Myanmar agrees to visit by UN human rights rapporteur

22 October 2007

A United Nations independent human rights expert will make an official visit to Myanmar next month to look into recent events there, the country’s Government has confirmed.

Foreign Minister Nyan Win, in a letter sent to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, confirmed that it has agreed to the visit by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the Commission on Human Rights' Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar.

UN spokesperson Michele Montas said Mr. Win suggested that Mr. Pinheiro’s visit take place before the summit meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which is scheduled to open on 17 November.

The announcement comes as Ibrahim Gambari, the UN Special Envoy for Myanmar, continues his consultations with the country’s neighbours and regional partners ahead of a planned return trip to Myanmar next month.

Mr. Gambari has suggested that incentives and strong encouragement might help spur Myanmar along the path of democratization and reconciliation.

The wider diplomatic efforts by the UN follow what Mr. Ban has described as the “abhorrent and unacceptable” response of the Government to recent peaceful demonstrations.

“The Myanmar authorities should think about the future of their country and of their people, reflecting and respecting all the wishes of the international community,” Mr. Ban said in comments to the press last week.


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