12 July 2024

UN envoy to Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener is in Bangkok to begin a tour of Asia in an effort to help find ways to end the ongoing crisis in Myanmar.

Informed sources told Thai PBS World that Burgener is observing the 14-day Covid-19 quarantine after her arrival in Bangkok yesterday.

The sources said Burgener will visit Japan, Indonesia and China among other countries as part of her tour.  She also hopes to visit Myanmar.

Burgener, who has served as Swiss ambassador to Thailand, will hold talks with officials of the Thai Foreign Ministry after her quarantine.

AFP quoted UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric as saying that the junta in Myanmar has not yet given Burgener a “green light” to visit the country, where hundreds have died in mass protests demanding a return to democracy after the February 1 putsch.

“She, of course, stands ready to resume dialogue with the military to contribute to a return to Myanmar’s democratic path, peace and stability,” Dujarric said. He said Burgener continued to be in written contact with Myanmar’s generals but added that there had been no telephone conversations for weeks.

The goal is to resume “face to face” discussions, he said.  “She is ready to visit Myanmar any time,” said Dujarric, recalling that with the support of the Security Council she wants to meet detained civilian leaders, including President Wint Myint and Aung San Suu Kyi.

He said while in Bangkok she will meet Thai authorities, UN officials in the region and ambassadors accredited to Myanmar.  Discussions are underway for a visit to other member countries of the regional association Asean, and states in the region, the spokesman also reported.

“As she has highlighted repeatedly, a robust international response to the ongoing crisis in Myanmar requires a unified regional effort involving neighboring countries who can leverage influence towards stability,” he said.