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Meeting of the UN Peacebuiding Commission on Burundi

Statement delivered by Ambassador Stefano Stefanile, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Peacebuilding Commission Meeting – Country-specific Configuration: Burundi —

Thank you, Mr. Chair, for convening this timely meeting. It gives us the opportunity to reflect upon the recent developments. I would like also to thank Ms. Freeman and Mr. Conille for their presentations.

Italy noted the announcement made by President Nkurunziza not to seek another term in 2020 and we believe this is an important step that will contribute to reducing political tensions and to laying the ground for the preparation of peaceful elections.
It is our hope that this window of opportunity will allow the parties to make progress on the Inter-Burundian dialogue led by the East African Community. It is time for all stakeholders to engage actively and without preconditions in this dialogue, which is the only viable process for a sustainable political settlement in Burundi.

As noted by other delegations, it is important to stress that the measures taken by the European Union according to Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement are not sanctions.

As a matter of fact, it is time to create, through dialogue, conducive conditions for the resumption of the international assistance, in order to address the continuous humanitarian emergency. The Burundian population needs that.

In this regard, we express our full support for the proposal of a new round of socio-economic dialogue, to take place in Bujumbura. We hope that this will be an occasion to have an inclusive and fruitful dialogue between the Government and a wide range of international donors.

In conclusion, let me express our full support to you, Mr. Chair, for your leadership and for your decision of visiting Burundi next month. It will be another important occasion of engagement of the Authorities of Burundi with the PBC.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.