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人权理事会召开关于防止布隆迪人权局势进一步恶化的特别会议(部分翻译)

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2015年12月17日

人权理事会
2015年12月17日

人权理事会今天上午召开关于防止布隆迪人权局势进一步恶化的特别会议。

特别会议在美国等19个会员国和29个观察员国的请求下召集,人权理事会主席约阿希姆·卢埃克(Joachim Rücker)大使表示。

联合国人权事务高级专员扎伊德·拉阿德·侯赛因表示,布隆迪的局势一触即发,濒临内战边缘,暴力和恐吓事件让这个国家瞬间回到了过去——回到了布隆迪问题重重、黑暗且充满恐怖暴力的过去。现在不再是采用零星对策和蒙混过关的时候了;布隆迪的局势需要国际社会强力而果断的对策。主要责任当然在于国家当局,它们可以立即采取许多具体的行动来缓和局势。这些严重侵犯和践踏人权行为的肇事者必须刻不容缓地受到惩罚,高级专员强调称。

联合国秘书长防止灭绝种族问题特别顾问阿达马·迪昂(Adama Dieng)警告称,该国似乎濒临可能升级为暴行罪的暴力边缘。每天发生的严重人权侵犯行为完全不受惩罚,对高级别个人的暗杀是明确的预警信号,应提醒所有人暴行罪的风险。迪昂先生对布隆迪双方领袖利用族裔性以及与卢旺达灭绝种族前和灭绝种族期间类似语言的使用表示关切。

境内流离失所者人权问题特别报告员兼特别程序协调委员会主席迈克·阿德(Michael Addo)对布隆迪人权状况恶化骇人深表关切。布隆迪恶劣状况持续存在不可接受,特别是对于一个刚入选人权理事会的国家而言。理事会有独特的机会来处理布隆迪极度动荡的局势,这要求在对实地人权侵犯行为作出公正评估的基础上立即采取果断回应,不管受害者或肇事者的身份为何或隶属于谁。

非洲联盟政治事务专员艾莎·拉拉巴·阿卜杜拉伊(Aisha Laraba Abdullahi)再次重申对布隆迪局势深表关切并强烈谴责所有暴力行为和侵犯人权行为,又提到了加剧该局势的声明。只有让布隆迪所有利益攸关者参与的包容性对话才能让布隆迪克服严峻的挑战并防止局势彻底破坏签署《阿鲁沙和平协议》以来取得的成绩。

布隆迪作为当事国发言,并表示,6月以来,布隆迪在人权理事会常会期间一直呼吁国际社会在危机上的责任。布隆迪对一些外国公众人士的声明表示谴责,这些声明故意掩盖当地的实际情况以影响整个世界,旨在支持激进反对派,这反过来打击了民主选举的机构,以建立过渡政府并由此在未获得布隆迪人授予的合法性的情况下占领主要职务。令布隆迪震惊的是,在其他国家被定义为恐怖主义的袭击只受到国际社会部分国家怯生生的谴责。半沉寂状态可以解读为是对激进反对派和武装犯罪团体的支持,这可能引发新的试图破坏稳定的行为。

发言者在讨论中表示,他们对布隆迪人权和安全状况的恶化十分关切,对暴力和严重侵犯人权行为表示强烈的谴责。布隆迪可以选择采取包容性的对话之路,以实现可持续的政治对话,或继续保持不妥协的态度,慢慢走向内战​​。布隆迪政府在导致当前危机上难辞其咎,因为它拒绝与对手接洽导致布隆迪处于灾难边缘。这提醒政府,其首要责任是保护人民免遭人权侵犯行为和暴力行为。

一名发言人呼吁在未提前与相关国家协商的情况下拒绝人权理事会多次提出的倡议。人权理事会的这种行为不符合人权目标,破坏了人权理事会的可信度和客观性,是适得其反的。另一名发言人表示,任何试图以人权为借口干预一国内政的行为都应该是没有道理的。应理解消除人权领域的政治化,选择性和双重标准。


以下代表团进行了讨论:代表欧洲联盟的卢森堡,法国,美国,日本,阿尔及利亚,尼日利亚,加蓬,中国,爱沙尼亚,德国,黑山,阿根廷,韩国,爱尔兰,荷兰,英国,前南斯拉夫马其顿共和国,俄罗斯,委内瑞拉,巴西,越南,墨西哥,加纳,玻利维亚,乌拉圭,罗马教廷,安哥拉,韩国,澳大利亚,加拿大,奥地利,巴拿马,土耳其,斯洛文尼亚人民民主共和国前南斯拉夫马其顿共和国,智利,比利时,瑞士,埃及,吉布提,伊朗,挪威,希腊,列支敦士登和西班牙。

