Secretary-General convenes meeting of ‘Group of Friends’ on Myanmar

19 December 2007

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today convened the first meeting of a group of 14 nations to assist him in his efforts to spur change in the troubled South-East Asian nation.

The “Group of Friends of the Secretary-General on Myanmar” will be “a consultative forum for developing a shared approach in support of the implementation of the Secretary-General’s good offices mandate,” UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters.

Consisting of Australia, Indonesia, Russia, United States, China, Japan, Singapore, Viet Nam, France, Norway, Thailand, India, Portugal and the United Kingdom, the Group will meet as needed in an informal format, she added.

Also attending today’s meeting was the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari, who has visited Myanmar twice since the Government used force to crack down on peaceful protesters just a few months ago.

Mr. Gambari told reporters yesterday that he expects to return to Myanmar by next month.

 

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