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Burma: United Nations

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to Burma has had with the UN Secretary General on his forthcoming trip to Burma; and when his visit is scheduled. (243160)

My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary regularly discuss the situation in Burma with the UN Secretary General. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister raised the issue with Ban Ki Moon as recently as 9 December.

The UN Secretary-General announced earlier this month that he would not now be travelling to Burma later this month, because he did not believe the conditions were right. He expressed his frustration at the lack of progress made; called on the regime to respond to the concerns of the international community; and urged all countries with influence to encourage the regime to co-operate with the UN. We share his concerns and echo his call for the international community, and particularly Burma's neighbours, to do more to support his efforts. Should the Secretary-General choose to visit next year he will, of course, have our full support. We continue to believe that the UN Good Offices Mission, and Ban Ki Moon's personal engagement, can have a positive impact on Burma's transition to democracy.