|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
7110th Meeting (AM)
Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2137 (2014), Security Council Maintains UN
Office in Burundi until Year’s End ahead of Transition to UN Country Team
Representatives of United States, Burundi Speak
The Security Council today extended until 31 December 2014 the mandate of the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB), also requesting the Secretary-General to prepare the Office’s transition and transfer of appropriate responsibilities to the United Nations country team by that date.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2137 (2014), the Council encouraged the Office, the Government, the Peacebuilding Commission, and bilateral and multilateral partners to form a transition steering group to map out international support to Burundi, in particular the transfer of functions currently provided by the Office which may be needed after the planned drawdown. It requested the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to finalize a transition plan by 15 May 2014.
By other terms, the Council encouraged Burundi to discuss the scope of the United Nations role “post-BNUB” in coordination with that Office, the country team and other relevant stakeholders. It encouraged the country team and United Nations agencies to scale up their programming during the transition and after the termination of BNUB’s mandate, urging the Secretary-General to ensure a “seamless” transition to the Resident Coordinator and country team management model as the Office departed.
Taking note of the Government’s request for a United Nations electoral observer mission before, during and after Burundi’s 2015 elections, the Council requested the Secretary-General to establish that mission immediately at the end of BNUB’s mandate and to report to the Council, before, during and after the polls.
For its part, Burundi was encouraged to continue its peace consolidation efforts — notably democratic governance, the fight against corruption and security sector reform — and to ensure that any constitutional review was carried out in both a constructive atmosphere and an inclusive manner. Dialogue among all national actors should be improved and space for all political parties guaranteed, including for the extra-parliamentary opposition. The Council welcomed Burundi’s contribution to United Nations and African Union peacekeeping operations, urging all international partners to support its efforts to enhance national security services.
By final terms, the Council requested the Secretary-General to keep it informed every 90 days of benchmarks, implementation of BNUB’s mandate and its transition to the country team, with an interim report by the end of July 2014 and a final report by 16 January 2015.
Speaking after the adoption, Jeffrey DeLaurentis (United States) said Burundi had made considerable progress since its conflict had ended, having become an “exporter” of peace and security through its deployments in peacekeeping and stabilization missions. But the current political stalemate and heightened tensions pointed to the continued need for BNUB to consolidate peace, democracy and reconciliation. The proposed constitutional amendments, among other issues, threatened power-sharing arrangements put in place at the signing of the 2000 Arusha Accords.
Burundi’s partnership with the mission, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the international community would be increasingly important ahead of elections in 2015, he continued, when inclusive dialogue and compromise would be required. The United States envisioned the mission playing a good offices role and looked forward to its assessment to the political and technical conduct of elections.
Herménégilde Niyonzima (Burundi) recalled that his Government had requested the Council to take into account the considerable progress Burundi had made to move towards a new form of cooperation with the United Nations. He understood concerns about the domestic political situation, saying: “I’m sure you only want the best for my country.” Indeed, Burundians had experienced years of political-ethnic conflict and sought to bury the hatchet. Political parties, the media and trade unions were all free to express themselves. The State intervened only in extreme cases to ensure public order. He had taken note of the Council’s recommendations and reiterated Burundi’s commitment to move towards peacebuilding.
The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 10:20 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2137 (2014) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its resolutions and the statements of its President on Burundi,
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of Burundi,
“Welcoming the continued progress that Burundi has made towards peace, stability and development and emphasizing the need for the United Nations system and the international community, including the international financial institutions and Burundi’s development partners, to maintain their support for peace consolidation and long-term development in Burundi,
“Commending the continued contribution of the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB) and the United Nations system to the country’s peace, security and development,
“Welcoming the organisation in 2013 by BNUB and the United Nations system, in close coordination with the Government of Burundi, of several Electoral Lessons Learned workshops and the adoption of an electoral road map in March 2013, and calling upon the Government of Burundi and all political parties to fully implement this road map and its recommendations,
“Encouraging further efforts from the Government of Burundi to ensure a space for all political parties, including from the extra-parliamentary opposition, and to continue improving dialogue between all relevant actors, including civil society, with a view to ensure a conducive, free and open environment for the run up to the 2015 elections,
“Reiterating the need for inclusive and broad-based consultations in the spirit of the 2000 Arusha Agreement, and welcoming in this regard the inclusive and constructive consultations held on 19 and 20 December 2013 in Kigobe on issues related to the Constitutional review process,
“Expressing concern for limitations on the freedom of press, of expression, of association and of assembly for opposition political parties, and for media and civil society organizations, especially in the run up to the 2015 elections,
“Noting the efforts made by the Government of Burundi to improve the human rights situation in Burundi, and remaining concerned by continued human rights violations and abuses, in particular reported extrajudicial killings, mistreatment of detainees and torture, and restrictions on civil liberties, notably acts of intimidation, harassment and violence committed by youth groups, and recalling that there should be no impunity for those responsible for these violations and abuses,
“Underscoring the importance of transitional justice mechanisms in promoting lasting reconciliation among all the people of Burundi, taking note that no significant progress has been made towards the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission since the draft law was submitted to Parliament in December 2012 as stated in the Secretary-General’s report, and recalling in this context the commitment of the Government of Burundi to establishing transitional justice mechanisms consistent with the results of the 2009 national consultations, Security Council resolution 1606 (2005) as well as the Arusha agreement of 28 August 2000,
“Recalling that Burundi is a State party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court since 2004, and has undertaken obligations to fight impunity for crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the Court, and emphasizing that the International Criminal Court is complementary to the national criminal jurisdictions,
“Stressing the importance of land issues for a lasting peace and security in Burundi, noting the commitment of the Government to addressing this complex issue, and encouraging the Government of Burundi and the Commission Nationale des Terres et autres Biens (CNTB) to handle land grievances and disputes in a non‑partisan manner and to also address land tenure in the broader context of socioeconomic development, bearing in mind the need to foster reconciliation and national cohesion, especially in the run up to the 2015 elections,
“Supporting the renewed commitment of Burundi to “zero tolerance” for corruption,
“Welcoming the continued engagement of the Burundi Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, encouraging the continued constructive cooperation between the Government of Burundi and the Peacebuilding Commission, and acknowledging the contribution that the Peacebuilding Fund has made to peacebuilding efforts in Burundi,
“Supporting the continued commitment of Burundi to regional integration and cooperation with neighbours, notably through the Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL), the East African Community (EAC), and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR),
“Recalling its resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013) and 2122 (2013) on women and peace and security, its resolutions 1674 (2006) and 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts and its resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), 1998 (2011), 2068 (2012) and 2122 (2013) on children and armed conflict,
“Having considered the latest report of the Secretary-General on BNUB (S/2014/36) and, in particular, the conclusions of the Strategic Assessment Mission and the analysis it contains of progress and remaining challenges in relation to the benchmarks transmitted to the Security Council by the Secretary-General pursuant to resolutions 1959 (2010), 2027 (2011) and 2090 (2013),
“Having also considered the request of the Government of Burundi, in particular the statement of its Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to the Security Council on 28 January 2014 regarding the transition of BNUB to a regular United Nations country team by 31 December 2014 and further noting its request for a United Nations electoral observer mission before, during and after the 2015 elections in Burundi,
“1. Extends until 31 December 2014 the mandate of BNUB, requesting it, consistent with paragraphs 3 (a) to (d) of the resolution 1959 (2010) and 2 (a) and (b) of the resolution 2027 (2011), to focus on and support the Government of Burundi in the areas (a) to (e) of resolution 2090 (2013);
“2. Requests the Secretary-General to prepare BNUB’s transition and the transfer of appropriate responsibilities to the United Nations country team by 31 December 2014 and to provide an update on this process in his written interim report to the Security Council;
“3. Encourages BNUB, the Government of Burundi, the Peacebuilding Commission and bilateral and multilateral partners to form a transition steering group to map the international community’s support to Burundi, in particular the transfer of functions currently provided by BNUB which may be needed after the Mission’s planned drawdown, and requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to finalise a transition plan by the 15 May 2014;
“4. Encourages the Government of Burundi to engage in discussions on the nature, activities and scope of the United Nations role post-BNUB in coordination with BNUB, the United Nations country team, multilateral and bilateral partners, the Peacebuilding Commission, and other relevant stakeholders;
“5. Encourages the United Nations country team and its component United Nations agencies to scale up their activities and programming during BNUB’s transition and after the termination of its mandate and factor such activities into the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, and urges the Secretary-General to ensure there is a seamless transition to the Resident Coordinator and United Nations country team management model as BNUB departs;
