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UN Human Rights Expert To Visit Burma Next Week

UN human rights expert to visit Myanmar next week

31 July 2008 - The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar will conduct his first mission to the Asian country next week after receiving an invitation to visit from the Government.

Tomás Ojea Quintana, who will be in Myanmar from 3 to 7 August, has requested to meet a number of State officials and heads of State institutions during the visit, according to a press release issued today by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The Special Rapporteur - who assumed the post in May this year - is also expected to meet with representatives of ethnic groups, political parties, religious groups, civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

His schedule is expected to take him to Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, and areas affected by the devastating Cyclone Nargis in May, as well as to both Kayin state in the southeast and Rakhine state on the coast of the Bay of Bengal.

"The Special Rapporteur wishes to engage in a constructive dialogue with the authorities with a view to improving the human rights situation of the people of Myanmar," the press release added.

Special rapporteurs serve in an independent and unpaid capacity and report to the Human Rights Council.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari also plans to visit Myanmar next month after receiving a letter of invitation from the country's authorities. This will be his fourth visit over the past year.

ENDS

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