18 May 2004
Secretary-General Reiterates that Myanmars National Convention Must Be All-Inclusive to Be Credible
NEW YORK, 17 May (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of a statement attributable to the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General notes with concern that Myanmars National Convention was reconvened today without the involvement of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and other political parties who won the majority of seats in the elections of 1990.
The Secretary-General reiterates that, for the National Convention to be credible, it must be all-inclusive and that all the delegates must be able to express their views without sanction. The release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has clearly indicated her willingness to work with the Government, and U Tin Oo, Deputy Chairman of the NLD, as well as the lifting of the remaining restrictions on the NLD, are essential if the international community is to recognize the National Convention as a legitimate forum for democratisation and national reconciliation in Myanmar. The Secretary-General and his Special Envoy are dismayed that, despite receiving assurances from the Government, the SPDC (State Peace and Democracy Council) did not take these necessary steps.
The Secretary-General appeals to the countries in the region to counsel the SPDC to take these steps. In the belief that a solution can still be found through dialogue, the Secretary-General calls on the SPDC to allow his Special Envoy to return to Myanmar as soon as possible.
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