Thursday, 25 March 2010

UNSC to have informal briefing on Burma

(Mizzima) – The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday will hear an informal briefing on Burma at the request of Council members, the first such briefing since August 2009, and the country’s newly announced electoral laws are expected to be discussed.

According to a UNSC activity report, the Council’s 15 members are expecting a briefing from the Secretary General’s Chief of Staff, Vijay Nambia, who has been acting as temporary advisor to Ban Ki-moon on Burma since former advisor Ibrahim Gambari left the position at the end of December 2009.

“Myanmar’s [Burma’s] new election laws published earlier this month are expected to be the focus of the briefing and subsequent discussion,” the report said.

However, no Council decision is expected as a result of the hearing.

Burma on March 8th announced its electoral laws for the upcoming elections. The laws effectively ban all political prisoners including Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi from contesting the polling and impose further restrictions that may even ban her from her own party.

Following the announcement, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the laws fail to meet “international expectations of what is required for an inclusive political process.”

Meanwhile the U.S. has said it is ‘deeply disappointed’ and the United Kingdom expressed regret that under the new election laws Aung San Suu Kyi faces expulsion from her party and will be unable to run. Both the U.S. and United Kingdom are permanent members of the UNSC.

Ban, on March 25th, will also convene a meeting of his Group of Friends on Myanmar to further ongoing discussions.

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