11 October 2007 Strongly deploring Myanmar’s recent use of violence against peaceful protesters, the Security Council today underscored the need for dialogue between the Government and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to accelerate its national reconciliation process.
In a presidential statement read by Ambassador Leslie K. Christian of Ghana, which hold the rotating Council presidency this month, the Council called on authorities and other parties to “work together towards a de-escalation of the situation and a peaceful solution.”
Last week, the Council was briefed by Ibrahim Gambari, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, after returning from a visit to Myanmar, the scene of what the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro characterized as a “brutal crackdown” against peaceful demonstrations led by monks.
The Government must take steps for a “genuine dialogue” with Ms. Suu Kyi – a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has been under house arrest for four years and has spent 11 of the past 17 years in detention – and “all concerned parties and ethnic groups in order to achieve an inclusive national reconciliation with the direct support of the United Nations,” the Council said today.
It also stressed the importance of releasing all political prisoners and remaining detainees.
Emphasizing that “the future of Myanmar lies with its people,” the 15-member body called on authorities to take necessary steps to address the people’s concerns.
Earlier this month, both Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Mr. Gambari welcomed news that Senior General Than Shwe has is prepared to meet Ms. Suu Kyi, albeit with certain conditions.
“The Security Council welcomes the Government of Myanmar’s public commitment to work with the United Nations and the appointment of a liaison officer with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” Mr. Christian said today.
However, the Council also highlighted the importance that “such commitments are followed by action.”
Mr. Gambari has been invited back to Myanmar by authorities, and the Council voiced its support for a return visit as quickly as possible to “facilitate concrete actions and tangible results.” The body also urged the Government and other parties to cooperate fully with the Special Adviser and to consider his proposals and recommendations seriously.
In a related development, the Secretary-General today dispatched Mr. Gambari to the region, where he will hold consultations in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, China and Japan, with a view to returning to Myanmar shortly thereafter.