Burma: Politics and Government

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Alistair Carmichael Alistair Carmichael Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will request the United Nations Security Council to undertake a review of the 2008 Burmese constitution together with representatives of (a) pro-democracy, (b) ethnic and (c) other groups in Burma.

Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

In November 2009 the UK helped to secure a UN General Assembly Resolution on the human rights situation in Burma, which called on the Burmese authorities to undertake a transparent, inclusive and comprehensive review of the Constitution while fully engaging with the democratic opposition and ethnic groups. We believe that a process of dialogue involving all actors in Burma will ensure a sustainable transition to democracy. This view is shared by other members of the EU and the United States of America.

In the UN Security Council, we regularly test the level of consensus for action on Burma, and have succeeded in securing discussion and a number of important Presidential Statements since autumn 2007. We do not judge, however, that an attempt to secure a Security Council review on the 2008 Constitution now would be successful. A resolution on Burma tabled in January 2007 was vetoed by two Permanent Members of the Council and any attempt to invalidate the Constitution will suffer the same fate.

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