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Media advisory: The Elders to visit Myanmar and Thailand on 24-28 March

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Gro Harlem Brundtland and Martti Ahtisaari will spend five days in Myanmar and Thailand. With Myanmar opening up politically and economically, The Elders aim to promote inclusive governance and socio-economic justice.

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On Monday 24 March, two members of The Elders will begin a five-day visit to Myanmar (24-26 March) and Thailand (27-28 March).

As independent leaders committed to peace, justice and human rights, the Elders aim to highlight the benefits of socio-economic justice and promote participatory and inclusive decision-making, at a critical time for Myanmar’s political and economic opening-up.

The Elders travelling to the region are:

  • Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway, former Director-General of the World Health Organization and Deputy Chair of The Elders (delegation leader);
  • Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Laureate.

In Myanmar the Elders will travel to Nay Pyi Taw for meetings with the Government and Parliament, and to Myitkyina (Kachin State), to learn about the current conflict in Kachin State from local people.

In Thailand, the Elders will travel to areas along the border with Myanmar. They will study the long-term impact of the civil wars that have affected Myanmar’s ethnic minority groups for over 60 years, and meet those offering them help and essential public services.

This visit marks the continuation of The Elders’ work in Myanmar, following a first visit by Jimmy Carter (former US President), Martti Ahtisaari and Gro Harlem Brundtland in September 2013.

The purpose of this visit is to meet with a wider cross-section of Myanmar society, including grassroots and ethnic minority organisations the Elders were unable to meet on their first visit.

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