Statement by Mr. Fazlı Çorman Charge D'Affaires of Turkey to the UN in The Meeting of the Security Council on Mynmar

Fazlı Çorman 13.07.2009
I thank the Secretary General for his extensive briefing concerning his recent visit to Myanmar on 3-4 July 2009. This second visit of the Secretary General in just over a year was again very timely and we hope that it will lead to concrete examples of cooperation between the Government of Myanmar and the UN.

Turkey attaches great importance to the national reconciliation and the protection of human rights in Myanmar. We therefore fully support the Secretary General's good offices mission in this direction, as mandated by the General Assembly, as well as the efforts of his Special Adviser Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari.

Myanmar has undergone very tough times in the last two years and we all remember the disastrous consequences of Cyclone Nargis. This tragedy showed the resilience of the people of Myanmar and we are now happy to hear from the Secretary General that the rebuilding efforts are gradually bearing fruit.

We are also pleased to hear about some other positive developments in the political and economic domains, such as the ceasefire agreements between the Government and armed groups, as well as the facilitation of external trade and investment.

Yet, we would want to see more substantive and tangible progress in the protection of human rights and political freedoms. Echoing the words of the Secretary General at the end of his visit to Yangon; peace, development and human rights are closely interrelated in all countries and Myanmar is no exception.

In this regard, the elections to be held in 2010 will be a critical test. These elections ought to be free and fair including the pre-election period. All political parties should be allowed to campaign for and participate in these elections freely.

Furthermore, the Government of Myanmar should establish the necessary conditions for national reconciliation through an inclusive process with the full participation of all political parties and groups.

Mr. President,

This brings me to the release of all political prisoners and in particular to the situation of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. As a leading opposition figure it is unfortunate that Ms. Suu Kyi has spent 13 years under house arrest. In this context, and even more significantly, her recent imprisonment just a few weeks before she was bound to be released of house arrest raises yet again important question marks which need to be elucidated.

In this regard, the refusal by the Myanmar Government to allow the Secretary General visit Ms. Suu Kyi is certainly not a welcome development.

However, irrespective of the individual cases, we believe it is high time that the Government of Myanmar should heed the repeated appeals of the Security Council and release all political prisoners. This is indeed essential for the establishment of a political environment conducive to dialogue, conciliation and mutual respect leading to free and fair elections, results of which have to be respected and honored by all.

We sincerely hope that all parties and primarily the Government will seize this historic opportunity presented by the 2010 elections in order to embark upon an irreversible track of national reconciliation and peace. The Secretary General has declared that the UN could and would assist Myanmar in this process and Turkey supports the UN efforts in this direction.

Thank you.