Annan greets Mandela's appointment as Burundi facilitator

Highlights of the Noon Briefing
By Fred Eckhard
Spokesman for the Secretary-General
UN Headquarters, New York
The Secretary-General welcomed the designation by the Eighth Arusha Regional Summit on Burundi of former South African President Nelson R. Mandela as the new Facilitator of the Burundi Preace Process. The Secretary-General "hopes that the prestige and authority of Mr. Mandela will reinvigorate the process in Arusha after the death of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere," the Spokesman said.

In view of the current political and security situation prevailing in Burundi, the Secretary-General viewed the designation of Mandela as a timely decision on the part of the regional leaders. He joined in their call on all the Burundi parties to extend maximum cooperation to the new Facilitator towards the successful and urgent conclusion of the peace negotiations.

He also reiterated his view that "there is no alternative to a negotiated settlement to the Burundi conflict," and pledged the United Nations' full support for the new Facilitator.