The United Nations envoy to Burma says he is not confident a planned mission to the country by Southeast Asian nations will immediately improve the chances of democratic reform.
Razali Ismail welcomed the decision of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to send Malaysia's foreign minister Syed Hamid Albar to Burma. But he said he is not optimistic the visit will produce meaningful results.
At its recent summit, ASEAN made an unprecedented united call for Burma to speed its long-stalled political and human rights reforms.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International has praised a decision by the United Nations Security Council to schedule a discussion of the rights situation in Burma.
The rights group urged the council to demand that Burma's government end what it called grave human rights violations.
Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.