Brussels, 26 November 2015/ ACP: Newly appointed envoys from the Republics of Burundi and Mali were formally presented to the Committee of Ambassadors of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States recently, whereby they received pledges of support and solidarity in efforts towards promoting peace and security in their countries while also improving peoples’ lives.

At the ceremony on 12 November 2015, H.E Ambassador Jérémie Banigwaninzigo reported that peace and security has been restored in Burundi following a period of violence leading up to the presidential elections in July. Ambassador Banigwaninzigo informed the Committee that President Pierre Nkrunziza won the majority (at least 70%) of votes after the Constitutional Court ruled that he was entitled to be elected for a second time, under direct universal suffrage. The President has since reassured Burundians as well as the international community of the country’s security, rejecting any possibility of a war or genocide.

Ambassador Banigwaninzigo invited the support of the Chair of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, as well as the ACP member states to support the Burundi in assuring the stability and security of its citizens, including in dialogues with EU partners.

Mali’s Ambassador H.E Gaoussou Cissé reconfirmed his country’s commitment to consolidating the ACP Group, while endorsing the ACP Group’s “legitimate ambition to transform into a major protagonist on the international scene”. He stressed that only genuine South-South cooperation, and dynamic partnerships between countries of the South will enable ACP countries to successfully tackle the structural challenges they face, including development and security issues.

Ambassador Cissé thanked the ACP Group and its relevant bodies for the unwavering support to Mali during the political and security crisis in 2012. He credited the ACP’s support and solidarity as well as that of the regional groupings, for the successful signing of a peace and reconciliation agreement with rebel groups, which led Mali back on the path of peace and security.

The Dean of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, H.E. Hano Rumpf of Namibia welcomed the two representatives to the group, and encouraged their active participation in major development discussions currently underway with the EU, including on migration.

The ACP Secretary General assured the new members of the Secretariat’s support during their tenure in Brussels.

(Photo below: The Ambassador of Mali H.E Gaoussou Cisséis a career diplomat and formerly the country's Head of Mission in Madrid, Spain; H.E AmbassadorJérémie Banigwaninzigois an economist by profession and the former Director General for Trade ofBurundi)

– ACP Press