UN chief hails dialogue in Myanmar's reform process

United Nations, June 15 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the current efforts by Myanmar's parliamentarians to "foster genuine dialogue and participation by all political parties in the reform process" in the country.

The secretary-general made the statement after meeting a parliamentary delegation from Myanmar led by Thura Shwe Mann, speaker of the lower house, Xinhua reported.

The delegation comprised five other parliamentarians representing various political parties in Myanmar, including the Union Solidarity and Development Party, the Unity and Democracy Party of Kachin State and National League for Democracy, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

"The secretary-general welcomed the ongoing efforts by the speaker and Myanmar's parliamentarians to foster genuine dialogue and participation by all political parties in the reform process," Nesirky said.

"In particular, the secretary-general appreciated the supportive role that parliament could play in furthering the national reconciliation processes in Myanmar and underlined the need for cooperation on the part of all political stakeholders in this regard," he said.

During the meeting at the UN Headquarters in New York, the UN secretary-general "welcomed the important role played by parliament in helping advance Myanmar's reforms, including through legislation aimed at facilitating political, economic and social progress," the spokesman said.

"In order to safeguard this process, the secretary-general underscored the need to address the underlying causes of communal violence, guaranteeing respect for the fundamental rights of ethnic and religious minorities and ensuring accountability for the perpetrators of the violence," Nesirky said.

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