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UN Meets Myanmar Envoy, Calls For Reconciliation

Assembly President meets with Myanmar envoy, calls for national reconciliation

17 March 2008 - Meeting with the top United Nations envoy for Myanmar, General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim today called for "serious engagement and strong commitment" from all parties to further national reconciliation.

In a statement issued in New York, Mr. Kerim voiced confidence in the role and work of Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari, who recently completed a visit to Myanmar and who is mandated by the Assembly to "promote national reconciliation, democracy and human rights."

Mr. Kerim said he was encouraged by the fact that the Special Envoy was able to meet with key figures, including pro-democracy leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as with the Referendum Convening Commission and the Constitution Drafting Committee.

The President appealed for "serious engagement and strong commitment from all parties to continue the process of national reconciliation that needs to be credible and inclusive," the statement noted.

Last month, the Myanmar authorities announced the holding of a constitutional referendum this May, to be followed by "multi-party democratic elections" in 2010, and Mr. Kerim today voiced hope that Myanmar's Government will be open to possibly allowing the UN a monitoring role.

This most recent mission by the Special Envoy was his third since authorities in Myanmar "cracked down severely on peaceful demonstrators" last year, as Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, noted in a report to the Human Rights Council.

ENDS

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