人权理事会将于今天下午3点继续讨论,对关于防止布隆迪人权状况进一步恶化的草案决议采取行动。

人权理事会主席的声明

人权理事会主席约阿希姆·卢埃克(Joachim Rücker)在关于防止布隆迪人权状况进一步恶化的人权理事会第二十四届特别会议上作开幕致辞,他表示,12月11日收到美国关于召开理事会特别会议的请求。

请求得到了理事会以下会员国的支持:阿尔巴尼亚,阿根廷,萨尔瓦多,爱沙尼亚,法国,德国,加纳,爱尔兰,日本,拉脱维亚,墨西哥,黑山,荷兰,葡萄牙,韩国,前南斯拉夫马其顿共和国,英国和美国。请求也得到了以下观察国的支持:澳大利亚,奥地利,比利时,保加利亚,加拿大,智利,哥伦比亚,克罗地亚,塞浦路斯,捷克共和国,丹麦,芬兰,希腊,匈牙利,意大利,立陶宛,卢森堡,马耳他,摩纳哥,挪威,巴拿马,波兰,罗马尼亚,斯洛伐克,斯洛文尼亚,西班牙,瑞典,乌克兰和乌拉圭。

联合国人权事务高级专员发表的声明

联合国人权事务高级专员扎伊德·拉阿德·侯赛因表示,布隆迪的局势一触即发,濒临内战边缘。4月26日以来,至少已有400人被杀害——实际死亡人数可能还要高出许多。其中,可能有多达68人在11月被法外处决。至少3496人因为与政治危机有关而遭到逮捕。一些人权维护者和独立记者已经逃离这个国家并躲藏起来。目前有22万人在邻国成为了难民,还有许多人在境内流离失所。

高级专员表示八个月前他走访了布隆迪,我亲眼见到了十分令人担忧的紧张气氛、恐吓、压迫和日益增多的仇恨言论不断酝酿。布隆迪当时正处于十字路口,当局、政治和反对派领袖及其支持者面临着一个关键的选择——和平之路和暴力之道之间的抉择。上周的屠杀证实,暴力和恐吓事件的严重性让这个国家瞬间回到了过去——回到了布隆迪问题重重、黑暗且充满恐怖暴力的过去。现在不再是采用零星对策和蒙混过关的时候了。

布隆迪的局势需要国际社会强力而果断的对策。我上个月呼吁安理会考虑所有可能的措施来制止持续的暴力,防止一场区域冲突,包括使用旅行禁令和资产冻结手段。今天,那些呼吁比以往都更具有相关意义。外交和政治考量不得压倒行动的必要性。上周末的大屠杀只使得急需的政治解决方案更难以实现。当局、政治反动派和民众之间的信任几乎荡然无存。这种情况需要国际社会紧急、协调一致且果断的关注。令人担忧的对结社自由和言论自由的严厉限制仍在继续。必需药品的库存正在减少,妇女和5岁以下的儿童面临着特殊的营养和健康风险,粮食不安全性仍然极高。

努力得出当前危机的和平解决方案,这是我们欠布隆迪人民的。主要责任当然在于国家当局,它们可以立即采取许多具体的行动来缓和局势。首先,布隆迪政府采取一切必要措施,解除亲政府武装民兵的武装,包括针对远望者(Imbonerakure)民兵,并让警察、情报部门和其他安全部队的行动符合法律规定。高级专员遗憾的是,当局尚未对大量严重侵犯和践踏人权案件开展有效调查,如法外杀人的报告,包括带有种族意味的。人权高专办随时准备着在非洲机构的参与下协助国际调查。政府也必须无条件地下令国家工作人员立即停止一切酷刑行为,对酷刑或其他严重人权侵犯行为的肇事者问责。政府必须立即努力恢复公众的信心。每发生一起法外处决、一次任意逮捕和一次政治压迫,这项任务就会变得更加困难。这些严重侵犯和践踏人权行为的肇事者必须刻不容缓地受到惩罚。目前人权侵犯行为的肇事者以及不明身份武装团体的成员依然逍遥法外,这使得个人日益暴力践踏法律。需要独立且有效的调查并伸张正义。要根据法治找到那些被任意关押在不明地点的人。

