UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged here on Friday both the
government and the opposition in Myanmar to accelerate national
dialogue as soon as possible amid widespread violent protests in
Addressing the UN Security Council, Ban said "the national
reconciliation process must be accelerated and be made as
broad-based, inclusive and transparent as possible."
He welcomed the announcement by the government of Myanmar of a
possible meeting between Myanmar top leader Senior-General Than
Shwe and Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader, stressing "a
window of opportunity has opened."
Ban made the remarks at the opening meeting of the council when
his Special Advisor on Myanmar Ibrahim Gambari briefed Council
members on his recent four-day mission to Myanmar.
Gambari said that by the time his mission ended, the streets
were "busier" and activity seemed to be "returning to normal"
although the situation remains tense.
He noted that it is clear that the demonstrations over the past
few weeks are "for the most part the expression of deep and
widespread discontent about socio-economic conditions in the
"General vulnerability in Myanmar is defined by accelerating
impoverishment and the growing inability of the social service
structures to address the basic needs of the general population,"
the UN envoy said.
However, Gambari pointed out the protest coincided with the
government's sudden decision on Aug. 19 to sharply increase the
price of the fuel, and the marches by monks across the country
appear to have provided a catalyst for the demonstrations to become
explicitly political in nature.
Myanmar's UN Ambassador Kyaw Tint Swe stressed at the council
meeting that no Security Council action is warranted with regard to
the situation in Myanmar.
He thus called on the council to refrain from any action that
would be detrimental to the good offices role of the
secretary-general mandated by the General Assembly.
Swe also informed council members that his government has again
invited Gambari to visit Myanmar sometime in November.
China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Wang
Guangya said that the current situation in Myanmar does not pose
any threat to international or regional peace and security, and
"the future of Myanmar lies in the hands of its own people and the
government through dialogue and consultation."
He called for a right approach in dealing with issue concerning
Myanmar, stressing the Security Council should adopt a prudent and
responsible approach while handling the issue of Myanmar.
Wang voiced his expectation that by embarking on trips to
Myanmar, secretary-general's good offices would truly help Myanmar
to achieve internal stability and national reconciliation, provide
constructive assistance to the country in addressing economic,
social, humanitarian and human rights problems.
"Any actions to be conducted by the Security Council should be
aimed at facilitating the good offices of the secretary-general,
rather than affecting, or even undermining the mutual trust already
established, which is crucial for Gambari's further efforts," the
Chinese ambassador stressed.
Gambari, who just ended a four-day mission to Myanmar from
Saturday to Tuesday amid widespread mass demonstrations by Buddhist
monks in several parts of the country since Sept. 18, deeply
exchanged views with Myanmar leaders on domestic situation and made
widespread contacts with local people.
(Xinhua News Agency October 6, 2007)