UN envoy meets with leading Government and opposition figures

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13 May 2011 – A top United Nations official today wrapped up a visit to Myanmar, where he met with senior members of the country’s newly installed Government and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).

Vijay Nambiar, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Myanmar, said that during the three-day visit he underlined the importance of the Government implementing its stated commitments on such issues as governance, human rights, the rule of law and sustainable development.

In a press statement issued in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, Mr. Nambiar noted that expectations are high both domestically and internationally that the Government will soon take “concrete steps” to meet those commitments.

“In all my meetings I stressed that this must include the release of all political prisoners and inclusive dialogue with all segments of society, as well as greater outreach to the international community to ensure that the proposed reforms enjoyed broad buy-in,” he said.

“Only then can there be greater confidence that the efforts undertaken will indeed serve to meet the long-standing needs and aspirations of the people of Myanmar. There is no time to waste if Myanmar is to move forward.”

Mr. Nambiar welcomed the themes and reforms outlined by President Thein Sein in his inaugural speeches on “some of the most pressing political and economic challenges facing Myanmar.”

The Special Adviser cited sustainable development and equitable growth; good governance, through greater inclusiveness, accountability and transparency; respect for fundamental human rights, the media and the rule of law; and continued engagement with those who do not accept the recently adopted constitution and the Government’s roadmap agenda.

During the visit Mr. Nambiar met with the ministers of foreign affairs, home affairs, social welfare, national planning and development, as well as newly appointed presidential advisers for political, legal and economic affairs.

He also held discussions with the Deputy Speaker of the People’s Assembly and the Secretary-General of the Union Solidarity and Development Party.

In addition, Mr. Nambiar met with Ms. Suu Kyi and members of the NLD’s central executive committee, and also with representatives of parliamentary political parties and civil society organizations.

During the visit he also reiterated the UN’s commitment to engage more with the people and Government of Myanmar on issues ranging from health and education to human rights and capacity building.