Speech/statement | Date: 29/09/2015
Foreign Minister Børge Brende's statement at the meeting of the Partnership Group on Myanmar in New York on 29 September.
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Secretary General, Ministers, Friends of Myanmar,
Let me start by thanking the Secretary General for convening this meeting.
Myanmar is currently undertaking large political as well as economic reforms.
Important steps have been made to move the peace process forward, and towards reaching a national ceasefire.
We have seen many positive changes in a democratic and peaceful direction during the last years, although many challenges remain.
In particular, we are concerned about the situation in Rakhine.
The divide between the ethnic and religious groups is deep and conflicting.
The humanitarian situation is critical.
It is urgent to resolve the issue of citizenship for temporary id-card holders and to improve living conditions for all groups.
I strongly believe that an all-inclusive political dialogue is vital for creating lasting peace in Myanmar.
As such, it is crucial that the elections in November are fair, transparent and inclusive without regard to religion, ethnicity or political party.
Today, Myanmar is standing at a cross-roads in its history.
The reforms must not come to a standstill.
70% of the population lack access to electricity.
In many regions, children do not go to schools.
A successful democratic transition, based on the respect for human rights and the rule of law, is fundamental to secure sustainable development, foreign investments, education and employment opportunities.
In other words: Lasting peace and a stable democracy is the key to Myanmar's transition from a developing to a middle-income country.
Finally, I would like to underline the constructive role of the Secretary General and his special advisor on Myanmar, and reiterate Norway's firm support to Myanmar's peace and reform process.