布隆迪政府、人权理事会和更广泛的国际社会都承担着一项明确的义务,支持目前非洲人权和人民权利委员会在布隆迪的实况调查和非洲联盟解决有罪不罚的行动,包括通过九名目前在现场的人权观察员。非盟和平与安全理事会的努力应该得到我们的全力支持,应尽快部署100名观察员的完整队伍。实况调查的结果应尽快公布。为了让政治对话有意义,我们需要坚定的承诺——这意味着每个人,尤其是那些明显反对当局意见的人,包括那些流亡的人,必须参与其中。需要非常密切地监测与邻国接壤的边界。应该把使用无人机作为一种监测方法。人权理事会和全体会员国——特别是布隆迪的邻国——现在必须发挥建设性作用,坚持在布隆迪人之间开展包容而可信的对话,尊重人权,消除有罪不罚现象,并致力于终结暴力的使用。

Keynote Statements

ADAMA DIENG, Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, said that this Special Session was taking place at a very critical juncture of the crisis in Burundi. Mr. Dieng said he had briefed the Security Council in November 2015 and had warned that although the crisis was primarily political in nature, there was a risk that continued manipulation of ethnicity by the leaders of both the ruling CNDD-FDD (Conseil national pour la défense de la démocratie-Forces de défense de la démocratie appelé communément) and opposition parties could change the trajectory of this crisis and lead to targeted attacks based either on political affiliation or on ethnic identity. This was unfortunately what had happened and the country appeared to be on the verge of a descent into violence that could escalate into atrocity crimes. Grave human rights violations were occurring daily with total impunity, including summary execution of civilians, disappearances, excessive use of force in the conduct of security operations, arbitrary arrests, illegal detention and torture. Assassinations of high-profile individuals affiliated with both the ruling party and the opposition were clear warning signs that should alert the international community to the risk of atrocity crimes. Mr. Dieng expressed concern at the manipulation of ethnicity by Burundian leaders on both sides and the use of language similar to that used before and during the Rwandan genocide, in particular the repeated use of the word gukora, which meant “to work” in Kirundi, and was used to incite people to commit genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

Burundi was at a crossroads and the international community must pay attention. No one should underestimate what was at stake. The civil war between 1993 and 2005 had cost over 300,000 lives and had displaced more than one million persons. The country was at another tipping point now and the international community could not afford to stand by as it did at that time, and must take urgent measures to deter further violence and prevent the current crisis from escalating. Such measures could include full support to the African Union Peace and Security Council decisions and the deployment of human rights monitors and investigators from the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, urge Burundi to cooperate with regional and international actors and put an end to the current cycle of violence, establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate ongoing violations in Burundi, and support the International Criminal Court to open preliminary investigations into possible crimes committed in Burundi, including incitement to violence. In closing, Mr. Dieng stressed that given the clear information about the gravity of the situation, the international community would not be able to claim, if a full scale conflict erupted, that “we didn’t know”; the international community had the responsibility to protect Burundians and to prevent the commission of atrocity crimes.

MICHAEL ADDO, Chairperson of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, expressed the Committee’s deep concerns at the appalling deterioration of the human rights situation in Burundi, as demonstrated by the recent killings that took place over the weekend in the country, which sharply increased the risk of recurring mass violence in the Great Lakes region. For the past eight months, numerous calls had been made to alert the Human Rights Council and the Security Council to the spiral of violence that started in late April, when President Nkuruyiya’s candidacy for a third term was announced and peaceful protests were met by a violent crackdown by security forces. More calls for immediate attention had been made in June/July of this year, with a warning that elections, if undertaken in the prevailing climate of repression and insecurity, were highly likely to result in major instability and confrontation. In September, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence stressed that the ‘tradition of impunity’ in Burundi’s past decades clearly enabled the recent repression of violence.

