UN envoy concludes talks with Chinese officials on Myanmar crisis

UN envoy concludes talks with Chinese officials on Myanmar crisis

Ibrahim Gambari
The United Nations Special Envoy for Myanmar today wrapped up his consultations in Beijing, as he continues his six-nation tour of regional capitals ahead of a planned return to the South-East Asian nation in early November.

Dispatched by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to consult with regional leaders on how to address the ongoing crisis in Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari has met so far with officials in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and India.

While in Beijing he had detailed and extensive discussions with State Councillor Tang Jianxuan and Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi, as well as with Assistant Foreign Minister He Yafei, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York.

Mr. Gambari delivered a personal message from the Secretary-General to State Councillor Tang, thanking the Chinese Government for its active support to the UN’s good offices and encouraging China to intensify its constructive engagement in support of UN efforts.

“Mr. Gambari and his Chinese counterparts discussed the need for the Government of Myanmar to move forward by starting a dialogue with the opposition without delay and pursuing a more inclusive national reconciliation process in order to address the legitimate concerns of the Myanmar people,” she stated.

They also discussed the need for the international community to find new ways of encouraging Myanmar to make concrete progress in this regard, she added.

Following the meetings, the Chinese Government issued a statement of support for the UN’s good offices and Mr. Gambari’s efforts on behalf of the Secretary-General.

The Special Envoy is now in Tokyo where he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura.

Mr. Gambari’s upcoming trip to Myanmar is set to be followed by a visit from the UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, before the middle of next month.

Mr. Pinheiro said yesterday that he would use the visit to try to verify allegations of abuses during the recent Government crackdown on peaceful demonstrators, determine the numbers and whereabouts of those detained or killed, and collect testimony about what happened.