Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the international community to help Burundi continue its path towards peace and sustainable development.
"Today, more than ever, Burundi needs support," Mr. Ban said in a message to the first Sectoral Conference in the country, held in the capital, Bujumbura, delivered by his Special Representative for Burundi, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga,
"The country has already progressed along the long and difficult path towards peace and sustainable development. Now all stakeholders must come together to implement the recommendations of the Geneva Conference."
In his remarks, Mr. Ban also called on inclusive participation from all sectors of society, stressing this is essential to fight poverty and promote growth.
"The State holds primary responsibility for upholding its commitments but civil society, the private sector, religious and local communities and development partners must all play their part," he said. "The engagement of women and youth is especially critical to success."
Mr. Ban added that the Conference represented an essential step in efforts to ensure that the commitments made at the Conference of Development Partners in Geneva in October. During the Conference, more representatives from a range of countries identified ways to support Burundi's continued progress in reducing poverty and ensuring sustainable livelihoods. The international community also committed $2 billion to accelerate the country's development.
"I am grateful to the Government for organizing this Conference, which is an essential step forward in our common efforts to ensure that the Geneva commitments are realized. I also thank Burundi's partners for their engagement, which reflects an important degree of international solidarity," Mr. Ban said.
"Together, we can help Burundi to fight poverty, generate employment, promote fair economic growth, participate in regional integration, and reinforce the State while protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens."