Incentives might lead Myanmar to ‘do the right thing’ – UN envoy

Ibrahim Gambari

18 October 2007 – Continuing his consultations with Myanmar’s regional partners, United Nations Envoy Ibrahim Gambari has suggested that incentives, along with strong encouragement, might persuade authorities in the South-East Asian nation to move towards democratization and reconciliation.

Speaking to reporters in Jakarta, Mr. Gambari said that European and other countries have been stepping up pressure on Yangon, “but also leaving room in effect for incentives to encourage the authorities to go along the path to making a stable, democratic Myanmar with full respect for human rights.” He added that the “strong encouragement of the authorities in Myanmar to do the right thing” could be accompanied by incentives as well.

“The world is not just there to punish Myanmar, but to see that there is engagement to address the root causes of discontent,” he stated, following his meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda.

Mr. Gambari and Indonesia’s leaders discussed how members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) can, together with the UN, engage Myanmar authorities “so that the goals that we both share come together sooner rather than later.”

Jakarta is the third stop on a six-nation tour for the Special Envoy, who has been dispatched by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to consult with regional leaders on how to address the ongoing crisis in Myanmar. He arrived in the Indonesia capital following talks with officials in Thailand and Malaysia.

Mr. Gambari now heads to India, China and Japan for further consultations, ahead of a planned return to Myanmar next month.

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