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UN Security Council To Focus On Myanmar

Divided UN Security Council Agrees To Focus On Situation In Myanmar

New York, Sep 15 2006 7:00PM

In a landmark decision today, the United Nations Security Council voted by 10 votes to four against with one abstention to focus on the situation in the isolated Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar, where democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained for over 10 of the past 16 years.

Ten nations, including the United States, voted in favour of adding Myanmar to the Council agenda, while China, Russia, Qatar and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) voted against it. Tanzania abstained.

The move came after US Ambassador John Bolton wrote in a letter to the President of the 15-member body that his and other delegations were concerned about the deteriorating situation in Myanmar, saying it was likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security.

However China’s Ambassador Wang Guangya told the procedural meeting, in which no member has the right to veto, that neither Myanmar’s neighbours nor most Asian countries recognize the situation in the country as any threat to regional peace and security.

Along with the US, the other countries voting in favour of putting Myanmar on the Council agenda were Argentina, Denmark, France, Ghana, Greece, Japan, Peru, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan has consistently worked over the years for the release of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Ms. Suu Kyi, who has long been a peaceful advocate of fundamental democratic freedoms. And Mr. Annan reaffirmed this commitment when Myanmar’s authorities extended her house arrest for another year at the end of May, despite his personal appeal to the head of State, Senior General Than Shwe, to free her.

Ends

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