Press Releases

     
    For information only - not an official document.
      UNIS/SG/2676
        2 October 2000
     Secretary-General, Addressing Council Briefing on Burundi by Nelson Mandela,
    Praises Peace Efforts of Former South African President

      NEW YORK, 29 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following are the remarks of Secretary- General Kofi Annan, delivered to the Security Council this morning on the occasion of President Nelson Mandela’s briefing of the Council on peace efforts in Burundi:

     I would like to thank the Security Council for holding this meeting, which is very timely.  Most of all, I want to express my deep appreciation to President Mandela for travelling all the way to New York to brief the Council on the current phase of his peace efforts in Burundi.

     Thanks to President Mandela's work, the peace process has moved forward significantly.  The signing of the Arusha Agreement on 28 August, followed by the agreement on 20 September in Nairobi on the participation of the remaining three parties, is surely a very important milestone in Burundi's long and painful road to peace.  Let me reiterate our gratitude to President Mandela for the invaluable contribution he has made.

     As you know, the Arusha Agreement is a comprehensive blueprint for the reform of the Burundian society.  It addresses the root causes of the conflict, such as exclusion and genocide, as well as the tragic consequences of the war, including the plight of hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people.

     However, before this ambitious programme can be fully implemented, a number of obstacles must still be overcome, to which the Facilitator is now dedicating his time and effort.

     The United Nations is ready and willing to make its contribution to the success of these efforts -- for the sake of the people of Burundi, but also for the stability and prosperity of a troubled region, which could find a source of inspiration in a successful peace process in Burundi, for the negotiated settlement of its wider conflicts.

     I am grateful that Madiba is here with us today.  Let us listen to his assessment, and let us give him our unstinting support.  Thank you very much.
     

    * * * * *