Friday, 11 July 2008

Gambari Meets UN General Assembly President

The Irrawaddy News

UN Special Envoy on Burma Ibrahim Gambari met with the UN General Assembly president on Thursday to discuss the current political situation in Burma and the humanitarian response to Cyclone Nargis, which struck the country in early May.

Gambari, who is scheduled to visit Burma later this month, met with Srgjan Kerim of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, who was elected president of the assembly in 2007, to serve a one-year term.

Gambari’s mandate comes from the General Assembly, not from the UN Security Council or the UN secretary-general.

They discussed the Burmese government’s progress in moving toward democracy and the humanitarian cooperation between Burma, the UN and Asean countries, in response to the devastation caused by the cyclone, according to a spokesperson.

No date has been set for Gambari's visit to Burma.

“As you know, he has a standing invitation,” said a UN spokesperson. “However, he hasn't decided on a date yet, because it requires quite a bit of preparation before he goes there."

The General Assembly president said he strongly encourages the Burmese government to continue to work closely with Gambari to achieve tangible progress in implementing General Assembly resolutions on Burma.

The spokesperson said Kerim is encouraged by the role played by neighboring Asean countries and the Groups of Friends of the secretary-general on Burma.

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