Once again I have the honor and the privilege of addressing this gathering of thinkers and doers, movers and shakers, who are in positions to influence the direction that our world will take in the foreseeable future. I would like to express my thanks to the organizers of the World Economic Forum, especially to Professor Schwab who made it possible for this message to be sent and who also kindly invited me, very warmly, to join you here. That I am, very regretfully, not able to be with you today is due to reasons which are closely related to the theme of this meeting – “The great Transformation: Shaping New Models.”
Last year I spoke of the challenges that Burma was facing, our missed opportunities, our fundamental need for political stability, national reconciliation and rule of law, that we may be able to achieve genuine democratization, human development and economic growth. The aspirations of our people, not only to catch up with the rest of the world, but to make their own contribution towards a safer, happier planet for us all.
A year on I can say that we have taken some steps towards meeting those challenges. We are not yet at the point of a “great transformation,” but we have a rare and extremely precious opportunity to reach such a point. That Minister U Soe Thane is attending the 2012 World Economic Forum is a sign of the positive changes that have been taking place in our country. I would like to appeal to all those who wish to promote the interests of Burma, and other nations and societies struggling for peace and stability, development and prosperity, to support us in our efforts to take the next crucial task, that will enable us to bridge the gap between potential and fulfillment.
It gives me intense satisfaction, I do not think it will be going too far to say that it thrills me, to learn that the purpose of this Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum is to ensure that the leaders exercise their responsibilities, jointly, boldly and strategically to improve the state of the world for future generations.
May I be so bold as to say that this is a happy paraphrase of a major aim of my party, The National League for Democracy, except that we aspire, modestly, to start with our own country before we extend our efforts to the rest of the world.
This brings me back to the reason why I am not with you today. As I said earlier, the possibility of a “great transformation” is in sight for our country. An important step that will take us nearer to a truly revolutionary break through will be the inclusion of all relevant political forces in the electoral and legislative process of our country.
We are now reconstructing our party and preparing to contest by elections scheduled for first April. That we may extend our efforts for peace, national reconciliation, here I would like to emphasize the need to resolve ethnic conflicts and democratization into the national assembly. The work connected with these preparations is keeping me away from your meeting this year but I hope the fruit of our labors will contribute towards to a closer, positive links between our domestic economy and global developments.
Economic progress is dependent on more than the fiscal and monetary measures that have been advocated for Burma by international financial Institutions. Such measures will need to be up held by judicial and legislative reforms, which will guarantee that sound regulations and laws will be administrated justly and effectively.
We wish to create a political, social and economic environment that will bring ethical, new and innovative investments to our country. We would like to draw up our blue print for a sustainable new model economy with a view to the future needs of our globe, social and environmental concerns, woven into food, water and energy needs.
Once again I would like to end with an appeal to all of you: please support our endeavors to make Burma the shining representative of what can be possible if we cooperate in our efforts to make our world a happier, safer home for all our peoples.
In conclusion, may I say that I very much hope that the day will come when I too can be part of this distinguished, vibrant gathering.