UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaking about Burma, 2007-09-26
Gordon Brown: The world is now watching Burma, and this illegitimate and oppressive regime which should know that the whole world is going to hold it to account, and that the age of impunity for neglecting and overriding human rights is over. I want to pay tribute to the courage, and the resilience, and the bravery of the Burmese people, and of Aung San Suu Kyi, who everybody around the world admires. And as a result of the deterioration of the situation, I think there are three things that have got to be done immediately. The European Council will be meeting at official level immediately, and I believe that they will decide that if there is action taken against human rights, that there will be an extension of sanctions and I hope that the whole of the European Union will support that. At the same time, I hope the Security Council will meet immediately, meet today, discuss this issue, and look at what can be done - and the first thing that can be done is that the UN Envoy should be sent to Burma, and I hope he's in a position to go, to make sure that the Burmese regime directly is aware that any trampling of human rights that takes place will have the whole eyes of the world upon them, and will not be acceptable in future. The human rights of the Burmese people are first and foremost in our minds.
Reporter: Isn't the bottom line the fact that whatever the international community does, there is a battle of wills between the regime and the democrats, and ultimately it is a battle that they will fight, whatever the international pressure is?
Gordon Brown: I think the international pressure that can be made to be felt in the next few days is incredibly important. I want to see the whole of the world acting together on this, and I believe that each continent in the world can come together to say that what is happening, with an illegitimate and oppressive regime is unacceptable, that the human rights of the Burmese people have got to be recognised, that there will be no impunity in future for those who trample the human rights of the people of Burma, and I think the strongest possible message has got to be sent out today. First, by the European Union, in saying we are going to extend sanctions; second, by the United Nations, with an emergency discussion at the Security Council on these issues; and thirdly by making clear that the UN Envoy will be there on the spot so that he can make clear to the Burmese regime that what is happening is completely unacceptable. And I have already ensured that the letter I wrote yesterday has been given to the Prime Minister of Burma .
Reporter: Prime Minister, do you feel comfortable as a point of principle with the level of investment of British firms in Burma at the moment?
Gordon Brown: I think everybody knows now that the whole issue of sanctions is going to take on a new dimension, that the European Union - which already has sanctions on the leaders of Burma - is going to look at a whole range of sanctions that could be imposed. And it is the combination of sanctions and the whole world making its views known, and I believe that the whole world will now make its views known, that will make the Burmese regime realise that not only what they're doing is unacceptable, but they're now being held to account in the eyes of the world, that everything that they do is being looked at and they will be held accountable, because there is no impunity for the actions that they are taking.
Reporter: Why not make a stand, you know, for the UK? Why go through, why wait for the EU?
Gordon Brown: But this is exactly how sanctions have got to be most effective, by us all coming together to undertake these sanctions, and that's why what America and what Europe does and what we can do together is important, that's why the Security Council must meet today, and I believe it will meet this afternoon to look at these issues, and we will continue to press for European action, for United Nations action, and of course for every country around the world to say that with the eyes of the world now upon Burma, any infringement of human rights, any violence from this illegitimate and oppressive regime, is unacceptable, and there will be no impunity for those who are responsible for the violence.