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Virginia M. Moncrieff Headshot

Burma - Another UN Failure

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has said he will not travel to Burma because he has no "reasonable expectations of a meaningful outcome."

Mr. Ban was urged by over 100 former world leaders to visit Burma to petition the military regime to release all political prisoners. The UN Security Council called for the release of all political prisoners in 2007. No need to elaborate here on what happened after that resolution.

Is this an indication - as many fear - that the UN have all but given up on the situation in Burma? To write off any possibility of having even modest progress sounds resigned, exhausted and pessimistic.

The UN added in their statement that Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari would not return to Burma any time soon. (His last trip was August, when Aung San Suu Kyi in a confusing and wrong-headed move refused twice to meet with him).

I have friends who are in jail in Burma for the slimmest of reasons, or for what I see as no reason at all. One has a jail sentence of 142 years.

What is a "meaningful outcome?" How do you qualify and quantify that to people who are starving and desperate? Please explain.