9 March 2006

Burundi Needs Support to Consolidate Hard-Won Peace, Says Secretary-General in Message to Bujumbura Conference

(Delayed for translation of text, originally delivered in French.)

NEW YORK, 28 February (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan's message to the Burundi Partners' Conference on the Priority Emergency Programme in Bujumbura, 28 February:

It gives me great pleasure to send my warmest wishes to this Conference.  Let me begin by congratulating the people of Burundi on the democratic elections held recently and the progress made since the transition.  An important stage in the country's process of socio-economic development has thus been completed.

However, much remains to be done.  The people of Burundi need our support to consolidate the hard-won peace and establish solid foundations on which to build a better future.  I, therefore, encourage all participants at this Conference to become involved in an active partnership for the sustainable development of Burundi.  In countries emerging from conflict, such as Burundi, reconstruction and development efforts are just as essential as activities to re-establish and maintain peace and must, therefore, be given the same attention and degree of priority by the international community.

It is my sincere hope that Burundi's partners will respond in great numbers to the appeal made by the Government on behalf of the people of Burundi.  At the same time, I urge all the people of Burundi to make a firm collective commitment to the process of reconstruction and development in order to benefit together from peace dividends.  You may rest assured that the United Nations system, for its part, will continue to support these efforts and work by your side for the well-being of all of the people of Burundi.

I wish you every success in your endeavours.

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