United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is hopeful a process initiated by his special envoy to Burma will lead to meaningful dialogue within an agreed timeframe.
He reiterated that a return to the status quo before the recent protests and crackdown is not sustainable.
Mr. Ban's statement was released Monday in New York, where he was briefed earlier by envoy Ibrahim Gambari about his recent visit to Burma.
Speaking last week at the end of his visit, Gambari said a path to dialogue had opened between Burma's military leaders and detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The dissident figure has since met with members of her National League for Democracy for the first time in more than three years. She also has met with a newly appointed government liaison.
Earlier Monday, a U.N. human rights investigator visited a notorious Burmese prison for political detainees as part of his probe of the military-ruled country's crackdown on anti-government protests.
Reporters saw U.N. envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro leave Burma's Insein prison in Rangoon after visiting for at least two hours today (Monday).
Since arriving Sunday, he has traveled to the town of Bago (80 kilometers north of Rangoon) to visit monasteries that were targeted during the government crackdown. He also met with officials at Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon.
Pinheiro is on his first visit to Burma since 2003.
While in Burma, the envoy is expected to try to meet with political detainees and learn the actual death toll from the recent protests seeking economic and democratic reforms.
Burmese officials say 10 people were killed and about three thousand arrested during the protests. Diplomats and human rights groups argue that the true figures are much higher.