New York, NY (BBN) -Democracy will take decades to take root in Myanmar, and in the meantime tangible, step-by-step benchmarks should be set up to spur progress in the Asian country, an independent United Nations human rights expert told the General Assembly on Thursday.

Addressing the Assembly’s third committee (social, humanitarian and cultural), Tomás Ojea Quintana said assistance, expertise and cooperation with Myanmar should be provided to help its authorities realize those benchmarks, according to a UN press statement.

Mr. Quintana, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, told the committee that it was not enough for the Assembly to adopt resolutions about the country – it should also provide the resources to implement those resources.

While Myanmar’s government has the prime responsibility to protect and promote human rights within the country’s borders, the international community should stand ready to help at any time, the statement added.

In response to queries after his presentation to the Assembly, he called for the immediate release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League of Democracy (NLD) who is under house arrest.

“She’s under arbitrary detention,” Mr. Quintana told reporters, describing the situation as a serious violation of human rights and warning that he was not confident she would be released in the near future.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-24October08-3:58 PM (BST)