U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed "grave concern" at Burma's refusal to free opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi ahead of elections in November.
Mr. Ban said Burma's military government should release the opposition leader if it wants the November elections to have international credibility. He said this would be the clearest signal that the government is committed to a free vote.
In a report on Burma's human rights, Mr. Ban also described himself as frustrated by the Burmese government's lack of engagement with the international community. He said he is disappointed that Burma has failed to meaningfully discuss the issues.
The secretary-general urged Burma to make progress in overcoming what he called its legacies of political deadlock and armed conflict.
The country is scheduled to hold its first elections in 20 years on November 7. The new legislature is likely to include critical voices for the first time in decades, but harsh restrictions on opposition parties have virtually ensured victory for a military-backed party.
The election is the nation's first since Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy won in a landslide in 1990. The military did not recognize the results of that election.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.