UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed frustration at the "unacceptably slow response" to providing aid for victims of cyclone Nargis in Burma. Anaïs Boussat reports from the scene that aid in the Irrawaddy Delta still appears to be only Burmese.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ratcheted up the pressure on
"Today is the eleventh day since ... Nargis hit
In his most critical comments on
"We are at a critical point," he said. "Unless more aid gets into the country very quickly, we face an outbreak of infectious diseases that could dwarf today's crisis."
"I therefore call, in the most strenuous terms, on the government of
U.N. humanitarian affairs chief John Holmes told reporters a problem with visas for U.N. relief officials had improved somewhat. He said a total of 34
"We share that frustration," he said. "If there is no progress (on aid delivery)...we will again raise that issue in the Security Council and will consider submitting a text."
Western diplomats said the French were considering asking the 15-nation council to adopt a nonbinding statement calling on
However, a number of countries, including
British Ambassador John Sawers, the Security Council's current president, said some members felt
Western members of the Security Council strongly disagree.
"The cyclone there 11 days ago took tens of thousands of lives, but the inability to get aid through is risking hundreds of thousands of lives," Sawers said.
He also condemned
"I think it's shocking, frankly, that at a time of natural disaster like this, when the whole international community under the leadership of the United Nations is lined up to help, that the leaders of that country are not prepared to engage in discussions as to how that help can best be deployed."
Date created : 2008-05-13