Honourable Minister of Economy, Finance and Development of Burkina Faso,
Madame Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs,
I would like to start by expressing my appreciation and admiration for the work being carried out by the Peacebuilding Commission. The EU strongly supports the PBC’s advisory role, which I consider key for drawing much-needed attention to the conflict prevention and peacebuilding agendas. I therefore very much welcome the opportunity of exchanging with you today on Burkina Faso.
Despite the deteriorating security situation in the country, we have made important progress.
The Government of Burkina Faso has demonstrated a real commitment to restore peace in the country. I would like to therefore commend Minister Kaboré for the adoption of the Priority Actions Matrix and the Action Plan for the Programme d'urgence pour le Sahel (PUS) élargi. This action plan is a strong coordination tool and incorporates the main conclusions of the work of the Prevention and Peace Building Assessment (PPBA), to which the EU has made a significant contribution together with the UN, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
The PPBA in BF, with its two-phases, has proven to be adaptive and innovative in its approach. First, it fully took into account and supported the government’s early response to the crisis, focusing on the most fragile regions. Now, in its second phase, it will extend this further and deepen the analysis.
If actions to be carried out in the short run have been well defined, discussions must continue to identify the root causes of the crisis, making it possible under the 2nd phase of the PPBA to strengthen long-term stability in Burkina Faso and the Sahel.
The EU is already making a substantial contribution to the implementation of this plan, with EUR 100 million granted through budget support and various projects funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund.
Last week, Commissioners Lenarčič (European Commissioner for Crisis Management) and Urpilainen (European Commissioner for International Partnerships) visited Ouagadougou and reaffirmed the commitment of the European Union to help Burkina Faso respond to the security and humanitarian crisis it is facing.
This is a partnership for improved delivery and should be measured by tangible improvements in the living conditions of the population and increased mutual trust between the state and its citizens. In this context, unlocking the identified bottlenecks will have to be set as a clear objective. The reporting, coordination and transparent monitoring of the priority actions will be important drivers of success and require strong political steering and coordination.
It is essential that Justice and access to Justice in all regions are retained as priorities. Reinforcing social cohesion and resilience of the population is also critical in this context.
The PBC can play a central role in mounting political support and maintaining a high-level engagement for addressing the root causes of the crisis, which requires a permanent and long term commitment both from the Government of Burkina Faso and its international partners.
Finally, these peacebuilding priorities will have to go hand in hand with establishing sufficient security conditions for their implementation. Such efforts can be supported by the initiatives framed under the Partnership for Security and Stability in the Sahel (P3S) adopted during the last G7 Summit, which the EU is also supporting.
In this context, we welcome the validation of the National Security Policy and the launching of the National Security Strategy. Both will provide important reference frameworks for partners. The next meeting of the P3S in Brussels should be the occasion to ensure synergies between the different processes.