This persistence of the dire situation in Burundi was unacceptable, especially for a country that had just been elected to the Human Rights Council, the Members of which were expected to uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights. In this regard, Burundi was urged to make its commitment a reality for its people. The Human Rights Council had a unique opportunity to address the highly volatile situation in Burundi, which required a resolute and immediate response. Such a response rested upon an impartial assessment of human rights violations on the ground, irrespective of the identity or affiliation of the victim or the perpetrator. Such a response would break the “tradition of impunity” which lay at the heart of most of the country’s difficulties. The Committee called upon the Human Rights Council to scale-up its monitoring and preventive function in relation to Burundi, including by establishing a mechanism that would be able to assess the situation and be deployed without delay in order to respond to the urgency of the situation. Other United Nations institutions including the Security Council had to also respond to the situation in Burundi with unequivocal robustness. Any initiative had to include a strong human rights component.

AISHA LARABA ABDULLAHI, Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union, reiterated deep concern about the situation in Burundi and the strong condemnation of all acts of violence and violations of human rights and the statements that inflamed the situation. Only inclusive dialogue involving all Burundian stakeholders would enable Burundi to overcome the serious challenges and prevent the situation from totally undermining the gains made since the signing of the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation. The Commission of the African Union had deployed in Burundi in July 2015 a team of ten human rights observers and five military experts, who were reporting on possible violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in an independent, transparent and credible manner. They reported that the situation continued to deteriorate and remained of concern. Ms. Abdullahi reiterated the determination of the African Union to fully assume its responsibilities as a Guarantor of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Burundi. The Peace and Security Council of the African Union had expressed deep concern over the deterioration of the security situation marked by political assassinations and increased violence, and the deteriorating humanitarian situation, and appealed to the international community to continue to provide humanitarian relief to internally displaced persons and refugees.

In order to support African solutions for African problems, the Commissioner reiterated the African Union’s support to the mediation efforts led by the President of Uganda on behalf of East African Community and urged the Government of Burundi and all other stakeholders to lend him their full cooperation, to fully implement all decisions made by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to expedite political dialogue and refrain from committing further violations of human rights, and to fully respect international humanitarian law. Ms. Abdullahi stressed that the political support of the international community, including the Human Rights Council, to the African Union’s efforts was necessary to ensure a successful dialogue that would pave the way for an ever-lasting peace in Burundi. She also reiterated the call to the United Nations Security Council and its members to fully support efforts led by Africa to reach a peaceful political solution to the crisis in Burundi, which would ensure full protection of human rights and rule of law.

Statement by Burundi as the Concerned Country

Burundi, speaking as the concerned country, said that since June, during the Human Rights Council regular session, Burundi had been calling upon the responsibility of the international community regarding the crisis. Burundi denounced the statements of some foreign public figures, which deliberately masked realities on the ground in order to influence the world, with the aim to support the radical opposition, which in turn attacked the democratically elected institutions in order to install a transition Government and thus occupy leading positions without having been given legitimacy by the people Burundi. Burundi was astonished that attacks qualified as terrorism in other countries were timidly denounced by part of the international community. The quasi-silence could be interpreted as support towards the radical opposition and criminal armed groups, which could incite new attempts for destabilisation.

Burundi regretted that its request to postpone the Human Rights Council Special Session to the following week had not been heeded, and that this Session was being held in the absence of most ambassadors of the African Union, who had been called to participate in the Summit of Ministers of the World Trade Organization. The responsibility of certain western countries in the Burundian crisis was becoming more and more a reality. The Government of Burundi sought a firm condemnation by the international community to the radical opposition which was organizing attacks on Burundi from outside as well as forcibly recruiting young refugee children in neighbouring camps. The Government favoured dialogue to resolve the problem and called for both technical and financial support of the national commission for the Inter-Burundian dialogue form within and outside Burundi.

Discussion

Luxembourg, speaking on behalf of the European Union, noted the growth of violence, hate speech and incitement to violence in Burundi and said that the Human Rights Council must play a preventive role in this situation. The European Union deplored grave human rights violations and stressed that combatting impunity was essential and that those responsible for committing the crime must be brought before justice. The European Union underlined that only inter-Burundian dialogue could find a solution to this situation, and noted the preventive role of the Council.

France condemned the summary executions and targeted assassinations in Burundi and the limitations imposed on fundamental freedoms, particularly on freedom of the press and freedom of expression. The tipping point had been reached and Burundi must now choose to abandon violence and embark on peacebuilding, through inter-Burundian dialogue. France called for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the violations committed in Burundi and said that no effort should be spared to prevent a tragedy.

United States was deeply concerned about the situation in Burundi, which had caused more than 200,000 persons to flee, and stressed the obligation of the international community to use all its tools to prevent any further escalation. The United States commended the vital role of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in reporting on this situation.

