New York

02 April 2012

Statement Attibutable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Myanmar by-elections

The Secretary-General congratulates the people, Government and political parties of Myanmar for the peaceful and largely orderly manner in which Sunday's by-elections for vacant parliamentary seats were held. Candidates from various political parties, including the National League for Democracy (NLD), participated freely in the elections, a development that the Secretary-General believes is another significant step towards a better future for Myanmar. He acknowledges, in particular, the courage and vision of President Thein Sein, which has made such progress possible.

A UN team has been on the ground since last week, and was able to witness the voting in a number of constituencies. Despite some complaints of irregularities during the voting, key stakeholders in Myanmar, including political parties, have stressed to the UN team their strong belief that these by-elections are a boost for the ongoing reforms and a very important step towards a more peaceful and democratic future in Myanmar.

The Secretary-General takes note of the constructive efforts and positive statements by the Government and other key stakeholders, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in the lead-up to and following the by-election. He is encouraged by the initial reaction of the international community. The Secretary-General urges the Government and all political forces to cooperate and build on the important achievement of the by-election and to consolidate the country's democratic gains. He also calls on all of Myanmar's stakeholders to redouble their efforts toward genuine national reconciliation and long-term and durable peace.