Mary Robinson “encouraged” by Burundi’s President support to the peace framework

3 May 2013

Mary Robinson “encouraged” by Burundi’s President support to the peace framework

03 May 2013 - The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region today held talks in Kirundo (north) with Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza on the implementation of the Peace Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region.

Mary Robinson told media she was "encouraged by the President's strong support to the agreement of February 2013 and the need for its implementation as it will impact positively on peace, security and economic development. "So it is now time for implementation of the framework agreement."

President Nkurunziza stated that Burundi "stands ready to help DRC overcome the conflicts" and highlighted the role of regional integration institutions such as the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region in helping implement a lasting peace.

The Special Envoy who was in Burundi as part of the first visit to the region since her appointment in March 2013, also praised the "efforts" already made by President Nkurunziza regarding the framework agreement and stressed that "it was important to visit Kinshasa, Goma, Kigali, Kampala and Burundi".

"This is my first visit as Special Envoy. I very much wanted to seek the views of the President and his sense of how to make real progress this time on the framework agreement. There have been agreements in the past. This time it must be different", Mrs. Robinson underlined.

The Special Envoy and the President' discussions focused on the national mechanism to be put in place by DRC, the regional mechanism which will have its first meeting on 25-26th of May in Addis Abeba, at the African Union (AU) summit, and how "we develop the benchmarks for progress." Mrs. Robinson was accompanied by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Burundi, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga.

In Burundi, the Special Envoy also held meetings with the African Union Special Representative for the Great Lakes, the Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, a women's group, members of the diplomatic corps, and the UN Office (BNUB) team.

The Special Envoy departed Burundi for South Africa, the last stage of her regional tour aimed at encouraging the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region. The agreement was signed by 11 nations in February 2013 to end the cycles of conflict and crisis in the eastern DRC and to build peace.