Visiting UN envoy urges Myanmar authorities to build on recent developments

28 November 2010

A United Nations envoy on Sunday encouraged Myanmar authorities to build on recent developments towards democracy and national reconciliation, and to address concerns about the recent elections.

Vijay Nambiar, the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Myanmar, said he listened to as many parties as possible about their hopes, expectations and concerns at this “critical juncture” for the country's future direction.

“In this process, strong concerns were expressed by many parties about the process and outcome of the recent elections, which I have urged the Government and the Union Election Commission to address as transparently as possible. This is important for laying the foundation of a credible transition,” he told reporters in Yangon at the end of a two-day visit.

The 7 November election, the first to be held in the country in 20 years, was part of a Government-designed timetable towards greater democratization. However, the polls drew strong concern, including from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who said the vote was held in conditions that were “insufficiently inclusive, participatory and transparent.”

During his visit, Mr. Nambiar, who is also Chief of Staff for the Secretary-General, met with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was recently released after being under house arrest for much of the past two decades, and members of her party, the National League for Democracy.

He also met with representatives of some of the major political parties who participated in the 7 November polls and members of civil society groups.

“The United Nations has respected the position of all parties regarding the elections. It now encourages them to work constructively for the national interest. In order to succeed, any political transition should be broad-based and inclusive, and involve not only those who participated and won seats in the election, but also those who did not or could not,” said Mr. Nambiar.

In this connection, he called for the release of the estimated 2,200 political prisoners still detained in the country.

Mr. Nambiar, whose visit was carried out at the invitation of the Government and in continuation of the good offices dialogue between the UN and Myanmar, reaffirmed the world body's long-term commitment to continue to work with the Government and people of Myanmar in their efforts to address the political, humanitarian and developmental challenges facing their country.


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UN chief calls for credible transition to democracy after Myanmar polls

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged authorities in Myanmar to ensure a credible transition towards democracy following the “insufficiently inclusive” vote held on Sunday in the South-east Asian nation.