proposed responsibilities include support for demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants and reform of the security sector in the wake of the 7 September Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement that included the hold-out rebel group Forces Nationales de Libération(Palipehutu-FNL).


They also include the promotion and protection of human rights and measures to end impunity through a truth and reconciliation commission and special tribunal, as well as support for poverty-reduction efforts in the short, medium and long term.


Through the resolution, the Council also called upon Burundian authorities to follow due process in their investigations into the alleged August coup d’état.  In addition, it urged BINUB to take account of the rights of women in all its work and to consult with local and international women’s groups.


The meeting, which began at 12:26 p.m., adjourned at 12:30 p.m.


Resolution


The full text of resolution 1719 (2006) reads as follows:


The Security Council,


Recalling its resolutions and the statements of its President on Burundi, in particular its resolutions 1545 (2004) of 21 May 2004, 1577 (2004) of 1 December 2004, 1602 (2005) of 31 May 2005, 1606 (2005) of 20 June 2005, 1650 (2005) of 21 December 2005 and 1692 (2006) of 30 June 2006,


Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of Burundi, and emphasising the importance of national ownership by Burundiof peacebuilding, security and long-term development,


Congratulating again the people of Burundi on the successful conclusion of the transitional period and the peaceful transfer of authority to a representative and democratically-elected Government and institutions,


Welcoming the signature, on 7 September 2006 at Dar es Salaam, of a Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement between the Government of Burundi and the Forces Nationales de Libération (Palipehutu-FNL),


Paying tribute to the efforts made by the States of the Regional Peace Initiative, in particular Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania, and the facilitation efforts of South Africa in the service of peace in Burundi, welcoming the continued commitment and engagement of these States,andrecalling also the role played by the Burundi Partner’s Forum established at the summit meeting on Burundi held in New York on 13 September 2005,


Taking note with concern of reports of a possible attempt to perpetrate a coup d’état in Burundi and of the subsequent arrest of a number of political figures,


Reaffirming its support for legitimately elected institutions, andstressing that any attempt to seize power by force or derail the democratic process would be deemed unacceptable,


Calling upon the authorities and all political actors in Burundi to persevere in their dialogue on achieving stability and national reconciliation and to promote social harmony in their country, and underscoring the importance of successfully completing the reforms provided for in the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi, signed at Arusha on 28 August 2000, in the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement signed in Dar es Salaam on 16 November 2003 and in the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement signed in Dar es Salaam on 7 September 2006,


Calling upon the authorities also to persevere in their efforts to promote good governance, including through continued measures to combat corruption,


Emphasizing the need for the United Nations system and the international community to maintain their support for the security and long-term development of Burundi, inter alia by strengthening the capacity of the Burundian Government,


Expressing once again its gratitude to the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB), as well as to the African Mission in Burundi (AMIB) previously deployed by the African Union, for their important contribution to the successful completion of the transition process in Burundi and to peace in the region,


Welcoming the holding on 13 October 2006 of the first country-specific meeting of the Peacebuilding Commission on Burundi and taking note of the Chairman's summary of that meeting,


Having considered the seventh report of the Secretary-General, dated 21 June 2006 (S/2006/429), and the addendum thereto of 14 August 2006 (S/2006/429/Add.1), and welcoming his recommendation on the establishment of a United Nations integrated office in Burundi following the withdrawal of ONUB, with a view to providing continued peacebuilding assistance to the Burundian Government by strengthening national capacity to address the root causes of conflict,


Underscoring the need for a smooth transition from ONUB to the United Nations integrated office and to ensure the proper functioning of that entity,


“1.   Requests the Secretary-General to establish a United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi (Bureau Intégré des Nations Unies au Burundi, BINUB) as recommended in the addendum of his seventh report of 14 August 2006 (S/2006/429/Add.1) for an initial period of 12 months, commencing on 1 January 2007, to support the Government in its effort towards long term peace and stability throughout the peace consolidation phase in Burundi, including through ensuring coherence and coordination of the United Nations agencies in Burundi, under the leadership of the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General;


“2.   Requests that, once established, BINUB focuses on and supports the Government in the following areas, in coordination with donors and taking account of the Agreement concluded on 24 May 2006 by the Government of Burundi and the Secretary-General and of the role of the Peacebuilding Commission:


Peace consolidation and democratic governance


(a)   Strengthening the capacity of national institutions and civil society to address the root causes of conflict and to prevent, manage and resolve internal conflicts, particularly through reforms in the political and administrative spheres;


(b)   Strengthening good governance and the transparency and accountability of public institutions;


(c)   Promotion of freedom of the press and strengthening the legal and regulatory framework for the media and communications, and enhancing the professionalization of the media;


(d)   Consolidation of the rule of law, in particular by strengthening the justice and corrections system, including independence and capacity of the judiciary;


Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and reform of the security sector


(e)   Support for the implementation of the Dar es Salaam Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement of 7 September 2006;


(f)   Support for the development of a national plan for reform of the security sector, including human rights training, and provision of technical assistance for its implementation, including training and capacity-building for the Burundi National Police, and technical assistance to enhance the professionalization of the National Defence Force of Burundi;


(g)   Support for the completion of the national programme for the demobilization and reintegration of former combatants;


(h)   Support for efforts to combat the proliferation of small arms and light weapons;


Promotion and protection of human rights and measures to end impunity


(i)   Promotion and protection of human rights, including by  building national institutional capacity in that area, particularly with regard to the rights of women, children and other vulnerable groups, by assisting with the design and implementation of a national human rights action plan including the establishment of an independent national human rights commission;


