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Burma: Constitution

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his UN Security Council counterparts on the referendum on the constitution in Burma in May 2008; and what role the UN is likely to play in monitoring the conduct of the referendum. (189418)

The UN Security Council has not yet discussed the constitutional referendum announced by the Burmese regime for May 2008. The UN Secretary-General hosted a meeting of the Group of Friends of Burma on 13 February which discussed the announcement. During the meeting, the UK and other members of the Security Council expressed concern that the proposed referendum would not be inclusive or genuine. The Group of Friends pressed for the early return of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Burma, Professor Gambari, to help facilitate national reconciliation and a genuine democratic process.

We will continue to work with our partners in the region, and in the Security Council, to bring about genuine progress towards democracy, national reconciliation and respect for human rights in Burma.

There are currently no plans for the UN to monitor the elections.