Myanmar: release of Aung San Suu Kyi 'a notable development,' UN envoy says

Myanmar: release of Aung San Suu Kyi 'a notable development,' UN envoy says

Myanmar's recent release of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi - although just one part of the national reconciliation process - was "a notable development," the senior United Nations envoy for the South-East Asian nation said today in New York.

Ms. Suu Kyi was now, both in her capacity as Secretary-General of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and as a national leader, in a better position to discuss all aspects of national reconciliation with the Government, Razali Ismail, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar, told a press conference at UN Headquarters.

Her release on 6 May was part of the momentum the UN wanted "to maximize" to bring the reconciliation between the Government and the NLD to an early conclusion, Mr. Razali said.

He added that the military authorities in Myanmar had committed to making a transition towards a civilian, constitutional, democratic government. That commitment had been affirmed several times in the past, and "the UN must make the military beholden" to it, he stressed.

The release of Ms. Suu Kyi and other efforts by the Myanmar authorities indicated that "we are on the track again," Mr. Razali said, noting that the military had always tried to consolidate stability and security in the country. "The role and contribution of the present Government - the military Government - in bringing about a modicum of stability and unity in the country should not go unacknowledged," he added.

There was no question of putting pressure on the Government, he said, as the movement towards democracy must be "home-grown and not something that is imposed." The Government understood clearly how interested the international community was in seeing an evolution towards a democratic government.