UN envoy advises against Myanmar’s return to pre-crisis status quo

UN envoy advises against Myanmar’s return to pre-crisis status quo

Ibrahim Gambari
In a meeting with Myanmar’s Prime Minister today, the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor Ibrahim Gambari urged the South-east Asian nation’s leadership to begin a dialogue with the opposition without delay, stressing that returning to the status quo before the recent crisis broke out will not be sustainable.

Mr. Gambari and the new Prime Minister General Thein Sein had “open and detailed” discussions on ways to further improve Myanmar’s cooperation with the UN to address the country’s political, human rights, humanitarian and socio-economic challenges in the wake of the recent crisis, UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters in New York.

The Special Adviser “stressed that a return to the status quo before the crisis would not be sustainable, and suggested specific steps for Myanmar to meet international expectations in this regard,” she added.

These include the need for dialogue with the opposition without delay as part of an inclusive national reconciliation process, as well as necessary confidence-building measures in the humanitarian and socio-economic areas, including the establishment of a broad-based poverty alleviation commission.

The Prime Minister reiterated his Government’s full support for Mr. Gambari’s efforts on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and invited him to return to Myanmar in continuation of the good offices process.

Mr. Gambari also briefed the diplomatic corps in Myanmar on his visit so far.

Tomorrow he is scheduled to meet with pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as with members of the Central Executive Committee of her National League for Democracy party, officials of the National Unity Party, and other relevant interlocutors. He will also hold talks with the UN Country Team in Yangon.

Mr. Gambari, who arrived in Myanmar last Saturday is scheduled to return to UN Headquarters by 12 November.