(j)   Support for efforts to combat impunity, particularly through the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms, including a truth and reconciliation commission and a special tribunal;


Donor and United Nations agency coordination


(k)   Strengthening the partnership between the Government and donors for the implementation of priority, emergency and longer-term activities, within the framework of the Government’s Emergency Programme and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, which is being finalised;


(l)   Strengthening the Government’s capacity for donor coordination, effective communication with donors, and mobilisation of resources in line with the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, when finalised;


(m)   Ensuring effective coordination among the strategies and programmes of the various United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in Burundi;


“3.   Urges BINUB to take account of the rights of women and gender considerations as set out in resolution 1325 (2000) as cross-cutting issues in all the areas outlined in paragraph 2 above, including through consultation with local and international women’s group, and requests the Secretary-General, where appropriate, to include in his reporting to the Security Council progress on gender mainstreaming throughout the Integrated Office and all other aspects relating to the situation of women and girls, especially in relation to the need to protect them from gender-based violence;


“4.   Stresses the need for cooperation, within the limits of their respective capacities and current mandates, between BINUB and the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;


“5.   Welcomes the recommendation, in the addendum to the Secretary-General’s report, that the Integrated Office should be headed by an Executive Representative of the Secretary-General and that the latter should also serve as the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme and as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator;


“6.   Takes note of the benchmarks outlined in the Addendum to the Secretary-General’s report for gauging progress made by BINUB during its mandate, in particular as they relate to the priorities mentioned in paragraph 2 above, and of the proposed timeframe for the eventual transition to a primarily development-focused engagement, and reaffirms its willingness to adjust as appropriate the United Nations presence in Burundi during the peace consolidation phase, taking all circumstances into account;


“7.   Emphasizes that the Government of Burundi bears the primary responsibility for peacebuilding, security and long-term development in the country, and urges international donors to continue to support the Government’s efforts in those areas;


“8.   Urges the authorities and all political actors in Burundi to pursue the reforms agreed upon at Arusha and Dar es Salaam and to maintain the spirit of dialogue, consensus-building and inclusiveness that enabled them to achieve a successful transition in their country;


“9.   Encourages the Burundian authorities to continue to cooperate with the Secretary-General, including for the establishment of the mechanisms referred to in Council resolution 1606 (2005);


“10.  Calls upon the Burundian authorities, in their investigations into the alleged attempt to perpetrate a coup d’état, to follow due process and to respect the guarantees provided for by law and its international obligations;


“11.  Expresses its deep concern at reports of continuing human rights violations, and urges the Government to investigate all such reports, take the necessary steps to prevent further violations and to ensure that those responsible for such violations are brought to justice;


“12.  Calls upon the Government of Burundi and the Forces Nationales de Libération (Palipehutu-FNL) to expeditiously implement in good faith the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement, which they signed at Dar es Salaam on 7 September 2006, and to pursue their efforts to resolve outstanding issues in a spirit of cooperation;


“13.  Encourages the States of the Regional Peace Initiative and the South-African Facilitation to continue to work with the Burundian authorities to consolidate peace in their country and in the region;


“14.  Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Security Council regularly informed of the progress made in establishing the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi and, subsequently, to report regularly to the Council on the implementation of the present resolution, including with respect to the security situation and the human rights situation;


“15.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”


Background


The Security Council had before it the Secretary-General’s seventh report on the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB) (document S/2006/429) dated 21 June, and an addendum to that report (S/2006/429/Add.1) dated 14 August.  In the June report, the Secretary-General recommends that the withdrawal of ONUB be followed by the establishment of a small United Nations integrated office in Burundi, to be known as the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB), on 1 January 2007, for an initial period of one year.


The Secretary-General states that the Government has taken concrete steps to peacefully end the 13-year conflict.  He welcomes both the Palipehutu-FNL’s decision to negotiate without preconditions and the Government’s decision to engage in talks with the armed group.  The signing on 18 June of the Agreement of Principles towards Lasting Peace, Security and Stability in Burundi is an important step in the right direction.  The Government and Palipehutu-FNL, supported by regional and international partners, need to build on that momentum and ensure that a comprehensive agreement is concluded with minimum delay.


The Secretary-General says the United Nations will continue to provide the necessary technical assistance to the process, and stands ready to give due consideration to any request by the Government to assist in the implementation of such an agreement, including regarding its ceasefire arrangements, within available capacity, and taking into consideration the Government’s request for ONUB to withdraw by 31 December 2006.


He adds that the establishment of the proposed office would signal a shift in the United Nations focus of engagement in the country to reflect the positive developments in the peace process.   It would also help to ensure that the international community’s significant investment in that process is safeguarded through an adequate level of the Organization’s support for the Government’s peace consolidation effort.  In the meantime, he recommends a final extension of ONUB’s mandate until 31 December 2006.


In the addendum to the report, the Secretary-General outlines the proposed structure, mandate and requisite resources for BINUB, as well as benchmarks and proposed time frames for the completion of its mandated tasks.  Should the Council approve his recommendations concerning the integrated office’s establishment, the Secretary-General intends to seek resources for its funding from the General Assembly.


Taking into consideration the need to ensure a seamless transition in United Nations support to Burundi following the ONUB’s departure at the end of 2006, the Secretary-General notes that the successful implementation of BINUB’s proposed mandate will ultimately depend on the Government’s full support and engagement, as well as significantly enhanced bilateral and multilateral donor assistance.  Substantial financial support is required to address the immediate and longer-term reconstruction and socio-economic development requirements.


* *** *

__________


*     The 5553rd Meeting was closed.


For information media • not an official record