Monday, November 19, 2007

COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION: Council Conclusions on Burma

2830th GENERAL AFFAIRS Council meeting
Brussels, 19 November 2007
The Council adopted the following conclusions:

"1. The European Union remains concerned by the situation in Burma/Myanmar and reiterates its call on the government to take substantive steps to address the concerns of its people and the international community. The Council underlines its call for an end to the continuing arrests, therelease of those detained in recent protests and all other political prisoners, as well as the early launch of a credible, comprehensive and inclusive process of national reconciliation.

2. The EU reaffirms its strong support for the UN efforts to bring about positive change in Burma/Myanmar. The EU welcomes the visit of the UNSG's envoy, Mr Ibrahim Gambari there, from 3 to 8 November 2007. The EU looks forward to Mr Gambari's return and reiterates its call on the government of Burma/Myanmar to afford him all possible assistance, access and freedom of action in order to carry out his mandate.

3. The Council welcomes the recent visit of UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, Mr Sergio Pinheiro, from 11 to 15 November, and looks forward to his report to the December session of the Human Rights Council.

4. The Council welcomes the appointment of Mr Piero Fassino as EU Special Envoy for Burma to support the UN's good offices mission. This appointment underlines the importance that the EU attaches to development, democratic change, reconciliation and the improvement of the human rights situation in Burma/Myanmar.

5. The Council welcomes Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's constructive statement relayed through Mr Gambari, and urges the government of Burma/Myanmar to seize this opportunity to enter into a meaningful dialogue leading to stability, prosperity and democracy for Burma/Myanmar. The EU calls for all restrictions on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to be lifted so that she can play a full part in the process of national reconciliation.

6. The EU welcomes the efforts by ASEAN and the neighbours of Burma/Myanmar to influence the Burmese authorities, and encourages its partners in ASEAN and the region to use every opportunity, including the 11th ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit, to maintain the pressure for a credible and inclusive process of national reconciliation. The EU will use the occasion of the upcoming EU-ASEAN commemorative Summit to discuss the situation in Burma/Myanmar.

7. The Council notes today's adoption of the Common Position implementing restrictive measures against Burma/Myanmar. Recalling the Council Conclusions of 15 October 2007, the Council also notes that relevant bodies are taking forward work to elaborate further restrictive measures.

8. The EU again expresses its readiness to assist Burma/Myanmar in a process of transition. The EU regrets that the Burmese government has made this impossible so far. The EU is planning, with international partners, to increase humanitarian support to the Burmese people. The EU stands ready to review the restrictive measures, to engage with Burma/Myanmar in its development and to
find new areas of cooperation, should the situation improve."

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