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Burma: United Nations

Volume 475: debated on Friday 16 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when a UN Security Council Presidential Statement on Burma is expected following discussions by the UN Security Council on 24 April. (205807)

On 2 May, immediately before the devastating cyclone hit Burma, the UN Security Council agreed a Presidential Statement relating to the Burmese regime’s 10 May referendum. The Council reaffirmed its statements of 11 October and 15 November 2007 and called on the Burmese regime to establish the conditions and create an atmosphere conducive to an inclusive and credible political process.

Since the cyclone hit, we have focused on the imperative of getting humanitarian need to those who desperately need it.

The UK will continue to make the case for the Security Council to engage on the growing humanitarian situation in Burma.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government is taking to ensure that Burma is put on the UN Security Council’s formal agenda; and if he will make a statement. (205808)

We have made clear our belief that the UN Security Council should engage on the fast deteriorating situation in Burma as a matter of urgency. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has indicated his immense frustration at the way in which the Burmese government is restricting the international aid effect, and the Secretary-General should have the firm resolve of the Security Council behind him. The UK raised Burma in Security Council consultations on 12 May and continues to encourage members to place humanitarian relief on the formal agenda. We have also asked the UN Secretary-General to convene an Emergency Summit of world leaders to press for expanded delivery of aid as soon as possible. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister discussed these issues with the UN Secretary-General on 13 May and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy, Michael Williams, traveled to New York on 14 May to continue this dialogue with the UN and Security Council partners. The UK Permanent Representative in New York continues to make our concerns clear.