BUJUMBURA September 27th (ABP) – The Burundi Head of State, Evariste Ndayishimiye, who since Monday September 20, has participated in the 76th ordinary session of the United Nations General Assembly, addressed Thursday September 23, 2021, a speech in front of that assembly to inform them of the politico-economic-security situation which prevails in the country.
On the socio-economic side, the Head of State said that Burundi, like other countries, cannot take a step towards development without resolving issues of health, education, management of particular groups such as young people, women, the vulnerable and the underprivileged.
In the health sector, the Covid-19 pandemic, which adds to other raging diseases such as malaria, HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis and others, is of concern to the government of Burundi.
Regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, “since the appearance of the first cases, Burundi has taken prevention and response measures to this pandemic and all our strategies have made it possible to maintain the positivity of the tests at a rate less than 3% and avoid large incidences of severe forms”.
However, the complexity of the virus calls on all the nations of the world to do more research and ingenuity to find a united, collective, sustainable and even definitive solution to this pandemic which is disrupting all of humanity, said the Head of the State.
In the same vein, he also appealed for international solidarity to rescue the Burundians from other diseases that hamper their action for economic development. It is within this framework, according to him that the government of Burundi is implementing its policy of free health care for children under five and women who give birth in public health structures. He stressed that the government is committed to providing each commune with at least one hospital to provide local care to the entire Burundians.
In terms of effective economic development, the priority is food security first, according to President Ndayishimiye. “Our bet is that every mouth has to eat, and every citizen has an income allowing him to meet other basic needs.” This is how the State of Burundi is committed to supporting local cooperatives in the fight against poverty on all the hills of the country. This policy makes Burundi one of the few countries that does not import food, the Head of State said.
Speaking of education which is another priority of the country, President Ndayishimiye welcomed that education for all is on the UN agenda and that Burundi finds it a sine qua non of the sustainable development program. “We first ensured that basic education was free to allow every child to go to school regardless of their social situation. It is in that same order that we have decided to install a school infrastructure at each census village and vocational training centers. We are now working to reform the education system to make it a technical and vocational education, which will create a youth technically capable of being versatile in the exercise of economic activities in all sectors”, he said.
As for social protection, underlined the head of state; it is about bringing into play the questions of the joblessness of young people and women and the improvement of the living conditions of people in vulnerable situations.
To do that, while encouraging young people to use their imagination to initiate development projects, Burundi has launched a vast program of economic empowerment and youth employment in addition to the creation of the Investment Bank. for Young People (BIJE), and the Investment Bank for Women.
In addition, in order to achieve its objectives in relation to job creation and development, the State of Burundi, via the Impulse, Guarantee and Support Fund (FIGA), offers part of the guarantees profitable projects initiated and managed by young people and women.
In addition to these axes cited, Burundi mentioned the repatriation of refugees and the care of retirees.
Thanks to the restored peace and security, Burundian refugees, including political actors, are returning in group and are welcomed with love and dignity, he said, adding that from July 2020 to the present day, more than 75,000 refugees are voluntarily returned in more than 50,000 who did not pass by the specialized organizations of the UNO.
As for retirees, the main objective is to take care of the elderly in general, ensuring their medical care and improving their pensions.
The Head of State also informed the United Nations General Assembly that to restore hope to all citizens as a whole, the government launched this year, a national program to capitalize on peace, social stability and the promotion of economic growth. He hopes that this program will benefit from the support of all of Burundi’s development partners to boost socio-economic development, capitalize on peace and provide citizens with a Burundi of hope after long periods of conflict.
Another axis to which Burundi attaches great importance is the protection of the environment, with its adherence to some twenty related international conventions, according to the Head of State.
In that context, Burundi is making every effort to mobilize the means of financing projects related to biodiversity, water pollution control, soil protection, protection of the ozone layer and organic pollutants, to notably through its ambitious project: “Ewe Burundi urambaye”, which means Burundi covered in its entirety.
On the diplomatic and cooperation level, he stressed that Burundi is committed to normalize and promote its relations of friendship and cooperation with its bilateral and multilateral partners, and to regain its rightful place in the concert of Nations.
In that regard, “My country once again welcomes the historic decision of the United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council to remove Burundi from their political agendas in recognition of the return of lasting peace, security and stability in the country. Likewise, Burundi welcomes the progress already achieved in the process of normalizing its relations of friendship and cooperation with the European Union and its member states through a political dialogue conducted in a constructive and respectful spirit between the two parties. “, he added.
At the continental level, President Ndayishimiye is delighted that Burundi has ratified the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (Zlecaf), the ultimate objective of which is to eventually integrate all 55 States of the African Union within the same free trade bloc.
All this to meet the aspirations set out in Agenda 2063 aimed at creating a continental market with the free movement of people, goods and services which are essential for strengthening economic integration. “For this, Burundi, with Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, we are on a better track by initiating the railway project that will link the port of Dar-Es-Salam to Burundi and to the east of the DR Congo”.
In concluding his remarks, the Head of State underlined that Burundi supports the concerted action of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to promote the reform of the United Nations in order to revitalize this common organization and make it more effective, more efficient, more accountable and closer to the populations of the world. He added that Burundi enthusiastically welcomes its report on the common agenda, which it sees as the starting point for joint efforts. “In this context, being the only continent not represented in the group of permanent members of the Security Council and under-represented in the category of non-permanent members, Africa continues to suffer the historical injustice of exclusion in that extremely important for all of us,” stressed the Burundi Head of State.