Myanmar: UN envoy meets with pro-democracy leader

2 February 2009

The Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Myanmar continued his visit to the South-East Asian nation today, meeting with Government officials and opposition and other political parties, including with detained pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ibrahim Gambari arrived in Yangon over the weekend for a four-day visit, his fifth in the past year and a half, as part of the good offices mandate entrusted to the Secretary-General by the General Assembly.

He held talks for more than an hour today jointly with Ms. Suu Kyi, who is the General Secretary of the National League for Democracy (NLD), and the Central Executive Committee of that party. He met separately with representatives of the Shan National League for Democracy (SNLD).

Ms. Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for over four years, and has spent more than 11 years in detention since the NLD and its allies won the 1990 election with over 80 per cent of the parliamentary seats.

Mr. Gambari also conferred with the Tripartite Core Group – comprising Myanmar, the UN and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – on humanitarian, recovery and reconstruction efforts in the wake of last May’s devastating Cyclone Nargis, which claimed nearly 140,000 lives.

On this visit, he has met with the so-called Government Spokesperson Authoritative Team composed of the Ministers of Information, Foreign Affairs, and Culture, as well as with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Planning, Health and Agriculture. He also met with the Minister for Liaison with Ms. Suu Kyi.

Last month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his growing frustration that the UN's long-standing efforts to promote national reconciliation and democratization in Myanmar have yet to achieve the desired results and urged the Government to release all political prisoners immediately and initiate “genuine dialogue” with the opposition.

 

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UN envoy to begin four-day visit to Myanmar

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Adviser on Myanmar will begin a four-day visit to the South-East Asian nation tomorrow at the invitation of the Government, the United Nations confirmed today.