Japan said it was time not only for Burundi itself, but for the international community as a whole, to step up its action to improve the human rights situation in Burundi. Japan expected the Government of Burundi to continue to participate in talks with international and regional organizations. The presence of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights field office was now more important than ever. Japan had contributed $ 1.5 million to this Office and expected to play an active role in contributing to the improvement of the human rights situation in Burundi.

Algeria said that the situation in Burundi was alarming, especially the deterioration of the human rights situation. All human rights violations had to stop and all perpetrators of violations had to be brought to justice. The events were of concern because of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who had fled to neighboring countries, and who destabilized the situation in the region. Prompting a political solution to the crisis was needed, as was the promotion of the human rights of all, regardless of political affiliation or ethnic origin.

Nigeria strongly believed that the current situation would not cease if the issue of arming the opposition was not addressed and a comprehensive peace agreement built on the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement was not convened. Nigeria called on non-state armed groups in neighbouring countries to stop arming elements of the opposition so that peace could return to the country. It also called on the Government of Burundi to ensure that peace and security reign in the country and bring perpetrators of violence to the book.

Gabon continued to be concerned by the situation in Burundi, condemned all acts of violence in the country, and encouraged all stakeholders to pursue political dialogue. Gabon welcomed efforts by the international community, the United Nations, the African Union and others to bring an end to the violence and find a lasting solution to the crisis and a humanitarian solution. Gabon stood ready to support all efforts to support the return of peace to Burundi.

China believed that the situation in Burundi was not in the interest of its people and of Africa. China supported the efforts to promote reconciliation and dialogue at all levels and said that any action by the Human Rights Council in this complex situation must be conducive to peace and security in Burundi. The international community should provide more support to the peace process and economic and social development in Burundi.

Estonia expressed concern about human rights violations and limitations on fundamental freedoms in Burundi. Everything must be done to stop the violence and find a peaceful solution to mounting tensions by authorities and all other parties. The international community must remind the Government of Burundi of its responsibilities under international law to protect its people, and its obligations under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Germany said that mounting violence by actors was causing instability not only to Burundi but to the whole region. Germany called on the Government to immediately end actions that could lead to a further deterioration of the situation. Germany also stressed that all actors in Burundi had a duty to prevent further escalation and urged all sides to refrain from violence.

Montenegro was concerned about the findings which indicated the large scale of human rights abuses, including against human rights defenders and the media. There was a persistent risk of spreading the violence in the region, having in mind that hundreds of thousands had been forced to flee to neighbouring countries. Montenegro encouraged the Government of Burundi and other stakeholders to initiate an inclusive and meaningful dialogue as only under such dialogue would there be a lasting solution.

Argentina was concerned that the violence in Burundi would result in an uncontrollable conflict and believed that the efforts should be supported by the largest possible amount of stakeholders. Argentina acknowledged the efforts by the African Union and other regional and sub-regional organizations. For these efforts to bear fruit, all parties had to refrain from violence and curtail human rights abuses. A genuine process of dialogue justice and reconciliation had to be embarked upon.
Republic of Korea said that the alarming situation in Burundi required urgent and acute attention, stressed the importance of preventing further worsening of the situation, and urged the Government of Burundi and other parties to hold a genuine and inclusive dialogue to find a political solution to the crisis. Enhancing international engagement at the regional and global levels would serve as a catalyst for improving the situation.

Ireland said that it was vital that the Human Rights Council acted swiftly where there was a risk of serious human rights violations and Burundi was one of those situations, as it was clear that perpetrators were convinced that they could carry out attacks with total impunity. Addressing the impunity and ensuring justice and accountability were crucial to addressing this crisis. Ireland commended the strong and principled response by the African Union and welcomed the Security Council resolution 2248 and the intended mission to the country.

Netherlands said that this Special Session was an opportunity to have a human rights dialogue with the Government of Burundi. The Netherlands was extremely concerned about the escalation of violence and resolutely reminded the Government of Burundi of its primary responsibility to protect its population from human rights violations and acts of violence. The Netherlands stressed the important role of human rights observers to find evidence necessary to hold accountable those who had used force illegally or arbitrarily.

