Myanmar: UN chief welcomes election of first civilian President in more than 50 years

Women selling vegetables in a market in Pyapon, Myanmar. Photo: World Bank/Markus Kostner

16 March 2016 – Following the historic national polls last 8 November, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Htin Kyaw, who was elected today by the Myanmar Parliament as the first civilian President in more than five decades.

“He welcomes this as a significant achievement towards advancing the democratic reforms ushered in by the outgoing Government,” indicated a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

“The Secretary-General hopes the people of Myanmar will continue steadfastly on the path of democracy and national reconciliation and, at this defining moment of transition, calls upon President-elect U Htin Kyaw, as well as all other significant stakeholders, to work inclusively towards a smooth and peaceful consolidation of unity and stability in the country,” it added.

The UN chief also reaffirmed the readiness of the United Nations to continue to support efforts to advance peace, development, human rights and the rule of law for the benefit of all the peoples of Myanmar.

The Organization has long been involved in Myanmar’s transition after more than 50 years of military rule, appointing a Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the issue. In 2007 Mr. Ban set up the “Group of Friends of the Secretary-General on Myanmar,” a consultative forum of 14 countries to assist him in his efforts to spur change in the South-East Asian nation.

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