“6. Takes note of the request of the Government of Burundi for a United Nations electoral observer mission before, during and after the 2015 elections in Burundi and requests the Secretary-General to establish such a mission to follow and report on the electoral process in Burundi immediately at the end of BNUB’s mandate, and further requests this mission to report to the Secretary-General and the Secretary-General to the Security Council before, during and after the 2015 elections;
“7. Encourages the Government of Burundi to cooperate fully with the United Nations country team and with the United Nations electoral mission that is to be established;
“8. Recognizes the primary responsibility of the Government of Burundi for peacebuilding, security, protection of its population and long-term development in the country, and encourages the Government of Burundi to continue its efforts regarding peace consolidation challenges, in particular democratic governance, the fight against corruption, security sector reform, civilian protection, justice and the promotion and protection of human rights, with a special focus on the rights of women and children as well as people belonging to ethnic minorities;
“9. Encourages the Government of Burundi with the support of BNUB and other international partners to redouble its efforts to pursue structural reforms aimed at improving political, economic and administrative governance and tackling corruption, with a view to setting up strong drivers for sustained and equitable social and economic growth;
“10. Further encourages the Government of Burundi, with the support of BNUB and other international partners, and while recognizing Burundi’s prerogatives to adapt its organic law, to ensure that any constitutional review is undertaken in a constructive atmosphere and in a broad-based and inclusive manner, with the participation of political parties and relevant stakeholders, according to the letter and the spirit of the Arusha agreement of 28 August 2000;
“11. Calls upon the Government of Burundi to foster inclusive elections in 2015 by continuing to improve dialogue between all national actors, including civil society, and to guarantee a space for all political parties, including from the extra-parliamentary opposition, to exercise their freedom to organize and prepare themselves for the 2015 elections, and further calls upon the Government to ensure full and effective participation of women at all stages of the electoral process;
“12. Calls upon the Government of Burundi to pursue its efforts to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights and, together with its international partners, to support and strengthen the capacities of the National Independent Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman in accordance with General Assembly resolution A/RES/48/134 on national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, and further calls upon the Government to continue its fight against impunity and to take the necessary measures to ensure the full enjoyment of civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Burundi and in accordance with its obligations under international law;
“13. Calls upon the Government of Burundi to take further necessary steps to prevent human rights violations, in particular reported extrajudicial killings, mistreatment of detainees and torture, and restrictions on civil liberties, as well as acts of harassment, intimidation and violence committed by youth groups, limitations on the freedom of press, of expression, of association and of assembly of opposition political parties, media and civil society organizations, and to ensure that such human rights violations and restrictions of civil liberties are put to an end;
“14. Calls upon the Government of Burundi to take measures to fight impunity and support thorough, credible, impartial and transparent investigations, including by reinforcing the protection of victims, of their relatives and of witnesses, and to intensify efforts to ensure that those responsible for human rights violations and abuses as well as restrictions on civil liberties are held accountable;
“15. Calls upon the Government of Burundi to work with international partners and BNUB for the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms, including a credible and consensual Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help foster an effective reconciliation of all Burundians and durable peace in Burundi, in accordance with the results of the work of the Technical Committee, the 2009 national consultations, Security Council resolution 1606 (2005) as well as the Arusha agreement of 28 August 2000;
“16. Encourages the Government of Burundi to pursue its efforts of peace consolidation and reconstruction in a regional perspective, especially through projects fostering peace, reconciliation and exchanges within the East African Community, the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region;
“17. Further encourages the Government of Burundi, with the support of international partners as appropriate, to ensure the voluntary, safe and orderly return and sustainable reintegration of refugees to Burundi;
“18. Underscores the importance of security sector reform, welcomes Burundi’s contribution and active participation to United Nations and African Union peacekeeping operations, and urges all international partners, together with BNUB, to continue supporting Burundi’s efforts to professionalize and enhance the capacity of the national security services and the police, in particular through vetting for human rights violations, training on human rights and sexual and gender-based violence and promoting strong civilian oversight and monitoring, with the view to consolidating security sector governance;
“19. Calls upon the Government of Burundi, with the support of the Peacebuilding Commission and international partners, to honour its commitments on peacebuilding priorities as defined in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP‑II), and underscores the importance that international partners, in collaboration with the Government of Burundi, and with the support of BNUB, the United Nations system in Burundi and the Peacebuilding Commission, continue to support Burundi’s development efforts and ensure effective follow-up of mutual commitments taken at the Geneva Conference of Development Partners and at subsequent follow-up conferences to allow implementation of the PRSP-II and support the implementation of the new United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF);
“20. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council informed on the benchmarks, the implementation of the mandate of BNUB and this resolution, and the conditions that affect such implementation, as well as on BNUB’s transition to the United Nations country team, every 90 days, with a written interim report by the end of July 2014 and a final report by 16 January 2015, and further requests the Secretary-General to report every six months to the Security Council until after the 2015 elections;
“21. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
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