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UN Briefings on China and Burma - 2002-10-15


During the daily noon briefing on Monday, October 14th. at the UN Headquarters, New York, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General of the United Nations , Hua Jiang said the UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan arrived in Hangzhou, China on Sunday where he received an honorary doctorate at Zhejiang University. At midday , Mr. Annan flew to Beijing, where he met with his Special Envoy for Burma, Razali Ismail who accompanied him at his meeting at the Great Hall of the People with President Jiang Zemin . They discussed globalization, terrorism, the Arab-Israel conflict, tensions between India and Pakistan and the threat of military action against Iraq. She also said the Secretary-General, accompanied by Special Envoy Razali, then met for an hour an a half with Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan. During the meeting she said , Mr. Razali briefed the Minister on his efforts to promote reconciliation in Burma between the Government and the Opposition Party. Ms. Jiang also noted at the daily briefing that Paulo Sergio Pinheiro , the UN Human Rights Commission’s Rapporteur on Burma said in his latest report that the Burmese society is at the threshold of great changes and is becoming more sensitive to the moral and practical need to move at a faster pace than before towards a democratic, tolerant and peaceful future. But she said Mr. Pinheiro warned that recent positive developments in the political field have not and could not possibly bring about significant improvements to the complex human rights and humanitarian situation ; this is only feasible, he said in the context of a sustainable process of political transition and national reconciliation.

The highlights of the UN daily briefing also noted that Mr. Pinheiro said tangible progress needs to be made on such issues as the unconditional release of all political prisoners; the lifting of restrictions on the exercise of basic human rights and freedoms and on the operation of political parties; the establishment of a functioning system of the rule of law and an increased pace in the transition to democracy in Burma. (This information is gleaned from UN Daily Press Briefing on Monday, October 14th 2002 UN Headquarters, New York .)

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