United Kingdom was alarmed about the deterioration of the situation in Burundi over the weekend and the deepening of the crisis. Burundi could choose to take the path of inclusive dialogue leading to sustainable political dialogue, or take the path of continued intransigency and a slow descent towards civil war. The Government of Burundi was instrumental in creating the current crisis, as its refusal to engage with its opponents had led Burundi to the brink of disaster.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia said that the human rights situation in Burundi was reaching a critical threshold and the risk of mass atrocity crimes was imminent. Immediate steps had to be taken by the Government and opposition to de-escalate tensions and avoid any further militarization of the current political conflict. This could only be achieved through inclusive dialogue involving all national and international stakeholders.

Russia was profoundly concerned about the deteriorating situation in Burundi and the absence of dialogue among the stakeholders. The worsening situation was due to clashes in areas of military bases. Russia condemned attacks on the military installations of Burundi which were probably supported from outside the country. This would have damaging consequences for Burundi. The Burundian Government had the primary responsibility to uphold security within the country.

Venezuela said Burundi had been subject to decades of colonization, and this had made it difficult to affirm its situation as a sovereign State. The conflict required cooperation and solidarity from peoples of the world. The situation had been exacerbated by the financial capitalist crisis. Venezuela hoped negotiations would be held to bring an immediate end of the conflict and supported a genuine and inclusive dialogue amongst all Burundians.

Brazil firmly believed that this Special Session would play a positive role in preventing the worsening of the human rights and security situation in Burundi and avoiding the risk of regional repercussions. The Council had a fundamental role in identifying problems and leading analysis of their implications for human rights. The main contribution of this session to preventing the further escalation of violence was to emphasize the absolute urgency of convening an inter-Burundian dialogue to find a consensual and nationally owned solution to the current crisis.

Viet Nam strongly condemned all acts of violence against civilians and believed that only an inclusive dialogue and collaboration between all actors in the country could stop the violence and restore stability. It was a prerequisite that international and regional assistance was received with the consensus of the Burundian authorities and all relevant actors.

Mexico was concerned about the serious human rights situation in Burundi and hoped that the conflict that had started last April would be swiftly brought to an end. It was vital that the international community act swiftly on situations that jeopardised peace and stability in countries and regions, especially where there was evidence of serious human rights violations and ensure the prevention of a political crisis from becoming a humanitarian one.

Ghanasaid that in 1999 Nelson Mandela had spoken the truth in asking: “for how long shall we kill our own people?” This question had to be answered. The delegation of Ghana particularly welcomed the words of Dr. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union, who had underscored the importance of this Special Session. The decision of Ghana to support the Special Session was partly inspired by the fact that the situation had consequences for violence in the entire region.

Bolivia said that it deplored the loss of life and called for the right to life to be respected. Bolivia reiterated that respect for sovereignty as well as the principles of international law and self-determination had to prevail. It hoped that the people and Government of Burundi would find the path to peace. Bolivia supported a dialogue which would lead to peace.

Kenya was deeply concerned by the very tense environment in Burundi which was a deep, spiralling political crisis, increasingly being viewed as a situation of potential escalating into mass violence. The situation threatened the remarkable achievements made over the years on the basis of the historic Arusha Agreement. The international community had a responsibility to ensure that such recurrence never happened.

Uruguay was alarmed about the deteriorating political and security situation in Burundi which warranted special attention by the international community and special attention by the Human Rights Council. There was a clear need for extra efforts to ensure that human rights were respected and further ills were avoided: it was the international community’s responsibility to protect the Burundian population.

Holy See said that the present crisis and the obstacles to the exercise of human rights in Burundi evoked past tensions that had affected this and other countries in the Great Lakes Region, with tragic consequences. The Council should put in place an international mechanism that guaranteed an end to wanton violence and prevent arm trafficking, promote effective and transparent efforts and reconciliation, and build conditions that would allow the safe return of refugees.

Angola was concerned about the political crisis and the spiralling post-electoral violence besetting Burundi, and continued to support the focus on technical cooperation and capacity building based on the relevant resolutions by the Security Council and Human Rights Council. Angola called upon Burundi to cooperate with all international mechanisms and stop the violence in the country.

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said that any attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of a country under the pretext of human rights should not be justified as this infringed upon the United Nations Charter and relevant rules of the United Nations, as well as the principles of independence and territorial integrity of Member States. Politicization, selectivity, and double standards in the field of human rights should be put to an end immediately.

Australia was gravely concerned about the continuing violence in Burundi. It encouraged the immediate deployment of a mission of experts to investigate and make recommendations on possible solutions for the crisis. It urged the Government of Burundi to work with this mission and grant it access to all areas to ensure thorough and accurate reporting.

