Myanmar is passing through a transitory phase after years of military rule. The transition phase has created new opportunities and challenges for the United Nations and the international community to help steer Myanmar towards peace, democratisation and development. The Department of Political Affairs has provided political guidance and staff support to successive envoys of the Secretary-General tasked with employing his diplomatic "good offices" towards those objectives.
From 2007 to early 2011, the Department of Political Affairs provided oversight and support to the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), which assisted Nepal in its transition to peace following a decade of armed conflict. UNMIN played an important support role in the successful holding, in April 2008, of an historic Constituent Assembly election that was a major milestone in the peace process.
For many years, Sri Lanka’s armed conflict was a matter of grave international concern. The United Nations supported political efforts to resolve the conflict and, during its final stages in 2009, strongly advocated respect for human rights and a humane and orderly end to the fighting. In the aftermath of the conflict, the United Nations, through the work of its funds and agencies on the ground, has assisted with the safe and dignified return and resettlement of civilians uprooted by the conflict.