§ Mrs. Ewing
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans the Government have to propose methods by which the United Nations ability for preventative action can be strengthened in(a) Rwanda and (b) Burundi; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
In Rwanda, the United Kingdom contributed to the restoration of stability by deploying a logistical battalion with UNAMIR. The Security Council is now considering a number of options for improving security conditions in the refugee camps and creating a secure environment within Rwanda, to encourage refugees to return home.
Within the region, the United Kingdom supports the proposal by the Organisation of African Unity and UNHCR for a conference to address refugee issues, including those in Burundi.
More generally, the United Kingdom fully supports enhancing the preventive diplomacy capability of the UN, and of regional organisations. Our African peacekeeping initiative aims to achieve better co-ordination between the UN and the OAU to provide early warning of conflicts. Where preventive efforts break down, our initiative sets out practical steps for the more rapid and effective deployment of peacekeeping forces.