Statement read by Honourable Gervais Rufyikiri, the Speaker of the Senate of Burundi and Head of Burundian delegation during the Third World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments. Geneva, July 20, 2010 Dear Colleagues Parliamentarians, Ladies and gentlemen, 1. On behalf of the parliament of Burundi, my delegation and on my own behalf, I thank the highest authorities of Switzerland for the excellency of the catering. 2. The theme for this conference which was: Parliaments in a world of crisis: guaranteeing world democratic responsibility for the common good is very important for most of our parliaments and our respective countries among which Burundi, my country. This is especially true since 2005, the year of the setting up of elected democratic institutions after more than a decade of civil war; peace, reconciliation and democracy are being consolidated day after day. 3. The role which was played by the two chambers of the parliament of Burundi is considerable in this transition of Burundi from war to peace. The constitution of 2005 makes of the parliament of Burundi a space of contradictory democratic debate, given the political exclusiveness in the composition but also in the sharing of responsibilities within the organs of the two chambers. This is especially true since the enhancement of the culture of dialogue and research of a compromise among political partners of the majority and the opposition which was the object of much concern of leaders as well as partners of that parliament among which the IPU which accepted to support financially and technically the organizing of a series of related seminars. The Constitution made also of the parliament of Burundi a model of social representativeness, especially in the management of gender issue by imposing women representation within Parliament at a rate of more than 30%. 4. Parliamentarians voted bills making legal framework in the implementation of peace process and in the strengthening of democracy in post conflict situation. 5. They also voted budgets which allowed making significant progress in the implementation of millennium development goals. Hence, the President of the Republic of Burundi took many measures which namely aimed at: a. An equal access to basic education for all children in the age of attending schools by suppressing school fees since 2005 and by building many primary schools during the last five years. The result of this measure is an increasing of 50% of the number of primary schools and an augment of 39% of the number of pupils between 2005 and 2009. b. Another measure concerns free health care costs for women who give birth and free health care for than children aged less than 5 years. Hence, the delivery rate in the health structures doubled between 2005 and 2009 while maternal death rate was reduced at 33% during the same period. In the same way, the rate of stillbirths decreased by 40% while the neonatal mortality rate has decreased by 66%. 6. Let me tell you also that in Burundian history, it is for the first time that democratically elected institutions come to the end of their term. It is thanks to political maturity of Burundian people and their commitment to all implement in order to consolidate peace, tolerance, reconciliation and stability that general elections are being organised. It is namely communal elections which have been organised lately on May24, , presidential elections on June 28, and legislative and senatorial elections planned respectively on July 23 and 28. 7. In that respect, it is a pleasure for me to tell this assembly that communal and presidential elections were free and fair, and that they have been conducted in peaceful conditions at the satisfaction of the people Burundi, countries of the Great Lakes region, the African Union, the European Union, the Parity Assembly ACP-EU, the Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa, the Organisation of the United Nations and the entire international community. Let us recall that all those organizations dispatched observers to follow the conducting of ballots and it will be the same for future elections. 8. Allow me therefore to take this opportunity to address once again my feeling of gratitude on behalf of Burundian Parliament and through it that of the entire people of Burundi for the support and that fair accompaniment of friend states and that of the international community for the consolidation of gains of peace and democracy dearly restored in Burundi. 9. We request a subsequent accompaniment and meaningful multiform supports so that expectations of our population as regards with development and fight against poverty should be achieved during the post electoral period. Long live the international solidarity, Long live friendship among peoples, Long live the Inter-parliamentary Union I thank you.