GENEVA, Switzerland, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Myanmar has made important steps in terms of political reform but violence continues to undermine its long-term prospects, a U.N. rights envoy said Friday.
Tomas Ojea Quintana, U.N. special envoy to Myanmar, said the country formerly known as Burma has "an active Parliament" and made several key political steps since general elections ended military rule in 2010.
"These developments need to be supported and encouraged, but it is also important to highlight the human rights shortcomings that exist in the reform process and work to find solutions," he said in a statement from Geneva, Switzerland.
The government has signed more than a dozen security agreements with ethnic armed groups fighting in the country. Quintana said the accords were significant as the country mulls a nationwide cease-fire provision.
Myanmar's national security has been challenged by ongoing fighting in northern Kachin state and the coastal state of Rakhine. Ongoing fighting in Kachin, in particular, "acts as a reminder of the suffering these conflicts have brought to the people of Myanmar," the rights envoy said.