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Burma: United Nations

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 May 2008 to my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Norfolk (Mr. Simpson), Official Report, column 1813W, on Burma: United Nations, what further steps he has taken to co-ordinate international pressure on the ruling authorities in Burma to permit the fullest possible assistance to reach those affected by Cyclone Nargis. (207429)

My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, and I, have continued lobbying regional leaders. My noble Friend, Lord Malloch-Brown, visited Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Burma for ministerial discussions recently. On 19 May the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers agreed to create an aid co-ordination and delivery mechanism for Burma. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed Burma with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on 20 May. The UN Secretary-General attended the International Conference on Aid to Burma, co-ordinated by the UN and ASEAN, held in Rangoon on 25 May. We will continue to encourage the ASEAN countries urgently to set up a supply chain which we, and other donors, can use. We will continue to press for unfettered access to all the affected areas.