Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today phoned Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy (NLD), to congratulate her on its resounding success in this month’s elections, pledging continued United Nations support for democratic reform efforts.
He warmly noted that her dedication and perseverance in the path of democratic transformation was finally bearing fruit, highlighting the elections as a defining moment in the reform process that has opened up real potential for Myanmar to thrive as an inclusive, harmonious multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy, according to a UN readout on the call.
Mr. Ban stressed that cooperation and inclusive dialogue involving all stakeholders, including those representing ethnic groups, religious minorities as well as civil society, was essential.
He underlined that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s appeal to her supporters for a calm and peaceful electoral process as well as for a dignified acceptance of its results, is evidence of her vision and statesmanship.
As a friend of Myanmar, he said the UN would continue to support democratic reform efforts and remain a steady partner as it faces its future challenges.
Mr. Ban had already issued a statement last week acknowledging the courage and vision of President Thein Sein “whose leadership in the reform process has helped achieve progress to this defining stage.”
The UN has long been involved in Myanmar’s transition after more than 50 years of military rule, appointing a Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the issue. In 2007 Mr. Ban set up the “Group of Friends of the Secretary-General on Myanmar,” a consultative forum of 14 countries to assist him in his efforts to spur change in the South-East Asian nation.
Over the years, he has welcomed the release of political prisoners, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi herself. In 2010 he voiced concern over the decision to dissolve 10 political parties, including the NLD, ahead of the previous elections that November.