France acts for change in Myanmar
France has always considered Myanmarto be an important country in Southeast Asia. Since the 1990 elections, we have consistently, with our partners in the European Union, called for the resumption of apoliticalprocess making it possible to achieve national reconciliation and the establishment of democracy through dialogue. To this end,we have made Aung San Suu Kyi’s struggle our own to a very large extent.
Franceregretted that the elections on 7 November 2010 were neither free nor pluralistic. Hundreds of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, including Aung San Suu Kyi, were detained. The opposition’s rights have not been respected.
Mr.Alain Juppé, Ministre d’État, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, went to Myanmar from 14 to 16 January 2012. This historic visit – the first by a French foreign affairs minister to Myanmar and the first French ministerial visit since 1988 – was made possible by the political reform process initiated since summer 2011. The Ministre d’État encouraged President Thein Sein and the Myanmar authorities to continue and to amplify this movement, by taking concrete measures in favour of national reconciliation, human rights and minorities and democratization.
This visit was the occasion for Mr.Juppé, on behalf of the President of the Republic, to bestow upon Ms.Aung San Suu Kyi the insignia of Commander of the Legion of Honour.
This visit also made it possible to give fresh impetus to cooperation relations between France and Myanmar. Mr.Juppé announced a tripling of France’s bilateral aid to Myanmar, targeting humanitarian and emergency aid, development aid, support for NGOs and Myanmar civil society, and the development of cultural relations. On 22 March 2012, the French Development Agency (AFD) was authorized to intervene in the country for four years (“country exiting a crisis” mandate).
At the French President’s invitation, Ms.Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, a deputy in the Myanmar Parliament and Chairperson of the National League for Democracy, visited France from 26 to 29 June 2012. On the occasion of this visit, the last stop in her first trip to Europe in nearly 25 years, France paid tribute to this extraordinary woman’s battle for human rights and emphasized its active support for the democratic transition process under way in Myanmar.
Along with its partners, France is making sure that United Nations remains apprised of the human rights situation in Myanmar. Every year, we support the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council with regard to this country, carried by the European Union. France fully supports the work of the Special Reporter appointed by the Human Rights Council, Mr.Tomas Ojea Quintana.
The French Embassy in Myanmar website:www.ambafrance-mm.org
Updated on 01.08.12