Written by Dev Bhakta
One off the biggest issues during the debate was what to do with current president of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza. Delegates understood and reported on the numerous human rights violations that occurred, yet this was a major dividing point. The delegate of Turkey believed that it was necessary to immediately remove the sitting president as his crimes were too much to overcome. Other countries such as Uganda believed that rather than having him removed the president should be allowed to finish the term. This would allow to protect the democratic process. This delicate issue was further explained by South Africa’s delegate when they stated about President Nkurunziza that they would, “prefer if [he was] removed, but see infringement in national sovereignty.”
Another plaguing issue that separated the delegates was the issue of corruption within developing countries such as Burundi. In one resolution it was suggested that corrupt officials should have their visas targeted and banks account frozen. Other delegates such as those from Turkey saw the necessity of having a stable government and economy which would allow the government to succeed. Some delegates believed foreign nations would need to come in and rid corruption. Russia and China delegates believed they could be the ones to bring Burundi into the UNHRC as they have the best current working relationship with them. Other delegates sought to give developed countries incentives, through access to ports. Clearly as the UNHRC committee comes to day 2, a unified resolution which would center on corruption and the fate of Burundi’s president is needed.