UN envoy briefs Secretary-General on Myanmar visit

UN envoy briefs Secretary-General on Myanmar visit

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was briefed today by his Special Envoy for Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, who has just returned from the region following discussions with senior Government officials and the Nobel laureate and political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi.

Mr. Gambari will also inform the President of the General Assembly about his visit, and is scheduled to brief the Security Council in an open meeting tomorrow morning.

The Secretary-General dispatched Mr. Gambari to the region last week in response to the deteriorating situation in Myanmar which has seen a wave of peaceful protests in recent weeks and amid reports of the use of force against demonstrators.

While in Myanmar, the Special Envoy met with Senior General Than Shwe and other members of the senior leadership, as well as Ms. Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for the past 12 years.

Mr. Gambari also discussed developments in Myanmar with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister George Yeo of Singapore, both of whom expressed the strong support of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) for his mission.

Asked by reporters yesterday if he was satisfied with the results of Mr. Gambari’s visit, Mr. Ban said: “We are doing what we must do. And I was relatively relieved that he was, first of all, able to meet with the leaders of the Myanmar Government as well as Madame Aung San Suu Kyi.

“The concerns of the international community have been clearly and loudly conveyed to the Myanmar authorities,” he stated.

In addition, Mr. Ban said that his envoy “was assured of his second visit in November sometime.”

At the same time, the Secretary-General expressed his continuing concerns about the ongoing situation in Myanmar, including the human rights situation which he said is one of the “top concerns of the international community.”

Meanwhile, a staff member serving with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and her family, who were arrested by the Myanmar authorities yesterday, have been released, UN spokesperson Michele Montas said.