Burundi and Sierra Leone, two African States often cited as success stories in United Nations efforts to consolidate peace in countries that have been ravaged by conflict, today reported significant progress on the path to reconstruction in addresses to the General Assembly.
The two countries, both recovering from years of civil war and factional fighting, were the first to be put on the agenda of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) when it was set up in 2006, to prevent post-conflict nations from relapsing into bloodshed.
“Sierra Leone is on the threshold of transformation in its engagement with the Commission as well as its socio-economic development,” Foreign Minister Samura Kamara told the Assembly’s annual General Debate.
“With support from the Peacebuilding Commission and the Peacebuilding Support Office, as well as other international and local development partners, Sierra Leone continues to make significant gains in the areas of good governance, human rights, gender equality and the fight against transnational organized crimes.”
Burundian Foreign Minister Laurent Kavakure reported that substantial progress has been made in conjunction with the PBC. “In light of the notable advances already made since our country was put on the agenda of the Peacebuilding Commission, Burundi thinks it is time to progressively withdraw from the Commission’s agenda to leave room for other countries which have greater need,” he said.
Both ministers stressed the importance of the theme of this year’s 68th Assembly, which is to set the stage for long-term sustainable development in the decades following the end of the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) cycle, which seeks to slash extreme poverty and hunger and a host of other social ills.