Where’s the Timeframe?
covering burma and southeast asia
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Where’s the Timeframe?

By Paulo Sergio Pinheiro Wednesday, June 29, 2005

(Page 2 of 3)

So the idea is to go to the country before so that I can have material and interviews.


Q: There is a sense among Burmese people that the UN has essentially failed to prompt reforms in the country. What do you think?


A: It’s unfair to say this because it is not the responsibility of the UN. What the resolution of the General Assembly gives to the Secretary General is to facilitate precisely the role of the national actors to make these reforms. It is not the UN, the UN is not the government of the world. The responsibility is first of all the government and also of all the political forces and I must say that the UN doesn’t fail because you have to consider that all the agencies are doing extraordinary work. But what is not functioning at the moment is not the responsibility of the Secretary General, it’s the responsibility of the government because the government refuses the presence of the special envoy [Razali Ismail] and does not accept my visit. Then it is not the fault of the UN. Only when you have a mandate for other countries that is very specific, for instance the transition in East Timor, my fellow Brazilian was there, Sergio Vieira de Mello, but this is not the case with Myanmar. The case of Myanmar is a resolution to facilitate the political process and I think Ambassador Razali has been successful. I disagree with people saying that Razali was not able to perform. Today he is the best person in the world that knows all the players, the actual leaders and Aung San Suu Kyi.


What I am asking of the Myanmar authorities is a clarification about what they propose, that they reveal what they can do.
— Paulo Sergio Pinherio


Q: What is the time frame for the national reconciliation process? When will a national referendum and subsequent election happen?


A: Who can answer this? Only the government of Myanmar, I don’t have the answer. We just know the succession of steps of the roadmap but the timeframe—never. The previous administration and the present administration—they never were very clear about that. But I can say that yes, a timeframe is important. The political transition process cannot go on forever, it is not healthy. From my own experience, Brazil has one of the longest—10 years of political transition. I can assure you it was very boring and unbearable to have a political transition over 10 years, 10 years of my life. I spent one third of my life under a military dictatorship and 10 years in political transition. What I want to say is that if this process is postponed the political situation will be more complicated.

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