"I can't get Myanmar on the agenda at the Security Council," British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said in an interview. "I've tried for the last six months. Some members say it is a matter of internal security and domestic affairs, and unless the government of Burma is prepared to go along with it, then you wouldn't make progress."
For years, there have been two competing but ineffective, approaches to Myanmar. The U.S. has imposed economic sanctions, contributing to the country's financial decline but failing to topple the regime. Neighbors such as China, India and Thailand have advocated engagement with the regime while developing economic ties, but this strategy has produced no significant concessions.
The U.N. has had no success in promoting political change or winning the release of Suu Kyi through negotiations. The world body's special envoy to Myanmar, Razali Ismail, has not even been allowed to enter the country since March 2004.
In the face of global criticism, Myanmar has pursued a strategy of promising change while delivering little. It has claimed for years that it is working toward democracy, but no elections have been held since 1990, and military officers hold virtually every top position in government. The drafting of a new constitution has been in progress for more than 12 years.