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Myanmar: No choice but to pursue dialogue, UN envoy tells Security Council

Myanmar: No choice but to pursue dialogue, UN envoy tells Security Council

The United Nations has no choice but to keep using the Secretary-General’s good offices to try to find solutions to the challenges facing Myanmar, the UN envoy to the country has told the Security Council in a briefing following the recent wave of peaceful protests in the Asian nation that led to numerous arrests by authorities.

Ibrahim Gambari, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Myanmar, told Council members yesterday that UN chief Ban Ki-moon remains deeply concerned about the conditions of those people in detention, especially those who are reportedly on hunger strike.

He said Mr. Ban hopes that the authorities in Myanmar will heed the calls worldwide for the release of these new detainees, as well as all other political prisoners.

“Undoubtedly the developments over the last few weeks in Myanmar have raised serious concerns in the international community and once again underscore the urgency to step up our efforts to find solutions to the challenges facing the country,” Mr. Gambari said.

The envoy, who has been consulting again with key capitals recently, said discussions are still under way with the Government of Myanmar about when he will make his next official visit to the country.

Reiterating his comment earlier this month that the latest events are a clear setback for Myanmar, Mr. Gambari said “we have no choice but to persevere” through the Secretary-General’s good offices and with the support of the international community to build on the trust and confidence that has developed so far and work with all relevant parties to try to “move events in the right direction.”

The demonstrations began last month in protest at a surge in fuel prices and the protesters have included many of the country’s monks.