Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Benjamin Rhodes’ Meeting with Non-Governmental Organizations Working to Promote Human Rights and Democracy in Burma
Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Assistant to the President Benjamin Rhodes met today with representatives of non-governmental organizations working to promote human rights and democracy in Burma. Mr. Rhodes noted that human rights and democracy are at the core of our bilateral agenda with Burma, engaged the group on their concerns about the challenges confronting reform in Burma, and outlined the President’s priorities for future engagement with the Government of Burma. Mr. Rhodes underscored the importance of addressing the humanitarian needs, rights, and status of the Rohingya community in Rakhine State, and other Muslim minority communities throughout Burma. He emphasized the need for constitutional reforms that transfer political power to a civilian-led, elected government and ensure the people of Burma can elect the leader of their choice. He also discussed the status of the ongoing ceasefire negotiations with ethnic nationalities, the 2015 elections, the importance of establishing an office representing the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Burma, and concerns about media freedoms, protection of the rights of women, and political prisoners.