World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Ban: 'Growing Frustration’ At Progress In Myanmar

Ban Voices ‘Growing Frustration’ At Lack Of Progress In Myanmar

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his growing frustration today that the United Nations’ long-standing efforts to promote national reconciliation and democratization in Myanmar have yet to achieve the desired results and he urged the Government to release all political prisoners immediately and initiate “genuine dialogue” with the opposition.

Speaking to journalists after convening a meeting in New York of the Group of Friends on Myanmar, a gathering of countries supporting greater dialogue in the Asian country, Mr. Ban said there had been little progress since the last meeting, held in late September.

“I sense not only a higher expectation, but also a growing frustration that our efforts have yet to yield the results we all hope for,” Mr. Ban said. “I share this sense of expectation and frustration.”

Mr. Ban said that while he welcomed the Myanmar Government’s declaration that cooperation with the UN is a cornerstone of its foreign policy, he expected “a concrete action by them to implement their commitment.”

The Secretary-General has been pursuing reconciliation and democratization in Myanmar through his good offices role, as mandated by the General Assembly, and his Special Adviser Ibrahim Gambari has visited the country several times and held talks with top Government officials.

“My good offices should not be seen as an end in itself, or as a justification for inaction,” Mr. Ban said today. “In order to be able to pursue this role in an effective manner, it is necessary that all concerned parties across the spectrum step up efforts to help my good offices move forward.

“I have taken note of the Group’s concern that recent actions by the Government of Myanmar that risk undermining the prospects of inclusive national reconciliation, democratic transition, and respect for human rights, and more generally at the lack of sufficient response by the Government of Myanmar to the concerns of the United Nῡtions and the international co῭munity.

Mr. Ban urged the Government to release all political prisoners – including opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for much of the past two decades – as soon as possible. He also called for the “initiation of a genuine dialogue with the opposition.”

In response to questions, the Secretary-General stressed that he remains committed to continuing his good offices role and is willing to visit Myanmar again to discuss humanitarian issues and political issues.

“I am ready to visit any time, whenever I can have reasonable expectations of my visit, to be productive and meaningful.”

Mr. Ban pressed all countries – particularly those in the Group of Friends, which comprises 14 countries and one regional bloc – to “use whatever available leverage and tools to impress upon the Government of Myanmar to implement their commitment.”

The Group, founded in December, represents a range of views on Myanmar and was established to hold informal discussions and develop shared approaches to supporting UN efforts. The members are Australia, China, the European Union, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Viet Nam.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>