5 September, NRPC Yangon
Thank you State Counsellor for inaugurating the Advisory Commission here at the National Reconciliation and Peace Centre. This is my first visit to Myanmar. During my days as the Secretary General, I followed developments in Myanmar very closely and indeed since I left office. So I am delighted at last to be here in the country.
Allow me to convey my congratulations to you and the leaders of the former government on the extraordinary success of the transitional process. I believe that it has been an inspiration for many people around the world. The search for peace continues. The recent Peace Conference that you convened was another significant step in that direction and the goal of achieving a secure and prosperous future for the people of Myanmar.
Peace and prosperity is, of course, a national project. The ambition of achieving lasting peace and growing prosperity is nowhere more pressing than in Rakhine State, a state with a vast but under-realized potential. So I and my fellow commissioners were gratified by your invitation to join the Commission, although we are keenly aware that the Commission has a formidable task ahead of it. The Commission brings together a very distinguished group of individuals from Myanmar and beyond. I know that I can count on their full support and I look forward to working closely with them over the next twelve months.
The challenges facing Rakhine are complex and deep-rooted. However, I can ensure you and the people of Rakhine that the Advisory Commission will deploy every effort with rigorous impartiality to find and propose ways to address these challenges. We have no time to lose and tomorrow we will travel to Sittwe to begin our consultations.
It will be the first of many visits, as my fellow Commissioners will travel frequently to Rakhine over the coming year in order to consult widely.
We intend to work closely with the people of Rakhine. Dialogue will be the order of the day. We will engage with community and religious leaders, the local administration, and the members of the State Assembly as well as the central authorities as we develop our proposals over the coming twelve months.
I am confident that we can assist the people of Rakhine to chart a common path to a peaceful and prosperous future.