Thank you, Mr President.
The United Kingdom thanks the Special Rapporteur for the first full report since his appointment. We welcome the government of Burundi’s stated commitment to improving the human rights situation. However, we are concerned by the Special Rapporteur’s assessment that the human rights situation in Burundi has not changed substantively.
We also regret that many of the recommendations Burundi accepted at its third Universal Periodic Review in 2018, particularly establishing an independent judiciary, are yet to be implemented fully. We call on the Government to make progress urgently in this regard ahead of Burundi’s fourth Review next year.
The findings of this report make clear that ongoing scrutiny by this Council remains absolutely necessary. We respectfully urge the Government to reconsider its stance of not engaging with the mandates established by the Council or allowing the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights to operate in Burundi. Accepting scrutiny and taking advantage of the opportunities this re-engagement would offer can help Burundi deliver on its commitment to ensure its people benefit from the full enjoyment of all human rights.
We would welcome your advice on how the international community can best make clear the benefits of a decision by the Burundian Government to re-engage with this Council.