Ban appoints Karin Landgren of Sweden as new UN envoy for Burundi

31 December 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today named Karin Landgren of Sweden as his new envoy for Burundi, where she will head the scaled-down United Nations operation tasked with helping the Central African nation consolidate peace and development. Ms. Landgren will succeed Charles Petrie as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB). The new office has an initial 12-month mandate, beginning tomorrow, to support the Government in strengthening the independence, capacities and legal frameworks of key national institutions, in particular the judiciary and parliament; promoting dialogue between national actors; fighting impunity and protecting human rights.It is the latest in a series of UN operations in a country where hundreds of thousands of people perished in largely ethnic fighting between Hutus and Tutsis even before it gained independence from Belgium in 1962. It will replace the current UN Integrated Office in Burundi, known as BINUB.Ms. Landgren, who brings to her position many years of political and development experience with the UN as well as in academia, is currently the Secretary-General’s Representative and head of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), which is set to wrap up its mandate on 15 January.Addressing reporters in Kathmandu today, she stated that the UN will continue its long-standing support to the search for sustainable peace in Nepal after UNMIN’s departure. She reiterated the Secretary-General’s call, made in his latest report, for all parties in the country to end the prolonged political deadlock that has hampered progress in the peace process. read more