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UN Needs Bigger Role In Resolving Burma Crisis

UN's role in resolving Myanmar crisis should be strengthened, says envoy

The United Nations Special Envoy for Myanmar said today that the good offices role of the Secretary-General would need to be "beefed up in terms of its effectiveness," in case dialogue between the Government and the opposition in the troubled South-East Asian nation intensifies.

"The Myanmar authorities have said that they preferred to work with the UN. Now we have to test that to its limits in the high interest of the Myanmar people," Ibrahim Gambari told reporters in Singapore.

Mr. Gambari added that those who support the Secretary-General's good offices role should encourage the Government of Myanmar to cooperate "fully, regularly and substantively" with the UN.

While in Singapore, the Special Envoy has been meeting with regional leaders who have gathered for the annual summit of the Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN). He said that his visit had been "extremely worthwhile" and had provided a tremendous opportunity to meet so many delegations and leaders.

Today he met with the Prime Ministers of Singapore, Thailand and New Zealand, the Foreign Ministers of Japan and Australia and the European Union Commissioner for External Relations.

Mr. Gambari, who has visited Myanmar twice since the Government began its crackdown against demonstrators a few months ago, will now travel to Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam for further consultations before returning to New York.


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