posted on MON 9 APR 2012 5:04 PM
Briefing on Myanmar

Tomorrow (10 April) during consultations Council members will be updated on developments in Myanmar by the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for Myanmar, Vijay Nambiar. (Nambiar most recently visited Myanmar from 12 - 17 February, his third since the inauguration of President Thein Sein on 30 March 2011.) During his last visit, besides stressing the need for the 1 April by-elections to be credible, Nambiar also highlighted peace and national reconciliation with ethnic groups and the need for the government to deliver on socio-economic needs as priorities. It seems likely that he will stress these priorities in his briefing to Council members.

Council members seem to be largely interested in hearing about the recent landmark by-elections to fill 45 parliamentary seats. The elections resulted in Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy winning 43 seats out of the 44 constituencies where it fielded candidates. (Aung San Suu Kyi will take her seat in parliament for the first time on 23 April.).

Most Council members seem to see the recent elections as a major step forward and appear to be interpreting the recent progress as a positive sign. However, some Council members are likely to be concerned with the next steps forward, including the release of the remainder of political prisoners as well as the national reconciliationprocess. There may also be some interest in hearing more about the talks between the government and the Karen National Union for a ceasefire and peace agreement.

This briefing comes as the Secretary-General is scheduled to visit Myanmar at the end of April. It appears likely that Council members are also likely to discuss the Secretary-General’s forthcoming visit and any future UN engagement to strengthen the reform process.