Since the very beginning of the crisis in Myanmar in September 2007, marked by many demonstrations in which monks also participated, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner was active to support the process of reconciliation and democratization in Burma. A presidential statement on Burma was adopted for the first time by the UN Security Council on 11 October 2007 ( S/PRST/2007/37) .
Following Cyclone Nargis in May 2008 and in view of the obstacles imposed by the Burmese authorities on humanitarian aid, France, within the Security Council, stressed the urgency of the humanitarian situation and called on Myanmar to better cooperate with the international community. A resolution however, could not be adopted.
Following Aung San Suu Kyi’s imprisonment on 14 May 2009,
the situation in Myanmar was discussed in the Security Council and a press statement relesased (SC/9228) on 22 May 2009 in which members of the Security Council "express their concern about the political impact of recent developments relating to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi", "reiterate the importance of the release of all political prisoners", and "reiterate the need for the Government of Myanmar to create the necessary conditions for a genuine dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all concerned parties and ethnic groups".
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Myanmar on 3 and 4 July 2009 where he met with the highest State authorities, but was not allowed to meet with Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi. The Secretary-General reported on his visit during a public meeting of the Security Council on 13 July 2009. In particular, he reported to the Council that he had urged the Government to ensure that the upcoming elections in 2010 are inclusive, free and fair. The permanent representative of Burma to the United Nations also spoke, emphasizing the assurances offered by his government to the Secretary General that these elections would be fair and credible.
In his statement, the permanent representative of France gave a severe assessment of the situation. He deeply regretted that the authorities had not allowed the Secretary-General to meet with Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi. He regretted that no progress had been made on the release of political prisoners, on the launching of a genuine dialogue for inclusive national reconciliation, and on cooperation with the UN: not only had the Burmese authorities done nothing to meet the demands of the Council, but they had, especially in recent months, made decisions directly contrary to those requests.
Following the sentencing of Aung San Suu Kyi by a Burmese court on 11 August 2009, France called for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council. In a statement read out to the press on 13 August 2009, the Security Council expressed “serious concern” at the conviction and sentencing of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and its political impact and reiterated the importance of the release of all political prisoners in Burma.
The Burmese issue was discussed at the Security Council in consultations on 24 March 2010, following the adoption of electoral laws which excluded Ms Aung San Suu Kyi from the electoral process. The Group of Friends (see below) also met in the presence of the Secretary-General on 25 March.
On 18 November 2010, the Security Council met in consultations to hear a presentation by Mr. Vijay Nambiar, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General, on the situation in Burma, following the 7 November elections and the release Aung San Suu Kyi on 13 November.
On 14 November 2011, the Security Council heard the report of Mr. Nambiar, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Burma, on the political changes underway in that country and the launch of a political transition open to the opposition, including to Aung San Suu Kyi’s party.
On 19 May 2011, the Security Council met in consultations to hear a presentation by Mr. Vijay Nambiar, on the situation in Burma, following his visit to the country the week before.
On 11 April 2012, the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear Mr. Vijay Nambiar, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Myanmar, on the situation in the country.
The elections of April 1, deemed peaceful and credible by the observers on the ground, had allowed the opposition to join the official political structures, and Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, successfully elected to the Burmese parliament was to meet the president of Myanmar today. While the signing of a ceasefire in January 2012 represented a substantial progress, it yet had to be further extended to Kachin State. Humanitarian assistance remained a priority of Mr. Nambiar, and the remaining restrictions on UN agencies and NGOs had yet to be lifted.
On 20 June 2012, the Security Council met in consultations to hear the briefing by Mr. Nambiar, Special Adviser to the Secretary General in Myanmar.
The Representative of France noted with interest the continuing democratic transition and the start of the second wave of economic reform. Despite some noticeable improvements, communitarian violence had intensified between Muslim and Buddhist and the number of victims and refugees had increased. In light of this assessment, he called the international community to provide the necessary humanitarian assistance to Myanmar.
On 16 April 2013, Mr. Nambiar, Special Adviser to the Secretary General in Myanmar, briefed the Council, gathered in closed consultations, on the developments in the country since the violent events of June 2012.
The French Representative expressed his concerns on the pursuit of intercommunity violence, especially against the Rohingya people.
He also called upon the Burmese authorities to enable humanitarian organizations to access every zone of the country, including the Kachin and Arakan regions.
On 17 April 2014, the members of the Security Council met in closed consultations to hear the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Nambiar, on the latest developments in Myanmar.
The Representative of France welcomed the way the Special Representative had facilitated dialogue between the government and armed groups to launch the peace process. We were now in a historical period of transition. The Representative of France however recalled that vigilance needed to prevail in pursuing peace negotiations and regarding the democratic process itself. She also expressed concerns about the human rights situation in East Arkham and about the inter-communal violence. She urged the government to play its role in the easing of tensions.