January 2013 Monthly Forecast

Posted 21 December 2012
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AFRICA

Burundi

Expected Council Action

In January, the Council expects a briefing on Burundi by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB), Parfait Onanga-Anyanga (Gabon). A Secretary-General’s report with data, assessments and observations to guide the mission’s eventual evolution into a country team is expected mid-month. The chair of the Burundi configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), Ambassador Paul Seger (Switzerland), is also expected to brief. The briefing will be followed by consultations.

No Council action is expected in January but the briefing will likely help members start preparing for BNUB’s mandate renewal before it expires on 15 February 2013.

Key Recent Developments

The Council last discussed Burundi on 5 July, following a briefing by Karin Landgren (Sweden), the outgoing Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of BNUB and by Seger. On 7 June, the Secretary-General appointed Onanga-Anyanga. 

Developments in the Peacebuilding Commission

On 21 November, the PBC’s Working Group on Lessons Learned discussed the relationship between the PBC and the Security Council with particular focus on the transition of UN missions in PBC-agenda countries. Some states stressed that the PBC could advise the Council on key peacebuilding goals and the level of commitment to meet these goals during a mission’s downsizing while also contributing to transition planning and benchmarking.

Seger is scheduled to visit Burundi in January to assess what role the PBC should play in 2013, in particular if BNUB is downscaled.

Human Rights-Related Developments

Burundi’s human rights record will be scrutinised on 24 January under the Universal Periodic Review process of the Human Rights Council. Burundi submitted its national report on 21 November 2012. 

Key Issues

A key immediate issue is assessing whether Burundi has achieved further progress and how it should be reflected in BNUB’s mandate.

A longer-term issue will be whether the country is approaching a stage when the mission should transition into a UN country team.

A further issue is addressing the role of the PBC in relation to Burundi and possible modifications to BNUB.

Council Dynamics

Council members see the current BNUB arrangements as a transition phase. During the last mandate renewal in December 2011, some members emphasised the importance of taking into account the position of the government and the need for benchmarks for BNUB’s eventual withdrawal. Some will also want to develop further BNUB’s cooperation with the PBC (which seems to have improved in the last few months) on the grounds that the PBC should be involved in the evaluation process.

The lead country on Burundi is France.

UN Documents on Burundi

Security Council Resolutions  
20 December 2011 S/RES/2027 This resolution extended BNUB mandate until 15 February 2013.
Security Council Meeting Records  
5 July 2012 S/PV.6799 The Council heard a briefing by Karin Landgren, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and outgoing head of BNUB .
Security Council Letters  
10 May 2012 S/2012/310 This letter contained benchmarks and indicators for the future evolution of BNUB.