Part of Oral Answers to Questions — International Development – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 11th June 2008.

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Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander The Secretary of State for International Development 11:30 am, 11th June 2008

Of course, we want to see all Governments meet their obligations towards their people, not least in circumstances of a humanitarian crisis on that scale. I assure the hon. Gentleman that the United Kingdom Government have been at the forefront of efforts to raise the issue within the United Nations. I welcome the fact that the UN Secretary-General will be briefing the Security Council in the days ahead, following his visit to Burma. I can further confirm that we strongly urged the Secretary-General to take a personal interest in Burma and to visit Burma, not least given our concerns as to the importance of the crisis and on dealing with the crisis for the UN system more generally. Only yesterday, I spoke with the UN emergency co-ordinator, John Holmes. I also spoke to Dr. Surin, the secretary-general of the Association of South East Asian Nations, and urged both of them to continue their efforts through the UN-ASEAN bridge to ensure that, limited though it has been, we see significant uplifts in the level of access in the days ahead.

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