Canada said that the escalation of torture, summary executions, arbitrary detentions, and prevention of civil society meetings were all alarming. This situation was similar to past events in the region. The international community had to ensure that past mistakes were not repeated. The sense of responsibility which had ended the civil war had to prevail.

Austria said that the Human Rights Council had a responsibility to prevent human rights violations and take prompt action. Over a decade after the civil war, Burundi faced widespread violence. A political process was needed to solve the situation and it had to be inclusive as the reported number of people who had lost lives was growing day by day.

Panama said that the Human Rights Council was the custodian of the values and responsibilities that all States had accepted with the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Actions to prevent human rights violations must not wait for violations to happen and then point a finger. Panama called upon the Government to fulfil the Cotonou Agreement and respect the obligations of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Turkey called upon the Government of Burundi to conduct impartial investigations into all cases of human rights violations in order to fight impunity. The humanitarian outlook in the country remained dire, with more than 220,000 persons fleeing the country. Turkey stressed the importance of an inclusive and genuine inter-Burundian dialogue to prevent further polarization.

Slovenia welcomed the convening of this Special Session and was deeply concerned about the deterioration of the human rights situation in Burundi, which had caused hundreds of deaths and more than 240,000 refugees who had fled the country and already had an impact on the region. Slovenia recalled that as an upcoming member of the Council, Burundi had made the commitment to uphold the highest standards of human rights and the responsibility to protect its people.

Chile called upon all the parties in Burundi to respect human rights, exercise restraint and engage in constructive dialogue, which was the only solution to the crisis. It was vital to take preventive action now, and it was the responsibility of the Security Council and the Human Rights Council to meet the fundamental values of peace, security and human rights. The contribution of the East African Community and the African Union was vital in achieving peace as regional bodies had great knowledge of the area and were directly affected by events in the region.

Belgium said that the Human Rights Council had to prevent Burundi from becoming destabilised. Belgium condemned arbitrary arrests of civil society members, members of government and of the opposition. In view of the stalemate, more opponents had resorted to armed violence, and this had led to the risk of civil war. Hate speech and other acts of incitement were unacceptable.

Switzerland was concerned about the spiralling violence in Burundi and encouraged all parties to engage in an inclusive dialogue. The violence against human rights defenders had to stop. Switzerland was concerned about the suspension of non-governmental organizations that worked in the field of human rights. It emphasized the importance of independent inquiries into human rights violations in order to combat impunity.

Egypt called for the rejection of the Human Rights Council’s repeated initiatives without consulting the concerned countries beforehand. This kind of action by the Human Rights Council did not meet human rights aims, undermined the credibility and objectivity of the Human Rights Council and was counter-productive. Egypt believed that the Burundian Government was closely monitoring the situation and the challenges it faced.

Djibouti acknowledged the efforts of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to assess the human rights situation in Burundi, called for peace, and urged the Government and all other parties to refrain from violence. The Council must take effective action to protect the fundamental rights of the Burundian people.

Iran said the Human Rights Council should engage Burundi in a constructive manner with the view of improving the human rights situation on the ground. Dialogue was the only way to resolve the current situation and Iran called on regional groups and the international community to provide support to Burundi in this regard.

Norway was deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Burundi and said that the Government must take urgent steps to investigate violations and to bring perpetrators to justice. It was crucial that dialogue was resumed without delay and Norway expressed support for the deployment of the African Union’s human rights observers and military experts to Burundi.

Greece continued to be deeply concerned about the deterioration of the human rights situation in Burundi and strongly condemned all acts of violence there, including summary executions and torture. It was a high time for an inclusive dialogue to be held to promote reconciliation, which would include everyone and would be instrumental in establishing the rule of law in the country.

Liechtenstein said that recent developments in Burundi showed that action taken so far by the international community was not enough. The leadership of the Security Council must be in line with the code of conduct on atrocity crimes to take timely and decisive action to prevent or end genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The draft resolution met this goal.

Spain welcomed the holding of this Special Session in view of the deterioration of the human rights situation in Burundi and believed it was unacceptable that high-ranking officials fuelled violence. All parties must refrain from such actions. Spain urged the authorities to identify perpetrators of violations and bring them to justice. Spain believed that the engagement of the African Union in the dialogue was vital in the search for solutions.

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