Burundi, which with United Nations help returned to relative stability after decades of conflict that killed hundreds of thousands of people, has appealed to the world body and the international community at large to continue their support on the road to economic development.
Addressing the General Assembly over the weekend, Second Vice President Gervais Rufyikiri outlined the progress his small Central African country’s has already made and highlighted its own contribution in trying to bring peace in other war-torn countries by sending troops to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
He noted that for the first time in Burundi’s history a democratically elected government completed its term with the holding of elections observed by the UN and other organizations as the country seeks to fulfil a programme of socio-economic development.
“This ambitious required the consistent support in its realization. Without a doubt Burundi needs multiple forms of diversified help,” he said.
“Thus it is that we take advantage of this podium to launch a fervent appeal to the international community, the United Nations system, your respective countries and charitable organizations to continue their indefatigable support for the Government of Burundi with the ultimate aim of laying the foundations of a durable development and the permanent consolidation of the gains of peace, democracy, stability and reconciliation.”
Having benefited from UN and other international support in achieving its own stability, Burundi remains deeply concerned with the issues of maintaining international peace and security, he added, calling for increased UN support for AMISOM, so far manned by Burundi and Uganda, and appealing to other countries to contribute “so that it can be a truly continental force up to the task it faces.”
As other African leaders have done in the past week, Mr. Rufyikiri also used his address to the Assembly to call for reform of the Security Council, proposing that Africa have two permanent seats “with all the privileges granted the [current] five permanent members.” This would grant the two new continental members the veto rights currently restricted to China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
He also called for increased representation for developing countries on global economic organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Central African Republic (CAR) today joined the chorus of States calling for greater African representation. “Any viable Council reform must take into account the political and numerical weight of Africa in the General Assembly, above all because two thirds of the issues on its agenda concern the continent,” Foreign Minister Antoine Gambi said.
He also called for an approach to the crisis of hunger based on promoting agriculture in developing countries, with food aid only being used in exceptional emergencies.