7 March 2008Cooperation between the United Nations and Myanmar and the country’s ongoing constitutional process were on the agenda today as the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, Ibrahim Gambari, continued his latest mission to the South-East Asian nation. Mr. Gambari met today with Myanmar’s Government Authoritative Team, including the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Information and Culture. “They held candid discussions on present and future cooperation between Myanmar and the United Nations in the context of the Secretary-General’s good offices mandate,” UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York. The Special Adviser also met with members of the Referendum Convening Commission and the Constitution Drafting Committee, and had detailed discussions on the ongoing constitutional process, she added. Last month the authorities in Myanmar announced a constitutional referendum to be held this May, to be followed by “multi-party democratic elections” in 2010. “Mr. Gambari looks forward to holding further discussions with the leadership and Government on Myanmar and all other relevant interlocutors,” Ms. Montas added. Upon his arrival in Yangon yesterday, Mr. Gambari held talks with Myanmar’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, and met with the UN Country Team, the diplomatic corps and the representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This is his third visit since last year’s Government crackdown on peaceful protesters.
Credit: Paul Springett/Alamy Baroness Warsi, who made history as Britain’s first Muslim Cabinet member, said the veil has no purpose in British Islam. However, she is opposed to an outright ban, saying that as a civil libertarian she does not want the government to dictate what women wear. British Muslim communities must “lead the charge” against the face veil, according to Baroness Warsi, who said the covering has “no place in the landscape”. Baroness Warsi is opposed to an outright ban on the face veil Speaking at the Hay Festival, Baroness Warsi said: “I have an issue with the veil because I don’t think it’s a British manifestation. “The veil was used in pre-Islamic days by well-to-do women who went to the market and didn’t want to hang out with the plebs. It was used in Saudi Arabia… read more