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BanKi-Moon Remarks to the Media From Bangkok 4Jul09

BanKi-Moon Remarks to the Media From Bangkok 4Jul09

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Published by forthem
Remarks from meeting between Than Shwe and Mr Ban Ki-Moon, July 2009
Remarks from meeting between Than Shwe and Mr Ban Ki-Moon, July 2009

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Published by: forthem on Jul 07, 2009
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UNITED NATIONS NATIONS UNIESTHE SECRETARY-GENERAL--REMARKS TO THE MEDIA Bangkok, 4 July 2009Good evening. Thank you for coming to meet me at this late hour of the day.  As you know, I have just come from a two-day visit to Myanmar. I met twice the Senior General Than Shwe, andI had discussions with other government officials. I also met with leaders of Myanmar’s registered political parties and with those former armed groups that havechosen to observe a cease-fire. This morning I also had time to visit Kyon Da Village in the Irrawaddy Delta to see the results of recovery andreconstruction work. Let me first address my meetings with Senior General Than Shwe.  As you know by now, I asked to meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. I am deeply disappointed that Senior General Than Shwe refused my request. Allowing a visit to Daw Aung SanSuu Kyi would have been an important symbol of the government’s willingness to embark on the kind of meaningful engagement that will be essential if the elections in 2010 are to be seen as credible. I believe the government of Myanmar failed to take a unique opportunity to show its commitment to a new eraof political openness. Nonetheless, my visit has enabled me to convey the concerns of the international community very frankly anddirectly to Senior General Than Shwe and his government. My meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, however, should not be seen as the only benchmark for success or failure of my visit. Because I believe that there are many more fundamental issues which we addressed, during the visit, which [will] help move Myanmar forward. The members of the international community wanted me to tell Myanmar’s leaders that the internationalcommunity stands ready to help the people of Myanmar achieve their legitimate aspirations. This is why I went to Myanmar, and this is what we did. 
I told Senior General Than Shwe that the international community wants to help Myanmar to achievedemocracy, national reconciliation, durable peace and sustainable development.  And I emphasized that neither peace nor development can thrive without democracy and respect for humanrights. I outlined my proposals for progress. I told Senior General Than Shwe that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners should be released without delay and allowed to participate freely in the political process. I said I wanted to see resumption of substantive and time-bound dialogue between the government and AungSan Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy at the higher level of engagement. I set out detailed criteria for a conducive environment for free and fair elections in 2010. Only then will theelections be seen as credible and legitimate. I have urged them to publish as soon as possible the electoral law and establish an electoral commission and seta date or month for the election in 2010. I discussed the establishment of a broad-based national economicforum to address Myanmar’s development needs. I also discussed the practical issues related to humanitarian assistance, especially the swift issuance of visas. I discussed, as well, the expansion of humanitarian assistance beyond the Delta area. These are all areas where I expect the Myanmar government to demonstrate progress in the very near future. Finally, before I left for the airport, I spoke to an audience of Myanmar senior government officials, diplomats,local and international non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies. It was a huge gathering. Idelivered a wide-ranging speech setting out my messages for Myanmar – on national reconciliation, humanrights and democracy, on humanitarian assistance and on economic progress. Today, before I came here, I had a meeting with the Prime Minster of Thailand and I briefed my visit toMyanmar, and I’m going to continue to engage with the members of the group of friends on Myanmar. My special adviser Mr. Gambari, upon his return to New York, is going to convene the group of friends on Myanmarand brief the members there that we will continue to follow up with the Myanmar authorities on the progress of the issues which I have discussed with the Myanmar authorities. I again thank you for your attention and will welcome a few questions. Thank you very much. 
 Simon Montlake(Christian Science Monitor): Is it fair to say that you are coming away with nothing fromthis trip? It seems like you are going back to New York with absolutely no concessions from the Myanmar Government on any of the points you raised.

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