19 February 2013 – The United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB) has invited all Burundi political actors for a workshop set for March 11-13 to draw lessons from the 2010 electoral process and to discuss “elements for a credible road map towards the organization of inclusive, transparent, free and fair elections in 2015” the Special Representative of the Secretary General today told the press.
“This workshop is not a routine activity. It has been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, which renewed the BNUB mandate on 13 February 2013. [It is organized] under the auspices of the United Nations and with the full support of the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, as well as Burundi’s partners. It forms part of the overall effort to help consolidate peace and Burundi’s democratic achievements”, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga said.
SRSG Onanga-Anyanga commended the Burundian Government, particularly the President of the Republic, for the excellent cooperation that has characterized the exchanges on this important event. “We are particularly grateful for their commitment to contribute to the success of the conference”, indicated the SRSG. He also welcomed the Government’s continued calls on politicians to return to Burundi. “IIt is auspicious that the Government is continuing to encourage the return of all Burundian political actors who are currently abroad, and that it has indicated its readiness to guarantee, with their collaboration, the appropriate conditions for their return and their security”, the Special Representative and Head of BNUB stated.
On the workshop, he emphasized that the discussions would not only centre on “identifying measures that can help assure a successful organization of the 2015 elections, including ensuring a conducive pre-electoral climate, but also, and in particular, on the delicate question of how to address post-electoral disagreements. It is a worrisome phenomenon that even where an electoral process is considered credible as a whole, the refusal to accept the verdict of the polls can sometimes become one of the main causes of post-electoral crises”, SRSG Onanga-Anyanga highlighted.
He added that an electoral victory should inspire moderation to “guide the actions of those in power to carry the weight and the responsibility of governing for the common good.”
Finally, the Special Representative made an appeal to all Burundian political actors “to further expand the dialogue that has already begun, and to work, from here forward, on strengthening their institutions and adopting a constructive attitude for the debates that will take place during the workshop and the entire pre- and post-electoral period.”