News / Asia

    UN Envoy Urges Lifting of Burma Sanctions

    UN special adviser Vijay Nambiar (L) speaks during a news conference following his meeting with Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, at her home in Rangoon, Burma, February 16, 2012.
    UN special adviser Vijay Nambiar (L) speaks during a news conference following his meeting with Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, at her home in Rangoon, Burma, February 16, 2012.
    Margaret Besheer

    The U.N.’s top envoy for Burma is urging the international community to lift sanctions imposed on that country’s previous military government, saying “dramatic changes” are happening there as the country transitions towards democracy.

    Vijay Nambiar visited Burma, also known as Myanmar, for four days earlier this month. He told reporters Friday that the upcoming parliamentary elections on April 1 are an important test for the civilian government, which came to power last March.

    “For these elections to be credible, they have to be free and fair, and to be seen by all to be so. This includes ensuring a level playing field for all parties to compete openly and addressing complaints swiftly and transparently - this point was mentioned by me to most of my interlocutors dealing with the elections," said Nambiar. "The by-election will be a critical test of the government’s commitment to broaden and enhance the credibility of the democratic process in the country.”

    The Secretary-General’s Special Advisor said the United Nations had not been asked, nor had it offered any technical assistance for the upcoming elections. But he did note that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN] had offered to send observers.

    Nambiar cited progress in the country’s transition from military dictatorship to democracy in the run-up to April’s vote, including the registration of the opposition National League for Democracy [NLD] party; the registration as a candidate by its head, pro-democracy activist and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi; and the release of a significant number of political prisoners. He cautioned, however, that the onus remains on the government to consolidate gains and bring real reform.

    He said the government must deliver on socio-economic needs, and he urged the international community to lift economic and financial sanctions imposed on the former military government for its human rights abuses and other repressive measures.

    “The international community, on its part, must respond robustly to the needs of Myanmar’s people, including by lifting the current restrictions imposed against the country and on U.N. programs. Now is the time to build conditions for sustaining the reform for the betterment of the people of this country,” said Nambiar.

    Nambiar welcomed the Burmese government’s engagement with the United Nations on several fronts, including organizing the country’s first census since 1983.



    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora