13 January 2012

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General Welcomes Myanmar’s Release of Political Prisoners,


Notes Preliminary Peace Accord with Armed Ethnic Group


The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General warmly welcomes the long-awaited release of political prisoners in Myanmar today.  This is the most significant release of political prisoners to date, and includes a number of key, prominent figures.  The Secretary-General commends the Myanmar leadership for this important development and hopes that all those released will now be able to freely contribute to the process of national reconciliation, as well as to the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law within Myanmar.

The Secretary-General has also noted the important efforts being made by the Myanmar authorities for renewed peace with the armed ethnic groups, including yesterday’s preliminary ceasefire between the authorities and the Karen National Union, as well as the initial peace agreements with other groups.  He welcomes these efforts and encourages all concerned to build on recent progress and to work, through an all-inclusive dialogue, for an end to hostilities throughout the country, national reconciliation, stability and development for all the people of Myanmar.

The Secretary-General also calls upon the international community to respond to these important developments within Myanmar by helping build conditions for sustaining the reform process and for the betterment of its peoples.

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For information media • not an official record