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Sweden To Head Peacebuilding Commission, Burundi

Sweden to head United Nations Peacebuilding Commission group on Burundi

18 July 2008 - Sweden has been chosen as the new chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission group tasked with helping the impoverished African nation of Burundi recover from recent conflict and avoid sliding back into chaos or misrule.

The commission's organization committee unanimously elected Sweden yesterday to succeed Norway as chair of the Burundi country-specific configuration.

Burundi has been the victim of violent coups and political instability since gaining independence in 1962, but in late May the Government and a rebel group involved in recent fighting signed a cessation of hostilities declaration, raising hopes about the country's peace process.

Welcoming Sweden's election, Ambassador Yukio Takasu of Japan, who is also Chairperson of the Peacebuilding Commission, and Burundi's Ambassador, Augustin Nsanze, commended the Scandinavian country for its commitment to both the Commission and Burundi. They also thanked Norway for its efforts as chair since 2006.

Sweden's Ambassador, Anders Liden, noted that his country has recently joined the Commission and is keen on being an active member and supporter of its goals and objectives.

Aside from Burundi, the Peacebuilding Commission - which was set up in December 2005 - also has country-specific configurations for the Central African Republic (CAR), Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone.

ENDS

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