Myanmar: senior UN official set to return for high-level talks on rights and democracy

29 September 2006

A top United Nations official is likely to return to Myanmar in early November for high-level talks to try to help the Asian country make serious progress in human rights, political freedoms and humanitarian assistance.

Under-Secretary-General for Political Ibrahim Gambari told reporters today, after a briefing the Security Council behind closed doors in New York, that Myanmar has confirmed its invitation to him to visit in early November.

Mr. Gambari said he hopes to hold talks with all the key figures in Myanmar during his trip, including those he spoke to when he last visited, in May this year.

He said he told Council members that Myanmar has made progress recently on some areas, including the release of a prominent political prisoner and reforms on the issue of forced labour.

But Mr. Gambari added that much more progress is still required from Myanmar’s Government on various fronts, including democratization, improving humanitarian access to those in need, and agreeing to a cessation of hostilities with rebel forces in Karen state.

 

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