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Remarks to the Press by Ambassador Peter Wilson of the UK Mission to the United

Nations after Security Council consultations on Burundi


9 November 2015

Good evening, I wanted to come and give you some elements for the
press which we just agreed in the closed consultations on Burundi.
Following the open session we met in closed consultations and were
briefed further by Jeffrey Feltman who announced the appointment of
Jamal Benomar as the S-Gs Special Adviser on Conflict Prevention. His
priority will be to co-ordinate the UN systems response to the crisis in
Burundi.
Council members expressed their shock at the tone of the rhetoric used
by President Nkurunziza and the President of the Senate and were
concerned that the risk of the crisis becoming ethnic in nature was
increasing.
Many stressed that the African Union, along with the East African
Community, had a crucial leadership role to play with support of the
United Nations and other international partners.
Members of the Council expressed concern about the current state of
the political dialogue and urged immediate action to advance the
dialogue facilitated by the East African Community.
The Council takes note of the African Unions call for contingency
planning and looks forward to the commencement of such planning.
There was a clear appetite for action. France circulated a resolution that
expresses concern about the recent rhetoric, supports Jamal Benomars
appointment, calls for a strengthened United Nations presence in
Burundi, and urges contingency planning. We hope to agree this within
the next few days.

Thank you.
Question: Earlier this month Burundi was elected to the UN Human
Rights Council with 162 votes so obviously some from the EU. Do you
think there could be any kind of reconsideration of that given what
youve heard in this meeting? The UN uses Burundian peacekeepers in
CAR which from the document that Ive seen, they dont even have the
right equipment. Given their involvement in violence in the country is
there or could there be some review or vetting for that?
Firstly on the Human Rights Council, I think one advantage of having
Burundi on the Human Rights Council is that we can tackle them there
as well as here. So I would say that this is an issue that is of concern in
Geneva as well as New York and I think they will be using every
opportunity that they have to talk to Burundi and to actually get a real
response and not the kind of response that we heard from the Burundian
Foreign Minister earlier which despite repeated entreaties to listen to the
President of the Security Council, trying to get him to observe the same
time restrictions as everybody else he simply turned a blind eye. I think
thats an illustration of a much wider point about how Burundi is not
listening to the rest of the international community.
On peacekeepers, I think this is a big issue. I think its something that
certainly that needs to be looked at in a wider context of what response
we take to the events in Burundi right now. I wouldnt urge precipitous
action on that, but I think its one of the issues we need to collectively
consider.