Nyan Win told the Assembly’s annual general debate that the country can draw from “its ample experiences and lessons learned in holding multi-party general elections in the past” to stage the ballot on 7 November.“Whatever the challenges facing us, we are committed to do our best for the successful holding of the free and fair general elections for the best interest of the country and its people,” he said.Mr. Win described his country as being at “the critical phase of its political transformation process,” with the polls serving as the fifth step in the Government-designed political roadmap.He said 37 political parties, including some representing different ethnic groups, will take part in the elections, with more than 3,000 candidates contesting 1,171 seats spread across the Peoples’ Parliament, the National Parliament and state or regional parliaments.“Such a large participation made it crystal clear that the elections become virtually inclusive. Political parties have already started their campaign activities. The people will exercise their democratic right to elect the representatives of their own choice who can serve their interest better.”The Foreign Minister addressed the Assembly a day after the Group of Friends on Myanmar met at United Nations Headquarters in New York to discuss ways to help the country’s people and Government transition to a credible civilian and democratic government.The Group of Friends stressed that the November elections must be as inclusive, participatory and transparent as possible, and they called on authorities to take steps to release all political detainees, including the prominent opposition figure and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.“This is essential for the elections to be seen as credible and to contribute to Myanmar’s stability and development,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told journalists after the meeting.“At this critical stage in Myanmar’s transition, it is all the more important that the Group, and especially Myanmar’s neighbours, encourages Myanmar to engage meaningfully with my good offices. The Group encourages the Government of Myanmar to adopt a more constructive and forward-looking approach in its response to the international community’s call for engagement.”Formed in 2007, the Group of more than a dozen nations and regional blocs is designed to serve as a consultative forum for developing a shared approach in support of the Secretary-General’s good offices mandate on Myanmar. 28 September 2010Myanmar is confident that upcoming elections, the first to be staged in the country in two decades, will be orderly and successful, the nation’s Foreign Minister told the General Assembly today.