1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1719 (2006) dated 25 October 2006, by which the Council established the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB) and requested me to keep it regularly informed of progress in establishing the Office and in the implementation of the resolution. The report covers major developments in Burundi since 28 November 2006, including the launching of BINUB on 1 January and the status of implementation of the comprehensive ceasefire agreement, signed on 7 September 2006 by the Government of Burundi and Palipehutu-Forces nationales de libération (FNL). It also highlights the progress achieved and the remaining peace consolidation challenges.
II. Major developments on the ground
A. Conclusion of the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Burundi and the launching of the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi
2. The mandate of the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB) was successfully concluded on 31 December 2006. A public information campaign highlighting the achievements of the Mission was held to mark the event. As indicated in the Secretary-General's letter of 22 December 2006 (S/2006/1030), ONUB's last military contingent, the South African battalion, was re-hatted on 29 December to form the core of the African Union Special Task Force to support the implementation of the comprehensive ceasefire agreement.
3. The liquidation of ONUB has also proceeded smoothly, with most of the assets of ONUB already having been transferred to BINUB as at 30 April. As planned, the liquidation of ONUB is expected to have been completed by 30 June.
4. BINUB was formally established on 1 January 2007. The transition from ONUB to BINUB was well coordinated and involved all concerned Departments, programmes and agencies of the United Nations system, the Government and other partners. A sensitization campaign led by my Executive Representative for Burundi, Mr. Youssef Mahmoud, helped to familiarize senior Government officials, national non-governmental organizations, the media, civil society and international partners with the mandate and functions of the Office. In a ceremony held on 20 February, President Pierre Nkurunziza and my Executive Representative for Burundi formally inaugurated BINUB.
5. In close coordination with the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, the Government and other stakeholders, BINUB has focused, during its initial phase, on the establishment of an overall structure to ensure a cohesive United Nations approach to peace consolidation in Burundi. This has included the development of a United Nations integrated peace consolidation support strategy for the period 2007-2008, incorporating the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for 2005-2007. The support strategy, which was endorsed by the Government on 16 March, provides the overall framework for the activities of the United Nations system in Burundi, which have a direct bearing on peace consolidation during the immediate post-conflict phase.
6. Within this framework, joint thematic programmes in the areas of peace and governance, security sector reform and small arms and human rights and justice are also currently being finalized. These joint programmes aim to deliver targeted peace consolidation support to enable the Office to meet the benchmarks outlined in the addendum to the report of the Secretary-General of 14 August 2006 (S/2006/429/Add.1).