July 5, 2009

The Burma Campaign UK today called on the United Nations Security Council to pass a binding resolution on Burma following UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon being ignored by Burma’s brutal military dictatorship.

“Ban Ki Moon did not secure a single concession from the regime,” said Mark Farmaner, Director of Burma Campaign UK. “Not one prisoner has been released, there is no agreement for dialogue, and he wasn’t even allowed to meet Aung San Suu Kyi.  The whole trip has been a total failure.”

Ban Ki Moon’s first trip to Burma focussing mainly on the political crisis could have been an opportunity to make a breakthrough.  However, Ban Ki Moon failed to do proper preparation work for his visit, relying instead on his advisor Ibrahim Gambari, who is widely considered gullible and incompetent. Higher level officials should have been sent to prepare the ground for the Secretary General’s visit, and he should have set tangible targets and asked Asian countries to use their influence to support him in achieving those targets.

“For twenty years the United Nations have followed a softly softly policy with Burma’s generals, a policy verging on appeasement,” said Mark Farmaner. “This approach has completely failed, and has now resulted in humiliation for the Secretary General himself. It is time the United Nations woke up to the nature of this dictatorship. They are corrupt soldiers, guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. They do not respond to soft diplomacy and polite requests to reform.”

As a first step the United Nations Security Council should pass a binding resolution requiring the regime to release all political prisoners, end military attacks on ethnic civilians, and enter into genuine tri-partite dialogue. They should also impose a global arms embargo.


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