Home / News / The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation meets the Diplomatic and Consular Corps and the Representatives of International and Regional Organizations

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation meets the Diplomatic and Consular Corps and the Representatives of International and Regional Organizations

On Thursday December9, 2021, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation His Excellency Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO met the Diplomatic and Consular Corps as well as the Representatives of International and Regional Organizations working in Burundi for a briefing and discussions on the issues of common interest.

 

In his speech, the Minister recalled that the Government of Burundi has put in place 6 absolute priorities to be taken into consideration for the year 2021. These are good governance, public health, development of the sector of agriculture and livestock, youth employment, repatriation of refugees and care for retired people.

For good governance, the Minister indicated that this is one of the priorities of the government which involves the eradication of the practice of corruption, the embezzlement of public funds, the mismanagement of state property, etc. In this regard, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation underlined that the mechanisms of direct denunciations through the suggestion boxes and other mechanisms such as the improvement of the legal framework, the national strategy of good governance have been put in place to deal with this scourge. In addition, the Government has strengthened the institutions of control and investigation, the court of accounts and the General inspection of the State and has set up the anti-corruption chamber within the high courts and the anti-corruption unit in within the judicial police. All of this system contributes significantly to the consolidation of the fight against corruption and bad governance.

Regarding the issue of Human Rights, the Minister informed the participants that Burundi has effective and efficient national and international mechanisms. He cited the CNIDH, the National Observatory for the Eradication of Genocide, the National Council for Unity and Reconciliation and the Institution of the Ombudsman, among others. In the context of monitoring the implementation of international principles and the protection of human rights, Burundi believes that the best way is through cooperation, dialogue, technical assistance and capacity building of national mechanisms working in this area.

According to Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, the principle of non-politicization, non-selectivity, objectivity, universality of human rights and the rejection of double standards are the only principles to be put forward in the protection and promotion of human rights.

In terms of freedom of opinion, the Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs mentioned that the National Communication Council (CNC) has approved since 2020, 10 communication agencies, 10 online newspapers, 4 radio channels, 4 channels community radio stations, a periodical newspaper and a production studio. He also underlined that the files of requests for authorizations and operations of other press organs are under analysis and the dialogue continues between the CNC and the representatives of the media under sanctions with a view to their reopening.

In the health sector, the Minister Albert SHINGIRO indicated that the Government of Burundi continues to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and other devastating diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS. Regarding COVID-19, Burundi has established a massive screening campaign, the search for contact cases, the management of positive cases and awareness of compliance with the health measures in force, etc. The Minister also underlined that the first vaccines arrived in Burundi on October 14, 2021, others are gradually following and the vaccine doses are taken in Burundi on a voluntary basis. The positivity rate has been 2% since the appearance of COVID-19, he clarified that this pandemic can only be mitigated or even wiped out through collective, united, sustainable action by all countries of the world without exception. Burundi like most other countries needs internal solidarity to face this serious health threat for the revival of its socio-economic development.

The Minister also spoke about advances in agriculture and animal husbandry as well as activities related to youth empowerment. Regarding the repatriation of Burundian refugees, he indicated that following the prevailing security situation in the country, citizens are returning massively, including political actors. More than 60,000 refugees returned voluntarily to the country, an increase of 126% compared to the refugees who returned in 2020 when 26,868 people returned back home. The Government’s wish is that the year 2022 will be a year of return to the homeland of all compatriots in exile, Minister Albert SHINGIRO said.

Apart from the absolute priorities of the Government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation cited other axes of capital importance for Burundi, in particular the protection of the environment, the collaboration of civil society with political parties, non-governmental organizations, the business climate, investments and international cooperation.

In the area of ​​the business climate, the Minister Albert SHINGIRO specified that the Government of Burundi is implementing various activities including business training, coaching of women entrepreneurs, monitoring of the operationalization of the area. the design of reforms to improve the business climate, support and multifaceted assistance to investors, the structuring and consolidation of constructive dialogue between technical and financial partners, between the Government and sectoral ministries as well as strengthening regional economic integration, particularly within the region, etc.

The recent decision of the Government of Burundi on the payment and obtaining of the visa at the Melchior NDADAYE Airport of Bujumbura for travelers with the required documents also falls within the framework of the opening of Burundi to the world, underlined the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation.

In terms of international and regional cooperation, the Minister Albert SHINGIRO welcomed the cancellation of the measures for placing under observation and suspension of multilateral cooperation by the international organization of la Francophonie, which recognized the many advances made by Burundi in terms of consolidation of peace, security and democracy in the country. In the same vein, the Minister welcomed the decisions of the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Security Council to remove Burundi from their political agenda. He also welcomed the recent decision of US President Joe Biden to lift the state of emergency concerning the situation in Burundi and the end of targeted sanctions against certain Burundian figures. He also took this opportunity to invite the European Union as a historic and important partner of Burundi to follow in the footsteps of the United States of America and other partners to finalize the ongoing process of lifting the sanctions.

For the new government policy strategy, Burundi adopted economic diplomacy, business diplomatic as a diplomatic mode of action. He explained that this is based on five pillars namely: the attractiveness of foreign investments, the transfer of technologies, the promotion of tourism, the gradual industrialization of the country as well as the development of infrastructure, the basis of structural transformation of the Burundian economy etc. He also spoke that in 2022, in Burundi there will be a general census of the population, agriculture and livestock the objective of which aims to contribute to the knowledge of the population of Burundi, of its foreseeable evolution and to provide users, in particular the public authorities, with updated reliable indicators. He invited everyone to make their contribution to the success of this activity, the cost of which is estimated at 52 billion Burundian francs.

Regarding the interventions of various participants, Minister Albert SHINGORO welcomed the messages of condolence in relation to the deaths which occurred in the central prison of Gitega after the fire which broke out in this house of detention. Regarding the new good neighbor policy, Minister Albert SHINGIRO said Burundi emphasizes good neighborliness with all countries. According to him, a neighbor can be good or not so good, “we do not have a bad neighbor”, stressed the Minister. In the case of Rwanda, Minister Albert SHINGIRO testifies that positive gestures that do not deceive are there to normalize diplomatic relations. All that remains is the handing over to Burundi of the putschists who are on Rwandan territory, otherwise all the stages have been taken, said the Minister.

Regarding HumanRrights and special mechanisms for the promotion of Human Rights, Minister Albert SHINGIRO indicated that this is the ideal to achieve. Some are advanced, some are less, and others are behind.

Hence, Burundi intends to put forward cooperation and capacity building as well as dialogue in terms of the protection of human rights. For the special mechanisms, the Minister was clear, the special rapporteur will not have the opportunity to visit Burundi, because its establishment was a forcing despite the total rejection of the African group, some countries have forced the creation of this special mechanism, he said. However, Burundi remains open for cooperation with the headquarters in Geneva and the dismemberment of the High Commissioner for Human Rights based in Yaoundé, Cameroon, through the CNIDH etc.

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