"ASEAN SG Welcomes Firm Support of PM of Myanmar for the ASEAN-led Approach"
As mandated by ASEAN Foreign Ministers, and at the invitation from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN, visited Yangon on 20-21 May 2008 to formally and personally deliver and follow up on the decisions made at the Special Meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers in Singapore on 19 May 2008.
Dr Surin stressed that his mission to Yangon was necessary for ASEAN to take the lead in coordinating and liaising with the UN system and international community in assisting Myanmar to recover from Cyclone Nargis. It is also meant to ensure all parties concerned that this ASEAN-led initiative is acknowledged, accepted, endorsed, and supported fully by all levels of the Government of Myanmar.
Dr. Surin expressed his gratitude to the Government of Myanmar for its hospitality and for the opportunity to pay a courtesy call on H.E. General Thien Sein, Prime Minister of the Union of Myanmar on 21 May 2008.
Dr. Surin thanked the Prime Minister of Myanmar for his reiteration of his keen interest in and support for the ASEAN-led mechanism, as well as for the strong commitment of the Government of Myanmar to work closely with the Task Force of the ASEAN-led mechanism, which is headed by the Secretary-General of ASEAN.
During the 45-minute courtesy call, Dr. Surin informed H.E. General Thien Sein in details the key steps that shall be undertaken in implementing the decisions made at the Special Meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers. He stressed that the expeditious execution of these steps would create an atmosphere of mutual confidence among all parties concerned. This will ensure the success of the tremendous tasks at hand, including the upcoming ASEAN-UN International Pledging Conference in Yangon on 25 May 2008, and the rehabilitation, resettlement, and reconstruction that will follow.
Dr. Surin also expressed his sincere condolences and conveyed the sympathy of all ASEAN Member States and their peoples to the Prime Minister of Myanmar, the Government of Myanmar and its people for the tragic losses in this cyclone disaster, particularly in the Ayeyawady delta.